Dec 10, 2012

Gay Boys and Ghosts: Jeremy Lelliott

Born in 1982, Jeremy Lelliott skipped the kid-comedy routine and went straight into a soap, playing the noble, longsuffering David Patterson on Melrose Place (1997-98).  Threatened kid roles followed: the son of a KKK leader hiding in a safe house in Ambushed (1998), and the son of a bomb expert being held hostage by the Serbian Liberation Front in Diplomatic Siege (1999).

The short-lived Safe Harbor (fall 1998) was about a small town sheriff (Gregory Harrison) and his mother (Rue McClanahan of The Golden Girls) raising three sons. Only 10 episodes were aired, but they gave Jeremy an opportunity to buddy-bond with a friend, lounge around the pool, and show off his slim, lanky physique.

The paranormal movie Disappearance (2002) gave Jeremy more buddy-bonding.  A nuclear family is driving through Nevada, along with a boy named Ethan (Australian actor Jamie Croft).  No one explains what Ethan is doing there. Is he a foster son?  Did teenage son Matt (Jeremy) invite a school friend along on their vacation?

Whatever brought them together, they are doomed.  The family stumbles onto a small town where the people behave like sleepwalkers and bizarre things happen.  While trying to solve the mystery, they discover that they are trapped.  Eventually they become sleepwalkers, too.

Soon Jeremy's characters moved beyond gay-vague.

In Gacey (2003), Jeremy plays a gay boy who becomes one of the serial killer's victims.

In Race You to the Bottom (2005), travel writer Nathan (Cole Williams) and Maggie (Amber Benson) both have boyfriends, but they're having an affair as they explore the California wine country for an assignment.  Nicholas (Jeremy),  Nathan's partner, is not amused.

Driftwood (2006) stars Raviv Ullman as a death-obsessed teenager who is sent to a re-education camp to be brutalized.  There he is haunted by the spirit of a gay boy who was murdered in the camp, and helps Noah (Jeremy), who has been sent to the camp to be de-gayed, to stand up to his oppressors.

Jeremy has a MFA in acting from California State University, Fullerton.  Today he works as the artistic director for the Coeurage Theatre Company in West Hollywood, which is dedicated to making fresh, exciting theater accessible to everyone with its "pay what you want" admission policy.

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