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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Being Gerald: Shortland St's Harry McNaughton

Posted in: Television
By Matt Akersten - 8th May 2008

Harry McNaughton plays Gerald Tippett
Shortland Street's virginal receptionist Gerald Tippett finally got into bed with a guy in a racy episode last week - but alas, he couldn't find his homo-mojo.

Our celebrity stalker department pinned actor Harry McNaughton down for a few minutes to pose some questions about Gerald's journey. It's great to see your character finally getting some sort of sex lifeā€¦

Harry McNaughton: Yes! But Gerald definitely didn't have a smooth run of it, I'm sure you'll agree. Poor guy.

Did you find the intimate scenes challenging to film?

Not really, to be honest. Well, yes, okay, it was pretty weird. But once you got past that it was just like any other scene, it just became about two people making and breaking connections.

Bed & beyond: Gerald's lunchtime laision with Lindsay didn't go well
Sometimes being teased badly during school can lead to gay guys struggling to come to terms with their sexuality and having a hard time coming out in their adult life. Do you think that's what Gerald's going through?

Gerald's a really interesting character to play - partly because he appears to be stereotypically gay. What's interesting - and I don't know how much I can say here - is that he's not necessarily gay, as we're about to find out. And I think that's actually a very good thing. It shows that we are starting to see past stereotypes and not pigeonhole people.

Another nice thing, as proven by this recent storyline, is that he could be gay and it wouldn't matter.

One thing I hear most often about your character Gerald is - where does he get his money for clothes from? He always looks very well presented! Who picks Gerald's clothes, and do you have much say about what he wears?

Tell me about it! I think Gerald's one of those people who spends every available dollar on clothing and fancy dinners and stuff. I don't get a say, which is probably a good thing because my taste in clothes is very different to Gerald's.

What's your fantasy storyline for Gerald, if you had free reign to let your imagination run wild?

He'd become Shortland Street Hospital's overseas liaison and travel all over the world. And of course, I'd need to be flown to all of those exotic locations and put up in posh hotels. Please?

Catch Harry McNaughton as Gerald Tippett - and the return of lesbian nurse Maia Jeffries - on Shortland Street, weeknights at 7pm on TV2.

Matt Akersten - 8th May 2008