It boy and actor-of-the-moment Haaz Sleiman returns to television, this time to "play" a gay Muslim character on the new Showtime series Nurse Jackie.
The series stars Edie Falco of The Sopranos as as an "iconoclastic, opinionated, self-medicating nurse in New York City" and Haaz is cast as "Maurice, a gay Muslim who is one of Jackie’s co-workers and best friends," reports Michael Jensen at After Elton "When asked if Maurice was originally written as a gay Muslim character—something still of a novelty for American television—or was something the network suggested, [Showtime Entertainment President Robert] Greenblatt said, 'He was a gay Muslim character [from the start]. We had to find an actor to play that, but it’s not the largest talent pool. We found Haaz Sleiman. He’s a terrific actor.' "
The Lebanese-born Sleiman first caught our attention as the flirtatious muscle boy "Tyson" in Maurice Jamal's The Ski Trip. Recently he has guested on 24, ER, Veronica Mars and Navy NCIS, and, was featured as one of the co-stars of Thomas McCathy's drama The Visitor and that performance received rave reviews at Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival. This would be Sleiman's first time as a principal character on a television series, and he is breaking ground as "the only gay character of Middle Eastern descent currently on the air and one of the few to have ever been portrayed on television." After playing a series of improbably handsome Muslim terrorists in crime shows, it was a strong move on Sleman's part to take a role with some meat.
Showtime Orders New Series with Gay Content [After Elton]
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