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Gay Times April 12 - Issue 404

Sam Jackson

A gay male character on British TV who’s actually properly, seriously hot. Seldom does such a guy crop up. Thus, when he does, it’s still a bit of an event, right?

Meet sprightly Northerner Sam Jackson, the brand spanking new secret weapon of Skins, E4’s flagship, BAFTA award-winning teen drama. He plays the aggressively promiscuous Alex, the sexiest gay boy on telly since, well, Mitch Hewer’s straight boy-seducing Maxxie danced off into the Skins sunset in 2007.
We first met Sam on a set visit to the hit show a few issues back, in a filthy old warehouse on the outskirts of Bristol. We had to endure the sight of him locking-lips with another nubile-bodied young man across several takes – and the best part of 30 minutes – sans shirt. His topless form, loitering around east London, similarly transfixes us two months later on his GT cover shoot. He braves bitter winter winds (this time in nothing but acid bright baggy trousers, slung low on his waist), his bare back against exposed brick, sucking suggestively on a cigarette for the camera. They’re powerful displays of homoeroticism from one so young – he’s just turned 18 – and from a heterosexual actor no less. Not that the fresh-faced Sam let’s this little fact sever his connection to his character.
“I put a lot of myself into Alex,” he tells me, I think, quite bravely. “I feel like I can relate to him. I do understand gay men a lot more.”
It’s a daring and freethinking statement in light of the bad attitudes that persist among many Alex’s age; including, even, some of his own friends from back home.
“Some of my mates are massive homophobics,” he says, before admitting that only a few people know of his upcoming role. “[They’re] a football team of lads who are big on their camaraderie… There’s a lot of stuff like that. I’ll probably get some stick for it. They’ll take the mick for a couple of weeks. Do I hope it changes their opinions? I’d like to think so. It’d be amazing, definitely. Some gay men are misunderstood. I honestly feel like that.”
Despite his bold comments – and his utter seduction of the camera – I can’t help but notice Sam’s more than a little nervous in an interview scenario. But who could blame him; he’s a complete newbie to the attention and scrutiny a role in Skins brings with it. In fact, when he’s not on location or on the publicity drive, his life is strikingly normal.
“It’s like two different worlds,” he says. “I go down to Bristol with my friends – the Skins cast are like my friends now – and then I go back to Leeds and go back to school and do maths…
“I did a maths exam on Monday,” he laughs boyishly, “and out of 62 marks guess how many marks I got? Four. Four marks. When I go back to school I’m not thinking about school … I’m thinking about when I’m next filming.”

To read the full article, pick up the latest copy of GT out in all good retailers, online and downloadable on your iPhone or iPad.

Words: Jamie Tabberer
Photo: Mario Benedetti

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