Q&A: Matt Rogers Embraces Role as Twink of Q-Force

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Q Force is an animated series arriving on Netflix September 2.
Netflix

In the highly amusing animated series, “Q-Force,” out gay actor and writer Matt Rogers plays Twink, a sassy drag queen who can disguise himself as anyone to help his team of queer superspies solve crime. Twink’s leader from the American Intelligence Agency (AIA) is agent Steve Maryweather (Sean Hayes) — a man with “affected confidence and the body of a God” — who made the unwise decision in 2010 to come out at his commencement. 

Now, after 10 years or doing nothing in West Hollywood, Steve, or “Mary” as he is known, decides he and his queer crew — which includes Stat (Patti Harrison), Deb (Wanda Sykes) and Twink — goes rogue. What is more, they stumble upon a terrorist plot. Cracking wise and cracking ribs, Q-Force takes on a several missions over the course of Season One’s ten episodes. 

In a recent phone interview, Rogers chatted with Gay City News about the show and creating Twink. 

KRAMER: How did you come to embody Twink? 

ROGERS: I was first hired to write on the show, and when I read the pilot script, the character that jumped out at me was definitely Twink because I thought it was genius that he was a drag queen by day and a master of disguise by night. He makes pop culture references and always says the very first thing that comes to his mind — even if it is dumb — but he is still brilliant at what he does, and such an integral part of the team. 

I never suggested myself for [the role]. When we had the first table read, I was asked to read Twink to sell the jokes. I gravitated towards him naturally. I gave him a heightened version of myself. I used my resonator to give some energy in his voice, and I found I was rhythmically in the pocket of where he lived as a comedic character. After the read, they came to me and offered me the role. I did not audition for it. 

KRAMER: Twink’s character is really sassy, selfish, overly emotional, and enthusiastic. What qualities did you give him? I’m guessing he’s not like you.

ROGERS: Twink is someone who says what he feels. He is a little burst of energy in every episode. The character and me blend together at a certain point. What I really like about him is that he’s very instinctual, and he doesn’t apologize for who he is. He’s never competing. Yes, he wants all the attention and wants to be the star of the team, but it’s never at the expense of anyone else. There is not a bitchy bone in his body. He is an energetic, positive, sex positive, enthusiastic, maybe not super thoughtful, but well intentioned. 

KRAMER: What observations do you have about how the series embraces and subverts queer stereotypes?

ROGERS: It’s been really interesting. I understand why there’s a hesitancy and difficulty to swallow queer content by queer audiences because we’re not represented a lot. When we are represented, there is a nervousness or an anxiety when we see characters on screen, and they are a certain way and people think: Is this the way we’re being represented and is this the definitive way of representation? 

I experienced a lot of that when people saw the first trailer for “Q-force” and Twink says something that [supports the] stereotype that we’re oversexualized, or that we talk like that. But people do talk like that and a lot of people I know who are gay do go out fuck a lot. You make a choice to think it’s funny or be offended or anxious about it. I hope that people choose to embrace this. There are so many queer identities represented so I hope that people check their criticism at the door. It’s a very sweet story about a chosen family, and it’s a fun spy show as well. Yes, I do understand when people are on edge about representation, but that means we need more of it. So let’s let this one happen so there are more queer shows so we don’t have to put too much on one show.

KRAMER: I appreciate that “Q-Force” embraces community and diversity. What can you say about the way you and your castmates work together as a team?

ROGERS: In the writers’ room, that was a major focus from an early point. If you are going to have a queer show, represent the queer community in all its vastness. I was excited to be on the same show as Wanda Sykes, Niecy Nash, and my dear friend Patti Harrison, who I came up with in queer comedy. I love that it was centered around Sean Hayes. Sean was one of two gay male characters on screen when I was a young kid growing up on Long Island. It’s fun to see how far we’ve come and how far he has come in his career that he can be the center of the show — because he has earned that. We emphasized having queer actors on this show. I’m filming “Fire Island” now and we have an all-queer cast as well. To do queer projects that are walking the walk, and have a majority queer writer’s room and cast, and are diverse in age, race, orientation, and identity, it’s something I’m really proud of. 

KRAMER: Animation allows the characters to defy physics — Twink can be pretty limber — and get very, very naked. Can you talk about the nude scene and your thoughts about the show’s no-holds-barred style?

ROGERS: There are couple sex and nude scenes where I screamed out loud watching it. Especially in the “Brokeback Mountain” episode, we are really going for it in terms of graphic gay sex in a way that I hope everyone fucking loves. And these animated gay characters are really hot. I’m sure there’s a subreddit that will absolutely have a field day with this in a positive way, and I’m excited to be part of a horny, animated gay show. And in terms of how my character looks, that is how my weight and chest are proportioned, and my ass is absolutely that fat and yes, I am as limber as Twink, and people should inquire about it 100 percent.

KRAMER: Twink doesn’t really get a love interest in the series. What can you say about that or even your own romantic life—does it mirror Twink’s?

ROGERS:  Hmm. Twink and I are both trying to have hot boy summers all the time! [Laughs] I think Twink and I both actually do best when we’re single. We’re a lot in relationships. That’s one way Twink and I are similar. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work out. But who knows — maybe someone can handle Twink? And I say that just about Twink, not about myself at all. It would be interesting to see who Twink would want to be with. Obviously, a daddy type. 

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