Watch: Johnny Sibilly's Shines on Queer-Friendly 'Hacks'

Friday June 25, 2021

The hit HBO Max series "Hacks" focuses on the relationship between a famous Joan Riveresque stand-up comic, Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), with her career on her skids and a Millennial writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) she hires to make her relevant. While there is nothing sexual (except in a dream sequence) about their relationship, "Hacks" is surprisingly queer-friendly and filled with queer content.

Not only is Ava gay, coming out of a bad relationship; but so is Deborah's right hand Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins), who hooks up with a local water inspector Wilson (Johnny Sibilly); as is another of Deborah's personal assistant, Damien, (Mark Indelicato, who previously portrayed Justin on "Ugly Betty.") Making it authentic is that each of these four actors is out as gay or bi in real life.


Watch: One of the funniest characters on the show is Kayla, the intern played by Megan Stalter; who also did a funny video of interviewing cast members, including Clemon-Hopkins, Sibilly and Indelicato.


On the show, Wilson comes to Deborah's Vegas mansion to cite her for water usage but hooks up with Marcus. In a subsequent episode, Marcus fabricates a water emergency to hook up with Wilson a second time is understandable given Sibilly's looks. But as the show progresses, Sibilly's part became more nuanced and integral to the plot. No doubt he'll have a larger one in Season Two. The actor also recently caught the eye of Colton Underwood and was seen with him this week in Mexico.

"Hacks" isn't Sibilly's first role on series television. He was seen on "Pose" as Billy Porter's boyfriend Costas, who died of complications of AIDS in the hit show's first season. While his appearance on the show was brief, he tweeted how important the show was in his life.


And while he only appeared briefly in FX hit's second season, he could never underestimate its importance in his life. "Pose gave me a massive opportunity & changed my life. It's changed many lives & conversations. Sad to see it end but happy it's shifted the queer & television landscape. I'll be tuning in for the final dip. You should too."

In speaking to Gay Times about his "Pose" experience, Sibilly says: "Playing a Latinx man dying of the AIDS virus was important to me on many levels. Growing up, you'd hear of a queer family member dying of AIDS, but that was it — there was no backstory, no indication about this person's humanity. Playing Costas with Billy Porter as Pray Tell reminded me to give the side many families either neglected to see or were unable to. These two men only had each other, they fought for one another, and knowing that many of my queer forefathers had to do this made me feel that much more of a responsibility to try and bring that humanity to the role. It's for all the Costas and Pray Tells of the world, either gone or living."


Sibilly grew up "a Cuban Dominican military kid on the move — Germany, Texas, Miami — always knowing he would pursue acting," wrote the LA Blade in a 2018 interview. Since then, he has pivoted between New York and LA and famously appeared as Susan Lucci's pool boy on Discovery ID's Deadly Affairs and played a drag queen on "Law & Order: SVU," and now "Pose." "I love the juxtaposition of playing uber-masculine types and super-feminine roles," he told a reporter for IT-Film.

Asked about his coming out experience, Sibilly recalled: "I've been out since I was in high school. I think my mom was the hardest to tell because she's always been the most important person in my life so the stakes were always much higher when coming out to her."

Check out pics from Sibilly's IG: