Hit the Floor’s Heartthrob Brent Antonello Speaks OUT

brent antonello
Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

The VH-! Series, Hit the Floor, is currently in the middle of its third season. During Episode Four (aired a few weeks ago), famed basketball star Zero of the Los Angeles Devils (played by Adam Senn) plunged his eager tongue into the innocent throat of Jude (played as adorably reticent by Brent Antonello) before an arena filled with fans, television cameras, and bedazzled and benighted cast members. 

Brent Antonello spoke about this cliffhanger, his role in the series, and what might be in store for the Jude/Zero partnership in the lusciously concupiscent and cunningly termed “Zude.”

Ralph Malachowski: Can you tell us some background about your character in the series, and what is currently happening in Hit the Floor?

Brent Antonello: Well, Episode Four was aired a few weeks ago. We were pre-empted by the Academy Awards. We air Monday nights at 10:00 on VH-1. In that episode, Zero, the star of the Los Angeles Devils basketball team, finally comes out in a very public way that he really loves Jude, his junior sports agent. Jude has been struggling to find himself as a gay man and struggling to find acceptance by his father, who also happens to run the Los Angeles Devils. What happens next is left up in the air for the next episode.

RM: How do you and your co-star feel about this turn of events? Or, was it planned all along?

BA: Our relationship was most definitely not planned. Around about Episode Three last season, the show’s Executive Producer and Creator said that they would like to talk to me. Now, the first thing that entered my mind when this sort of thing happens is that I was going to be let go. Instead, they pitched the storyline about the Zero-Jude relationship. I thought it was great, but at the same time intimidating. Nothing like this was ever tried in a series. We had Entourage, a series about agents, but nothing like this.  I was willing to trust their judgment and give it my best try. Adam Senn, who plays Zero, was totally onboard.

RM: So, both of you are gay, and being gay lovers on television posed no problem with your partners?

BA: No. Neither Adam nor I are gay. We are both straight. I can’t speak for Adam or his girlfriend, but my girlfriend, Taylor Ackerman, has no problem with it. Neither do my parents. They all said that they would be more upset if they saw me kissing another woman. They would find it odd if I kissed another girl, even if I did it while acting. Adam and I both have a very professional approach.  Early on, we decided that we would have to enter into this 100%, not 75%, to make it work. Adam is great. Our scenes are a breeze. I’m glad that we both have the right chemistry, and that it looks real and not fake. It’s mostly luck and great casting that allows us to work together and to project our characters the way we do.

RM: did you want to be an actor as a child? How did you come to acting as a career and to Hit the Floor in particular.

BA: I played baseball in Florida, where I grew up. Baseball was what I was interested in doing. I was a pitcher in high school. I had surgeries my senior year. My left arm was pretty badly off. Eventually, I had to take some time off, so I took a two-week acting class in Burbank, California. That was when I knew that acting was a career for me. I began by acting in a couple of short films, then, I auditioned for a few shows. One of them was for a show named Bounce, which later, ironically, became Hit the Floor. I auditioned for one of the players. I didn’t get the part. Later, I auditioned for the role of Zero. No go. I tried a third time. This time they gave me baseball statistics to say in a conversation with another actor for my audition. Of course, I understood what I was saying, and I think that audition went well. I auditioned around Halloween. I didn’t get the part until January 7, so it took a while.

RM: What’s in store for the rest of this Season Three and for Season Four?

BA: Well, I’ve been sworn to secrecy about what will happen this season. You know, we wrapped up this Season Three last May, so I’m pretty good at keeping a secret. As of today, Viacom hasn’t given a green light for Season Four. We’re waiting and hoping.

RM: You’re joking. You have a hit show. What is Viacom waiting for? How long will it take to shoot Season Four when it will eventually be approved?

BA: Well, not right away. The writers need about three months to write the scripts, so if we get the go-ahead tomorrow, it won’t be until around Mid-May that we can begin shooting. Our schedule can be pretty intense. Sometimes, we block shoot, which means we can be shooting two different scenes from two different episodes on the same set in the same day. As an actor, this means you have to know where your head is at. Last season, we began shooting in February and ended in May, so it does take time.

Right now, I’m living in Florida. I like to work out and to be active. When I’m busy with the show, I live in Burbank, close to Paramount, where we film episodes of Hit the Floor.

RM: What would you like the Jude/Zero relationship to be like in the coming episodes?

BA: I would like Jude to finally be happy. He’s had a rough time of it, so that’s what I would want for him. I would also want our audience to continue to be as supportive as they’ve been to the “Zude” relationship. It’s not only women who are getting into it, as it once was, but a wide audience demographic. I hope that whatever plot turns the show takes, our audience will enjoy it. I often say that I am one piston in an engine, and it takes many of us working together to get things running.

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