It’s safe to say that Clark Moore is set to be the new name on everyone’s lips. Whilst you might recognise him from Glee or Season 3 of NBC’s The Sing Off, the actor is about to shine in his most exciting role yet.
Clark will play Ethan in new movie Love, Simon which is due for release in cinemas on March 16. The highly anticipated film is an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel.
Whilst Clark’s character Ethan doesn’t appear in the original book, he was created especially by the screenwriters and film team. Author Becky Albertalli has since given the character her seal of approval, stating on Tumblr: “He’s AMAZING, and I can’t wait for you to meet him.”
Outside of acting, Clark has a number of passions including clothing, travel and lifestyle. Like his character in Love, Simon, Clark is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community and continually uses his voice and stature to spread acceptance.
We recently had the opportunity to ask Clark about his forthcoming role as Ethan in Love, Simon, spreading acceptance of LGBTQ+ issues, future dream roles and much more.
We’ll soon be seeing you on our screens as Ethan, an out LGBTQ African American teen, in the new movie Love, Simon. Your character was created specifically for the movie so what can you tell us about him?
Ethan is who I wish I was in high school – he’s well dressed, sharp-tongued, and self-assured – but just like everyone else, he’s navigating high school the only way he knows how and that comes with its challenges, even for him. His addition to the story really puts the broad spectrum of identity and expression within the LGBTQ+ community on display and highlights the specific difficulties that come along with an intersectional identity.
The movie is based on the book Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Had you read the book beforehand or were you already aware of it before you were cast?
I read the book after I got the part because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I heard it was amazing, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I had heard about the book’s success and I was aware of Becky Albertalli through the grapevine because she spoke at my old high school in Atlanta, the Paideia School. I love her voice and I love the way she built out this world so I was over the moon to be able to inhabit it for a brief moment. I do kind of wish I could hear her write for Ethan though – maybe in future books.
There’s a big hype around the film. Does that fill you with excitement or make you feel under pressure?
I’m more excited about Love, Simon than I can even articulate! The excitement has mostly been centred on Nick so I haven’t felt any pressure; I’ve just been along for the ride. Perhaps I’ll feel differently if people start yelling obscenities at me in the streets like some of the kids do in the movie.
The film also stars the likes of Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Miles Heizer, Jennifer Garner, and Josh Duhamel. How was the filming experience for you?
Our set was amazing, it was like being at summer camp with some of the funniest and nicest people I’ve ever met. Nick is a true joy to work with! He’s incredibly professional, relaxed and so easy to talk to. Katherine and Miles were experiencing the meteoric rise of their show [13 Reasons Why] while we were on set so that was a joy to watch. This industry is so unforgiving that it’s nice to take a moment and just enjoy watching good things happen to great and deserving people so I’m grateful I got to witness that snapshot in their careers.
I unfortunately didn’t get to work on set with Jennifer Garner or Josh Duhamel.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community yourself, how important is it for you to find work which has a larger message in today’s society?
It’s nice when that happens but honestly I’m just grateful to get any job. We have come a long way with representation of LGBTQ+ and people of color but we still have a long way to go. I am a Pisces – both my Sun and my Moon – so I feel the full range of human emotions before I even walk out of the door in the morning. So, when I see breakdowns and hear about the parts I’m up for, they so frequently feel like two-dimensional caricatures of a stereotype. That’s what I love about Ethan – he’s a real person. He’s tough with endless self-confidence, but even he has his limits. I hope I get to share more of these stories.
You actively use your voice to spread acceptance about LGBTQ+ issues. Can you tell us a little about your work in supporting GLAAD?
In many ways my existence is my resistance. Just having the audacity to be gay, black and proud has felt like a political statement recently. I’m so grateful that GLAAD has done so much of the heavy lifting when it comes to rounding out LGBTQ+ representation in television and media so I’m always happy to lend my support to them in any way I can.
You recently attended the GLAAD x ASOS “Together Movement” Launch, a clothing line which aims to unite in accelerating acceptance. How did you find that experience?
That dinner was such a beautiful night full of stimulating conversation and boundless positive energy. I’ve known Tommy Dorfman (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) since 2003 so I went because he asked me to and I wanted to support my friend as the face of the collection. But, I left feeling incredibly inspired by many people who are making a serious impact. The collection is pretty awesome too! Every time I wear a piece that I got from that evening it sparks a conversation which is exactly what we need right now: open dialogue and conscious listening.
In fact, fashion, as well as travel and lifestyle, is very important to you. Who would you say are some of your fashion influences?
Ralph Lauren is my alpha and my omega. For me, all roads lead to Ralph. I actually wrote the senior thesis for my undergraduate fellowship on the architectural history of his stores around the world so I’d say I’m a bit of a fan. I am admittedly on the sidelines of the fashion world but I am an enthusiastic spectator and eager to learn more. I’m currently manifesting my front row fashion week moment – or better yet, getting to walk!
You’ve been performing since you were seven years old. What inspired you to follow a career in acting in the first place?
My cousin was a counselor at a performing arts camp in Atlanta and she convinced my parents to send me to it. It was only seven days but I fell in love with performing – dancing, acting and singing. I signed with my first agent on “Monologue Night” and they’re actually the agency that booked me on Love, Simon!
You’ve already appeared in Glee, I’m Obsessed With You (But You’ve Got to Leave Me Alone), and now Love, Simon. What would be your dream role in the future?
First of all I would love to stay in producer Greg Berlanti’s universe for as long as he’ll have me. I love flipping expectations on their head and making bold moves, like what Marvel did with Thor in casting Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. I want to be a gay, black superhero. Believe it or not, they do exist both in the abundant DC and Marvel universes and also on some of Greg’s current shows! I’d also like to make a trip to Shondaland.
You made your TV debut performing with The Dartmouth Aires on NBC’s The Sing Off. Is singing something you’d like to do more of in the future?
I love singing. My labradoodle even knows that he’ll get a treat if he sits patiently until I finish whatever song I’m screlting at him around the house. Broadway has always been a dream of mine and one that I hope comes true one day. I don’t currently have a music career in the works but I’m not ruling anything out!
Do you have any other plans for 2018 that you can tell us about?
So much on the horizon, but nothing that I can announce yet. 2018 has already been such a wild ride, so I’m excited to see what more is in store.
Love, Simon hits theatres on March 16.