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The Interview

Noam Ash

My Gay Roommate: YouTube series explores relationship between straight and gay roommates

"We definitely played with these elements and sprinkle in a little homo-eroticism here and there..."
In my quest to understand YouTube, I stumbled upon a series called My Gay Roommate, (MGR) a funny series created and written by Noam Ash and Austin Bening, about two college roommates - one gay, and one who is straight.

I reached out to Noam to talk about this popular multi-episode series. As actor, writer, and producer for MGR, he's quite the talent.

BP: (Bill Pritchard) Tell us about "My Gay Roommate."

NA: (Noam Ash) My Gay Roommate is a comedy web series that explores the relationship between two college roommates - one who is gay, and one who is straight. We made it our senior year at Tufts with a bunch of our friends in a college dorm. The team felt that a gay-straight friendship duo hadn't been explored much in the media, so we decided to make our own series for the interwebs.

BP: Where did you come up with the idea?

NA: MGR is us in a way. We (Austin Bening and Noam) were roommates all four years of college. We wanted to collaborate on a project for a while, and ended up telling on our own story. It was a four year research process that led to this little series.

BP: How many people did it take to create each webisode?

NA: Each episode was slightly different, but we had a consistent core of the two creators (us), two producers, and about 4 other people who played different roles in production.

In general though, we had a really dedicated crew of about 6-8 people. We all wore different hats, held booms, gathered around the editing computer. Saturdays and Sundays were spent cramped in a little dorm room, getting close and personal with the cast and crew.

BP: As a fan, I wanted the two roommates to fall in love. It appears as if they had a great bromance, but nothing more. What was your reason for this?

NA: That was the defining choice of the series. We'd just seen too many stories about the gay guy and his best girl, or the gay boy pining after the straight boy. We definitely played with these elements and sprinkle in a little homo-eroticism here and there, but at the end of the day, the boys are just friends. And that's the way it is because that's us. No ‘When Harry Met Sally' endings here.

BP: You've had a million plus views on your YouTube channel. Clearly people like your content. What's next?

NA: Yeah! It's been pretty awesome! Next? The journey continues! Nick (Noam's character) has been home for the summer, where there are many shenanigans to be had with Mom in Nick's Daily Routine. We're also developing some really cool new stuff for the fall, bringing back the boy-on-boy dynamic but with some new twists. Stay tuned.

BP: Tell us about you? Are you done with school? Where is home? Are you single? Are you anything like your character?

NA: We graduated this past May from Tufts University and have recently moved to NYC for year 5 of our forever-roommateship with a few of our friends.

I'm originally from Israel - Dad's Israeli and Mom's American. Nick and I do share a few similarities: charm, dashing good looks, and an affinity for cleanliness, but I would say he's a theatrical caricature of me. Just like James is a handsomer version of Austin.

As for the boys, I do my best not to kiss and tell. Am I right Zachary Quinto, Niel Patrick Harris, Davey Wavey, and Accidental Bear!

Check out Noam and Austin's continued creations via their popular YouTube channel, My Gay Roommate.
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