George Sear Takes It to a New Level on Season 2 of 'Love, Victor'

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday June 11, 2021

Midway through Season Two of Hulu's comedy hit, "Love, Victor," the titular character's beau, Benji (George Sear), decides to show his support by showing up at a basketball game and performing a supportive dance (with backup). Much like his intro into the series in Season One, Sear is lovingly, seductively, filmed as the object of the athlete's affections. Again, a scene we have seen hundreds of times onscreen and TV, but rarely with two teens of the same sex.

The second season of "Love, Victor" takes our young characters into richer and more substantive areas of exploration and that includes the tempestuous relationship between Victor (Michael Cimino) and Benji.

Sear is allowed more to do in Season 2, a boon for the show since he's much more than eye candy. Benji justly challenges Victor's fear of standing up to his mother and Sear handles these moments like a pro, giving us nuance and often transcending the sometimes too-careful approach by the creatives.

The Brit-born thesp recently completed a villainous run in the series, "Alex Ryder."

EDGE had the pleasure of Zooming with Sear almost a year to the date of the last chat. Note: Sear had only viewed the first 3 episodes.

George Sear: Long time no speak.

EDGE: Yes, a year and a pandemic. Last year I told you that you were about to blow up in terms of the attention you'd get for your performance. Have things changed for you since the "Love, Simon" premiere?

George Sear: Yeah, things have changed. Things have changed a little bit. But also stayed the same in many ways, especially since we are in this pandemic, and it feels quite insulating--this whole experience. But it was awesome being able to get back to it and film a whole other season, even given the pandemic.

EDGE: Has it been overwhelming for you, everything happening at the same time during the pandemic?

George Sear: There's just no reference for point for the pandemic. It very much stands alone in time. It had its highs and lows, I think... being able to get back to doing what we love and getting all these great new scripts. That was amazing. Working in a time when most people were not was a real stabilizing element. So, yeah, it's had its fair share of ups and downs.

EDGE: I binged the new season and see that Benji has more to do this season, which is nice.

George Sear: I know. I thought that, too. It's really cool. There was a lot more to get my teeth into from an acting perspective.

EDGE: And more nuanced. I won't say how and why but Benji's character is further explored. We see that he's not as picture-perfect as he seems.

George Sear: Exactly, yeah, it's like when you first see him, particularly in Season One, he's very much this confident guy and, actually, there's a lot more going on under the surface. It was cool being able to peel back those layers this time around—still through the lens of this relationship with him and Victor.

EDGE: With maybe one little detour because you got to work with the great Embeth Davidtz. And Kevin Rahn. (as Benji's parents)

George Sear: Yeah. It was really great. They were fun days on set. Embeth, I thought, played it really well. Kevin as well...He has great comedic chops. But it was cool. That's Miss Honey! (in the film "Matilda") She was lovely.

EDGE: Some people thought season one was too tame. I agree. But season two gets pretty steamy. Did you know that going in?

George Sear: I knew going in because the show being adopted by Hulu and changing platforms... there was talk (that) we can have more adult content now. We can get more realistic with it. Because of that, it allows you to explore these characters in a much more in-depth, realistic way. And, also, I think it would be more relatable, to be able to go into the subjects of, like, losing your virginity and all these things. These are real things that teenagers in high school are going through, so it's good to watch it unfold with these characters. But I agree with you that was the evolution of the series, the natural course for it to take.

EDGE: You talk about relatability and that is super important. There is little content in any medium where queer teens are allowed to explore their sexuality and it's done on "Love, Victor" this season.

George Sear: Yeah, definitely. I think the show really speaks primarily to LGBTQ youth... It does present difficult realities of coming out in high school in America today, because it's a difficult thing for most people. It also shows the joy in living your truth and celebrating who you are. And getting through those things like Victor hopefully does--I don't want to give any spoilers away.

EDGE: And Benji has a defining line, he says, and I might be paraphrasing, 'Everybody thinks coming out is easy now, but it's really not.'

George Sear: Yeah. He does and he's right. He sort of becomes the supportive one in their dynamic this time around, which is very different to his relationship in season one with Derrick.

EDGE: Let's talk about that because to me he's super understanding for a really long time and then he has a breaking point.

George Sear: He does and then once the breaking point happens it's kind of like all coming out like Pandora's Box... I think he's supportive, too, but I do think there's also times where he needs to think about things outside his perspective. Because he'll never understand what it's like for Victor, given Victor's background and his family life. They're from very different backgrounds.

EDGE: I get it, I grew up Italian-Catholic. But there is also a point where you have to say, stand up to your mother! And it's nice to see Benji there...

George Sear: Yeah. Reading that scene... it's a big moment—for everybody in that dynamic. But it really builds up to that, doesn't it? As the story goes, it really comes to that point. And Victor's kind of in the middle there.

EDGE: In the last year especially there's been a lot of conversation about authenticity and whether actors who identify as straight should not play queer roles. Where do you land?

George Sear: I think it is a really nuanced conversation. Everybody has their own perspective coming at it. I try to approach Benji as I'm playing a human being that's attracted to another human, cultivating these feelings with Michael on set. And we're very 'in the moment.' I think he and I have a natural chemistry, that got to evolve. So, yeah, that's how I land on it.

EDGE: It's a tricky conversation.

George Sear: Yeah, it is tricky.

EDGE: So, tell me about the basketball dance. How the hell did that come about?

George Sear: (laughs) When I read that, I was like, I'm so excited for this. I used to dance. Growing up, I was a dancer. So, it was cool to get the moves out again... the dancers they hired were professional dancers. Some of those girls dance with J-Lo, big names. So, they brought them in. We had this great choreographer. And it was two days of doing this routine. At the end, I was like I'm going to chuck in a little baby freeze here. I'm not sure if that made the cut or not.

EDGE: I'm not going to tell you. (It did).

George Sear: Leave it as a surprise. Something to look forward to.

EDGE: It's fun to watch.

George Sear: I'm glad. I had a lot of fun doing it. I really enjoyed it.

EDGE: Are you living in the States now. And is it culture shock to you?

George Sear: (laughs) Sometimes. I live over here now. I've been here a few years, so it feels like home now. I haven't been back to London in a year and a half.

EDGE: Oh, wow.

George Sear: Yeah, it's been a minute. My parents finally get to come out next month so I'm very excited to see them... I'm actually really excited to show them my life and show them around. Because a lot has changed in that time. But sometimes it's still a culture shock.

EDGE: I'm curious about your journey and what is on the horizon for you.

George Sear: I really want to start working behind the camera. I've written a short I'm trying to make right now--probably going to have to go back to London and film it. It's about a '60s musician I really like. I want to continue to story-tell in other ways. I love acting. (It's) one of my first loves and hopefully I'll get to continue to play great characters... I'm writing and trying to develop more of that side of things, too.

EDGE: Can I ask who the musician is?

George Sear: Yeah, do you know The Walker Brothers?

EDGE: Yes, actually.

George Sear: I've written this thing about Scott Walker. He had that amazing solo career.

EDGE: Brief, though, right?

George Sear: It was actually really long but he turned away from all the commercial success he had in the '60s and he went very avant-garde. So, he was still making music in the '90s. But really avant-garde stuff. So far away from anything he did with The Walker Brothers. But it's this window I'm focusing on where he leaves The Walker Brothers and then finding his new inspiration as an artist. I'm interested in that part of his life.

EDGE: I saw you on "Alex Ryder." They didn't use you enough!

George Sear: (laughs) Yeah, no, it was fun playing that character, but it would have been fun to do more of it. It's always fun playing a bad guy. I feel like you Americans always have the Brits be the bad guy but this time around it was an American villain on the British side, which is cool.

EDGE: "Love, Victor" is meaningful for a lot of people. I didn't have anything like this when I was growing up.

George Sear: Yeah, that's what a lot of people have said to me. A lot my older gay friends have said, I wish I had a show like this growing up.

EDGE: I had to wait for "Queer as Folk..."

George Sear: Well, hopefully there's more of a chance for these kinds of stories to be told. There's a demand for it. Clearly.

EDGE: And I think we're entering a time where people are allowed to tell stories that are personal and resonate and don't have to be made by committee.

George Sear: Yeah, because there's that thing that sometimes if it's more specific it resonates more in a way.

EDGE: Specificity denotes universality.

George Sear: Yeah, yeah, it's true. And I think it's better storytelling as well.

EDGE: Are you up for a Season Three of "Love, Victor?"

George Sear: Oh, I would love to do it. Love to... I feel like I need to see what's going to happen with these characters. And where they're going to go. So, yeah, I hope so. I would love to do it. It's in the hands of the gods.

All 10 episodes of "Love, Victor" Season Two bow on Hulu on June 11th.

Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep. Frank is a recipient of a 2019 International Writers Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM, VATICAN FALLS) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. https://filmfreeway.com/FrankAvella https://muckrack.com/fjaklute