Jay hayden talks station 19 season 2 and needed lgbtq representation ideal gas questions

JH: The thing is I don’t really know how to play straight or play gay. I only know how to play somebody who has…I know what it’s like to feel overprotective and what it’s like to worry about someone’s health and wanna make them laugh and be sad. I know how to do that stuff, so when I went into read for the character I just played what was on the page that I know.

I think the actual audition scene was the scene in the ambulance with Ben Warren when he says ‘you could have killed the captain…’ And I know those emotions. It was up to Stacey, Tara and Shonda to decide if my essence was right for who they were kind of thinking of for Travis. That wasn’t my job. My job was to play a human who has those feelings.

HR: And that’s the thing with the show. While the character’s sexual orientation will be important to the fans, Travis just fits in and it’s a normal everyday thing in there, which is also important to see. You don’t need to know his sexual orientation when he works in this firehouse. It just all fits in and comes together to look natural, as it should.

JH: Yeah. I think Stacy and I definitely agreed on one thing that regardless of his sexual orientation or anything else about him, he was going to be strong and brave and care about his team and do anything for them. From that base, I felt really comfortable the way she was going to write him. She has done an excellent job.

I had a firefighter come up to me. He’d been a New York firefighter for 25 years and he said that back in the 70s and 80s: “Some of the best guys back in my day were gay and they were just as strong and just as tough and just as heroic. There was no difference between them and it’s sad because they couldn’t come out and couldn’t feel comfortable letting the other guys know they were gay. Then they’d be labeled as something different. They were labeled as a sissy. Not a strong or heroic. Suddenly everything changed because of their sexual orientation, but they could do everything any other firefighter did and there was absolutely no difference. And I really appreciate the way you’re playing the character.”

JH: I knew very early on. There was some humor in Travis in the audition side and an overprotecting vibe to him that I could relate to and I feel that I have a personal connection to, so I knew pretty early on that this was a character I wanted to play.

HR: There is constantly someone in the hospital. I’m waiting for the pregnant woman to show up in Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t remember her name now, but I can remember her husband. My 5-year-old was watching with me and crying her eyes out because she thought it was Marshall from PAW Patrol!

JH: Yeah! Again, we were at Disneyland the other day and a couple of people walked up to me and wanted a picture and wanted to talk about the character. The two parents had a child who’s roughly the same age as my daughter (she’s nine) and the kid goes ‘Mom, Dad, what is this show?’ And before they could answer my daughter said, ‘It’s a grownup show. You wouldn’t have seen it. I’ve seen it. It’s not as good as cartoon.’

Look, they are real-life heroes that actually run towards danger instead of the most of humanity that runs away from danger. People ask me if I think there’s too much but not at all! The more stories we can tell about these brave people is great. I think we should do Alaska Fire next.