”It was just nice to feel comfortable in that situation when I didn’t think I would at all,“ the actor told TheWrap

Evan Mock

Warner Media

(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the midseason finale of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl”.)

Not many actors can say they made their debut playing a character that was literally crafted around them and their likeness. Evan Mock – the surfer, skateboarder, model and photographer, who currently stars in HBO Max’s reboot “Gossip Girl” as Akeno “Aki” Menzies – can do just that.

In fact, Mock said that when showrunner Josh Safran called him one day, asking if he wanted to try out for “Gossip Girl,” he told him that he’d been looking at his face for a couple months, developing the character around his physical self. He asked him to read for the character and put in a self-tape.

“At the time, I had no idea what a self-tape was, so it was interesting trying out something new and also trying out for a character that’s basically written around me,” Mock said to TheWrap. “If I didn’t get the job it would’ve been weird, but if I did, it’d be weird as well, so it was a funny experience.”

But of course, Mock got the job, and now, he’s even doing threesome scenes. Well… one super long-awaited one with his character’s girlfriend Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind) and their mutual friend Max (Thomas Doherty). While Mock said that filming the scene wasn’t exactly how he expected it to be, he felt surprisingly comfortable.

“It was definitely interesting. Obviously, by the time we filmed the scene, I’d known [Lind and Doherty] for a few months and we’d gotten pretty close,” Mock said. “We were just experiencing it together. It’s always awkward, and it’s always weird, but Claire [Warden], the intimacy coordinator, delegated during the awkwardness and answered all our questions. It was just nice to feel comfortable in that situation when I didn’t think I would at all.”

Not only was Mock new to acting, but traditional schooling as well, as he was home-schooled his whole life and had never even put on a school uniform before.

“It was fun exploring and feeling like I was in high school again,” Mock said. “It’s just something so polar opposite to how I was raised.”

Despite their differences, Mock said he relates to Aki’s core, in that they’re both young people just trying to “figure things out” and was able to build his connection to the character from there.

“[Aki] is just a kid figuring it out, and I can relate to that – I’m a young kid figuring things out as well,” Mock said. “I feel like there’s this pressure to figure out things at such a young age and [Aki] is wealthy, but has the same problems as less well off kids, so it just goes to show that he’s just like everyone else, in a way.”

Aki is indeed trying to “figure it out,” as the soft-spoken, pink-haired film enthusiast who’s dating his longtime girlfriend Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind), despite his curiosity (and slight flirtationship) with their mutual friend Max. As the season continues, his personality peeks through more and more, as he continues to piece together his identity and explore his sexuality.

And in the midseason finale, we meet Aki’s parents, watch Audrey accidentally out him and see him gain more clarity on his relationship to his father (Malcolm McDowell), who ends up using his sexuality as a PR prop.

“Obviously [my character’s dad] is very Rupert Murdoch-like, only thinks abut business and what’s good for business, which put things into perspective a lot,” Mock said. “Aside from that, it was amazing working with Malcolm, he’s obviously a legend. Being able to see how he works and can be so vulnerable in front of the camera was very informative.”

Oh, and back to that threesome scene – now that there isn’t much left unsaid, lingering between the three of them, what’s there to expect from Aki, Audrey and Max’s love triangle going forward?

“You’re just going to have to keep watching the show,” Mock laughs.

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