Actor and comedian Brendan Scannell is known for his hilarious roles as Heather Duke in the Paramount Network series Heathers and Pete Devin in Netflix’s Bonding. The show focuses on the unlikely friendship between Tiffany Chester and Pete as they navigate Tiff’s complicated life balancing graduate school and sex work. Scannell’s performance took on new heights in the recently released second season of the Netflix dark comedy. This season, Scannell’s role further explored his relationship with Tiff, all while he continued to pursue his own stand-up-comedy career and juggle his day job as a waiter.
Scannell sat down with the Cut’s social-media editor, Taylor Roberts, to discuss the French origin of Bonding, the importance of interpersonal relationships, and, of course, BDSM. Below, read some of the highlights from the conversation.
On intimacy: “With intimacy or sex scenes I’ve done in the past, there’s a real sense where you show up to set, and the director is like, ‘Okay, so we’re going to do something that might be a little bit different today.’ You kind of throw it together in the way you do a regular scene. Working with Olivia Troy [Bonding’s intimacy coordinator] this time, we were able to really rehearse and make sure that all of the actors’ needs were met. It felt like having another person in the ring for the actors to make sure that everyone was comfortable.”
On leather: “It’s [leather] definitely something that I had never really explored before the show, but there’s something really powerful and subversive and sexy about putting it on. There’s a reason people have been wearing this stuff since the ’40s and ’50s.”
On friendship: “The most important friendships and relationships I have in my life are with my girlfriends. I think there’s a really special relationship between gay men and women. That has been my favorite thing to explore in the show. But also there are times when we outgrow friends, or you’re in a friendship and you start to change and your friend can’t see that because they know you as the person you’ve always been. So sometimes a friendship needs a break, as much as a relationship can need a break, so that you can come back with mutual respect for each other.”
To hear more about Scannell’s experience on the show, watch the full video now, both above and on Instagram.