CALL ME ADAM
"Call Answered: Darwin Del Fabro Interview: They/Them Queer Horror Movie"
August 5, 2022
Darwin Del Fabro is a proud, queer Brazilian actor and musician. In Rio de Janeiro, Darwin was featured in the original Brazilian productions of Shrek The Musical, Fiddler on The Roof, The Wizard of Oz and was in the hit Brazilian soap opera, Ligações Perigosas (based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses), and Novo Mundo.
Darwin moved to NYC four years ago from Brazil, barely speaking a word of English. He immediately enrolled at Broadway Dance Center and learned English through dance class. His first English words were “Fosse,” "spin," "jump" and "jazz hands."
Darwin is breaking barriers with his latest project. He is featured in John Logan’s (Oscar nominee/Tony Award winner) new queer horror film They/Them, which also stars Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky & Carrie Preston.
In this interview, Darwin shares behind-the-scenes stories about making They/Them as well what made him move to NYC.
They/Them is about a group of queer campers who, at a gay conversion camp, are promised a week of programming meant to “help them find a new sense of freedom.” As Whistler Camp’s methods become increasingly more psychologically unsettling, the campers must work together to protect themselves.
Stream They/Them on Peacock today.
1. You are featured in the new queer horror film They/Them. What made you want to be part of the movie?
When I first moved to New York and started working on a play, I really wanted to collaborate with John Logan. I'm such a huge fan of his work. He's written some of the best screenplays. I wrote to him thinking it was unlikely he’d respond. But he agreed to help me as I started workshopping this play; and then we were shut down because of the pandemic. I thought I’d lost the opportunity of a lifetime to work with this guy. A few months later, I got a phone call from him and he said, “I wrote this role for you and I really want you to be a part of this movie - They/Them.” I thought lightning does strike twice.
2. What do you relate to most about your character "Gabriel"?
“Gabriel” is an outsider, and he is very mysterious. “Gabriel” is the example of, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You may think he’s weak, but then you discover there’s a lot of strength and a lot of depth there.
In a certain way I think I’m kind of the same. People may see some more delicate features and think, “Oh you must not be powerful or strong,” when really you do have those qualities and it’s people like me that are challenging these preconceptions.
3. What was the scariest scene to film?
I wasn’t scared by any scene! Even in my sex scene, which is very vulnerable and intimate, I was still comfortable. One of the nice things about this film is, often when we see a gay sex scene in cinema it’s met with guilt or shame, there’s not much celebration. We forget about the beauty of it. And John wrote beautiful scenes. I wish people could read the dialogue and the beautiful atmosphere it takes place in. Those were wonderful descriptions. We had a terrific intimacy coordinator and he would always ask me, “You feel okay?” I felt like I could always say no to something. If I didn't want to do it, it was just a wonderful environment.
4. Did you have any nightmares or sleepless nights during filming?
No! Even though the camp where we were shooting was supposedly haunted, I chose to embrace any ghosts rather than run from them.
5. What did you learn about yourself or the industry from making this film that you didn't know beforehand?
This film is a game changer in the genre of horror. A diverse cast at the center of a story in the horror genre is a powerful image for cinema. Representation in the industry is about equal employment opportunity.
6. You moved to New York about four years ago from Brazil. What made you want to make this move?
I directed and produced my own things in Brazil, so when I felt that I wanted bigger things, I challenged myself. I moved to New York to pursue an international career here. Being Brazilian, I’ve never seen someone like me doing an international movie like this. And I’ve always wanted to know if it’s possible. Now I’m the person in that position and I hope it serves as inspiration for other Brazilian artists trying to follow this path.
7. What have you enjoyed most about living in New York thus far?
New York feels like home to me. I love living in Hell’s Kitchen, surrounded with great food and theatre. The opportunities are endless.
8. Did you have any expectations that haven't been met yet?
To continue my career here in New York, I’d like to expand my work more into production and directing. I’m excited to say that I’ll be working as a producer alongside John Logan in my next project.
9. What do you miss about living in Brazil?
I miss my family! I think I have the best family ever. They have always supported me from the beginning. They always reminded me to search for my uniqueness and celebrate every inch of myself. My dad’s incredibly proud of anything that makes me happy.
10. From a very early age, you had your own personal dress style.
Where do you feel this strong sense of self came from? I’ve always been an artist, and artists can only be themselves, no one else. I’m lucky to have a family who’s always supported that.
What advice would you give to someone to help them find comfort in their own skin? Surround yourself with those who will embrace and celebrate you as you.
More on Darwin Del Fabro: In Rio de Janeiro, Darwin Del Fabro (he/him) was featured in the original Brazilian productions of Shrek The Musical, Fiddler on The Roof, The Wizard of Oz and was in the hit Brazilian soap opera, Ligações Perigosas (based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses), and Novo Mundo.
When Darwin arrived in New York four years ago from Brazil, he barely spoke a word of English. He immediately enrolled at Broadway Dance Center and learned English through dance class. His first English words were “Fosse,” "spin," "jump" and "jazz hands."
Since then, Darwin’s NYC theater credits include starring as “Puck” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Juneberry Collective, The Feather Doesn't Fall Far From The Wing at Signature Theatre and Real at the Tank. Darwin has recorded three albums: the cast recording of the Irving Berlin revue, Be Careful, It's My Heart, Darwin Del Fabro in Rio and the recently released Darwin Del Fabro: Revisiting Jobim.
The son of Brazilian fashion models, Darwin has a unique and nonconforming personal sense of style. Darwin says, "We say a lot with the way we dress. From a very early age, my sense of style was very personal. Sometimes this includes accessories that could be considered female. When I see something I like, I immediately build a look not for a gender, but for me. This expresses my influences, my taste of course, but above all, my freedom and celebrating that."