ABC presents new AIDS drama

“My mother remembered when the Grim Reaper campaign aired so the fear was passed on to me and I remember my first friend visiting a friend of his who was dying in hospital of AIDS. When I read the script, all those moments of my youth came back, the fear of my music manager at the time, my mother, when I didn’t come home one night, they thought I was on the road and the fear of who I was get up, it was all related to this campaign.”


A big topic of In our blood is the collaborative approach the government took to combating the AIDS outbreak, particularly the way the gay community was consulted and guided the effort. “What this show did so well is celebrate an era that was so fraught with so much tragedy and such a dark time in world history and Australia really managed to set an example of how to treat people with Treated differently and empowered rather than imposed,” says Draxl.

The series also reflects the gay community’s general fear of prejudice. “One of the reasons I was most attracted to it was because I had enough life experience and life experience as a gay man that I knew what it was like to be discriminated against,” says Draxl. “I knew what it felt like to be a second-class citizen. I’ve lived with it my whole life since I first knew I was gay and was told I couldn’t be gay because of my career.”

As gay actors are traditionally advised to hide their sexuality, the series reflects a turning point for Draxl as he takes part in a shoot where the majority of the cast are gay. “That’s what really drew me to this project,” says the actor. “One of the first things I was told was that all queer characters would be played by queer actors. For me as a gay actor, I think authentic representation is so important for younger generations to see themselves on screen and to be authentically represented by people who have that lived experience. I think that’s the key.

“Also, we had two wonderful gay directors, a lot of the crew was queer, non-binary, lesbian, queer, gay, everything in between. And it was such a nice set to be a part of. As a gay man on set, you’re always in the minority. Being surrounded by peers and this community when you’re in a work situation is something I’ve never experienced.”

In Our Blood premieres Sunday, March 19 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

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Jaclyn Diaz

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