Carl Clemon-Hopkins & Mark Indelicato in promotional images for "Hacks" Source: Instagram

The Queer Men in Deborah Vance's Life: Carl Clemons-Hopkins & Mark Indelicato on 'Hacks' Season 3

Matthew Creith READ TIME: 10 MIN.

It has been two long years since "Hacks" concluded its second season on Max. Viewers were stunned when legendary comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) made the surprising decision to cut her younger writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder) loose. After two seasons of bickering about their generational divide, comedy stylings, and wokeness, the two went their separate ways.

The third season of "Hacks" premiered at the SXSW Film & TV Festival in March, bringing back an ensemble comedy series that has given Jean Smart back-to-back Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance as Deborah Vance. The show excels with the assistance of its supporting cast, with Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Mark Indelicato as her employees and the queer men in Deborah's life.

Watch the entire interview.

As Marcus, Deborah's COO and trusted advisor, Clemons-Hopkins has taken his workaholic character from loneliness to a possible romance in past seasons. Like others in the series, Marcus has evolved into a warm individual while Indelicato's personal assistant character, Damien, continues to zip snappy one-liners at every chance. The two scene stealers prove to be powerhouse performers in a show chock full of veteran comedic actors, giving new depth to queer characters on streaming television.

EDGE had the privilege of joining Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Mark Indelicato for a press junket, where the two shared some insights into the newest season of "Hacks," how they view their roles in the very queer comedy series, and what they hope viewers take away from Season Three.

Below are some excerpts from the interview.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins on "Hacks"
Source: IMDbPro

EDGE: Where should the audience expect to find Marcus and Damian in 'Hacks,' Season Three?

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: You're going to find Marcus a year into therapy. You're going to find Marcus in a bit more of a balanced lifestyle. You're going to find Marcus continuing to make his life a bit better for himself. Business is thriving, his family relationships are going well. Then you're going to find him getting some unforeseen challenges brought upon by some unforeseen people and we're going to learn a lot about stress responses.

Mark Indelicato: You will find Damian in the same sweater vest that you saw him in two years ago. But then you will find him in the exact same place doing his job, head down, keepin' it cute. Then as the season progresses, we get to see a few shake ups as far as Damian is concerned but we meet him exactly where he was before. We enter the season in this like lively sense, everyone is stoked about this newfound success and this new chapter in Deborah Vance's career. We open the season with wondering where and when Deborah and Ava will ever meet again, because imagine if they didn't?

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: It'd be a different show.

EDGE: As the two main men in Deborah Vance's life, what do each of you believe your character brings to her career and her personal life?

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: I bring a very strong left-brained analytical facts and figures energy that is necessary for managing the millions upon millions and millions of dollars she makes and the billions of fans that she has.

Mark Indelicato: I'm putting out fires. Fires she doesn't want to put out herself.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: Or that she started!

Mark Indelicato on "Hacks"
Source: IMDbPro

EDGE: Carl, you have some hysterical scenes opposite Guy Branum in this new season. How fun was it to share the screen with Guy?

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: He's brilliant. I really love the clarity and specificity of the Deborah-verse in that we first see Guy's character in season one. So it's more of the fans [in the new season], and we see exactly where his fandom has brought him. Working with Guy is always great and I'm so excited for people to enjoy it.

EDGE: 'Hacks' has seemed to have eclipsed other shows when it comes to queer representation. What does it mean for both of you to be part of a show that puts queer representation front and center? We see Deborah have her own acceptance journey in this season.

Mark Indelicato: I think that in order to conscientiously put queer stories at the forefront, you also need queer people making those stories. I think that we're very fortunate on the show to have so many queer individuals that are a part of writing the words that we say, of breaking story for these characters. I think that representation in a deliberate and conscientious way is only fostered if you have people that can relate to those stories actually writing them and telling them. Not for nothing, outside of just the actual queer individuals that make the show, and making one of the queerest shows on television I would say, the sense of allyship among all of our straight divas is really palpable. I think that it's not an accident that queer stories are kind of front and center in the show.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins: Personally, I'm really grateful to be part of a show where there are queer characters whose character descriptions don't begin and end with "queer." Character descriptions don't begin and end with "Black." Character descriptions don't begin and end with "a woman." These are actual storytellers trying to tell a story and weave these characters in a hilarious and dynamic way. There's a lot of care and attention and focus on who these characters are as humans, which that shared humanity is really all any of us are fighting for at all, which is to be seen as an equal human life that's worthy of all the beautiful things that human life is worthy of. So I'm really happy that that quality shines through with this show.

by Matthew Creith

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