Neil Patrick Harris on the first gay sex scene in Netflix’s “Uncoupled”

Neil Patrick Harris shows a side of herself we’ve never seen before.

In Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman’s new Netflix series “disconnectedHarris plays Michael, a gay New York real estate agent whose partner Colin (Tuc Watkins) left him 17 years ago.

As Michael navigates dating again, stories of love, heartbreak, middle age and unexpected sexual encounters unfold.

Harris is seen in various states of being undressed. In fact, the actor has his first on-camera gay sex scene in Uncoupled with Sex and the City film alum Gilles Marini.

“We were making out in that first scene and then between takes he’s like, ‘Oh, is it true? Is it true what they say?’” Harris recalled. “And I said, ‘What are they saying?’ And he says: “I heard that kissing another man is better than a woman and I can see that now. It is true what they say.’ My knees buckled and I said, ‘Gosh, thank you.'”

The cast also includes Tisha Campbell, who plays Michael’s best friend and business partner, as well as Emerson Brooks, Brooks Ashmanskas and Marcia Gay Harden. Tony-winning legend André De Shields reappears as Michael’s neighbor Jack.

For this week’s edition of theJust for a change“Podcast, I sat down with Harris at the Netflix offices in New York City just hours before he walked the red carpet at the show’s world premiere at the Paris Theater.

Here are some of the highlights:

About family life

Harris says he didn’t look for more work when he was offered Uncoupled because he’s trying to spend more time with his 11-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon, with husband David Burtka. Filming in New York helped seal the deal.

“I just want to be able to prioritize those next five or six years with them before they go to college,” Harris says. “I know beforehand that they want more independence and don’t necessarily want to spend time with us. I didn’t want to have to go to Atlanta for six weeks to film something, then have a week off and then go to Toronto to film something I did.”

“Enlightenment lesson

Darren Star may have invented “Sex and the City,” but Harris says he wasn’t as familiar with the hit HBO series as one might think.

“It’s like not knowing the ‘Golden Girls,'” Harris admits. “It’s also that I don’t know Barbra Streisand. My gaydom started with “Into the Woods” and “Les Misérables” and music theater. It didn’t really start with Judy Garland.”

The naked truth

Harris says he wasn’t overly concerned about his nude scenes in Uncoupled.

“I rightly feel more comfortable in my own skin than five years ago,” he says.

Oscar Skivvies

Harris recalls stripping down to his underwear for a skit while hosting the Oscars in 2015.

“I seem to have chosen what I thought was funny at the time,” he says. “And then I realized that’s just the image that people use when they talk about me hosting the Oscars and I’m wearing really nice suits. I had a really good wardrobe for that.”

Harris had to wear two pairs of tights. With just one pair, “with the bright lights shining directly on them, you kind of saw through it.”

Picture book

When it came time to find a photo of his privates for Michael to post on gay hookup app Grindr, a picture of a prosthetic penis was considered.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we just find a good picture of someone online?'” says Harris, adding, “I had to be pretty humble. It was a little unsafe because you don’t want to dial a massive dong because that’s like its own weird meta joke. You don’t want to choose a tiny dong because that’s its own weird joke. [We needed] something that is normal, average size. But in the scene after that, the guy says it’s a beautiful penis. So it had to be nice. I do not know. It was very strange to choose.”

True stories

In one scene, Michael meets with a dermatologist who suggests injecting botox up his butt to make anal sex more comfortable.

“I laughed so hard when they just told me this storyline was kind of going down the drain,” says Harris. “I said exactly what you said: ‘Is that a thing?’ And apparently it is. I hope we don’t make a bigger deal out of it.”

For the record, Richman spoke on the subject at the premiere, sharing that most — if not all — of the connections are inspired by real-world experiences discussed in the writers’ room.

“Doctor’s letter”.

Harris recently returned from filming the new season of “Doctor Whoin Wales. Showrunner Russell T Davis offered him a role after they worked together on It’s a Sin, HBO Max’s limited series about the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will be Debut as the new incarnation of the Doctor.

“I got to meet him and interact with him a bit, and he’s awesome,” Harris says of Gatwa. “He’s going to be the first gay doctor who’s going to be super cool, a sexier doctor.”

Uncoupled is available now on Netflix.

Listen to Harris’ full interview above. You can also find Just for Variety wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

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