You might know him as Lionel from United States of Tara or Tanner in G.B.F. but more recently Michael Willet can be found sassing it up on MTV’s Faking it. Willet plays openly gay teen Shane Harvey, who attends Hester High School, where the unconventional lifestyles are the norm. Despite being quite the hungry gossiper, Shane is as loyal as a best friend gets. Often put into compromising positions with his friends, Shane keeps quiet about the secrets his friends share with him.
Season 2 of Faking It continues on August 31, 2015 at 9:30/8:30PM central and full episodes can be found on www.MTV.com.
Read our interview with Michael below!
What is the best part of being on Faking It?
“It’s tough for me to pick just one. I guess the best part for me, as much as working with a great cast, is working with a great showrunner. Carter is such a great guy. He’s such a role-model for me, really. I don’t feel like I had a lot of male role-models, and he’s such a great guy. He sets a great tone on set, and everyone responds. The crew is in a positive place. I feel like that affects everything we do.”
He obviously created a very complex and flawed character with Shane. What is your favorite side of Shane to play and what do you find the most interesting about him?
“The thing I find most interesting about him is his confidence. I feel like that’s something that a lot of gay characters haven’t had, historically speaking. He’s very at ease with who he is, and I think it’s going to be interesting to see how his confidence is tested in these next seven episodes. You’ll see him much more vulnerable than he’s ever been.”
Shane has a lot of different dynamics with the rest of the characters. He’s really close with Amy, and he’s Liam’s best friend, and he has a great connection with Lauren, but who do you have the most fun acting opposite?
“God, that’s a hard question, because every dynamic is different, and I get something different out of each dynamic. I love having this very intimate relationship with Amy. We’re just friends. I love the playfulness of that dynamic, too. They always are going off and having little adventures. That’s probably my personal favorite, but you’re also going to see Shane interacting with Karma this season a lot, which you haven’t seen in the past. They are definitely…We’ll just say they’re battling or dueling. “Dueling” is a good word. Dueling [laughs].”
Compared to the rest of the characters, we haven’t seen a lot of Shane’s home life. In your mind, do you have a backstory for him?
“Originally, there wasn’t a lot, and I had to sort of fill in the blanks, but in this next set of episodes, we actually get to see Shane’s mom and Shane’s sister, and you will be surprised when you find out that Shane is the calm one, that he’s probably the one who is most under-the-radar, oddly enough. His mom is really over-the-top and fun and funny. It’s going to be a laugh riot.”
Do you have a favorite scene that you have shot from season 2B?
“One that comes to mind is the prom episode. We all got dressed up in our campy clothes, and I got to wear this cool red suit. Again, I feel like a big apex to this set of episodes is the Karma and Shane butting of heads. Basically, they’re fighting over a guy, and we end up both taking him to prom, so it’s a very memorable moment [laughs]. I think everyone is going to enjoy it.”
At the end of last season, Shane was in a relationship with Duke. Do you think that they’re a good match for each other?
“I do. I feel like they’re really great together, aside from the dishonesty and the overwhelming guilt of the last episode that Shane harbors. I think that they have a lot in common. They complement each other well. It’s definitely a great first love for Shane.”
Is Duke not who Shane takes to prom?
“You’ll see what happens, but basically, because of the way everything ended with the last episode, it ends up being really difficult for them to stay together, but I really like them together. I think they’re really sweet.”
What was your audition process like for Shane?
“I got the script, and I went in for it. I felt like this was a character I could totally play. It was so clear to me that I was right for this role. I just tried to go in with all the confidence in the world, and I even tried to act like Carter and the cast were already my best friends. I just went in there, and I just read the lines. I had several callbacks, but I think they just connected with me, and they could see that I had a strong idea as to who this character was.”
And now are you really good friends with the rest of the cast?
“Absolutely. Everyone’s really down-to-earth and nobody has a huge ego, so there’s never any problems. We have a good time, and I think that’s kind of rare.”
Since it is part of the MTV family, what other show on MTV would you like Shane to cross over onto?
“Oh, that’s a great question. I think the world of Awkward compliments our world very much, and I’m friends with Molly Tarlov, so obviously I would love to cross over. I think Shane would work really well in that world.”
If you could change anything about Shane, what would it be?
“I don’t know. He doesn’t always make the best decisions, so I guess there’s a few things that I personally don’t relate to. I feel like I would have personally done things differently, but I don’t know. I like his flaws. I think that’s what makes Shane interesting. He’s sort of this superhero, and yet, he doesn’t always do the right thing. No, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t change him.”
Who’s your favorite superhero?
“I can’t pick just one. I really like Spider-Man, but I think my favorite is Batman. That’s the one I’ve always liked, mostly because I like that the thing he’s most afraid of is the thing he turned into. I think that’s a really cool concept.”
Besides Faking It, what else are you currently working on?
“I actually just shot an indie film called Tell-Tale Lies. It’s a horror film where I play a rich senator’s son who sells drugs. Me and my college friends end up actually accidentally killing this girl. Her friend catches us, and then we end up taking her out too. The guilt ends up overtaking each of us, and we slowly die off.
That should be coming out this year. I’m also working on my music, which I’m always working on. I’ve been trying to hurry and consistently go to the studio and write and record, but I’d rather come out with something that is really good and take more time on it than rush it and do worse job. I’m kind of a perfectionist like that.”