Openly Gay Actor Chad Allen Plays Straight for Pay in End of the Spear
by Joey Guerra, January 19, 2006
Chad Allen isn't the kind of actor to court controversy. In fact, the openly gay, California native has literally played it straight throughout most of his career.
On the small screen, Allen has enjoyed long-running stints on a quartet of warn-and-fuzzy shows, including the ‘80s medical drama St. Elsewhere, the family drama Our House, the sitcom My Two Dads and the wild-west serial Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
Allen's last television project, the Donald Strachey detective mystery Third Man Out, found the actor taking on his first gay role.
“I've always been told I wasn't gay enough to play a lot of the gay characters on television,” says Allen, 31. Third Man Out aired last year on the here! gay television network.
End of the Spear, Allen 's latest big-screen foray, again finds the actor playing straight for pay. He takes on dual roles of father and son in the sobering story of five North American missionaries who were speared to death by the Waodani tribe in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador in 1956.
In a twist of divine irony, relatives of the slain missionaries went to live with the Waodani, in hopes of spreading messages of peace and forgiveness. Among them was Steve Saint, whose father, Nate, was one of the murdered missionaries.
Allen plays both Steve and Nate in the film, and the handsome actor also spent time living with the tribe in Ecuador after filming was done.
From the beginning of Allen 's involvement with the film, there were rumblings of uneasiness--on both ends.
“It's a fantastic film. I read the script, fell in love with it. I auditioned for it, they asked me to do it,” Allen says. “I wasn't sure if they knew who I was … before I could get it out, they pulled out the cover of The Advocate that I did in December.
“Steve is of a pretty conservative Christian upbringing, and so are a lot of people in that family, in the story.”