Charles Melton may have gotten his break as a really, really, ridiculously good-looking face in teen fare like Glee and Riverdale, but the former model is turning heads for his dramatic turn in queer auteur Todd Haynes' latest feature, May December.
Even so, Haynes wasn't originally on board with that lantern jaw, as he thought Melton's blatant hunkiness wasn't appropriate for the character, a frustrated suburban dad.
"I'm so grateful Charles Melton came into our consciousness," Haynes said in a new Vulture interview. "I didn't know him from Riverdale. His looks were almost a deterrent."
courtesy Netflix Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in 'May December'
Melton plays Joe, the husband of Julianne Moore's scandal-plagued Gracie, with whom he had an affair when he was 13 and she was 36. The two are married and raising children when Natalie Portman's character, television actress Elizabeth Berry, comes to town to shadow Gracie for a film project, ironically bringing to light a lot of old issues.
"I felt that Joe would be a good-looking man," Haynes explained, "but Charles has that sort of hunkiness and pinup quality that wasn't necessarily how I pictured him."
Todd Haynes ain't lyin'. To wit:
But since this isn't a Ryan Murphy production, pin-up hunk was not on the menu.
While Melton did gain some sad-dad weight, Haynes was ultimately impressed by the 32-year-old's dedication to the role.
"He gained 35, 40 pounds for the role to change his chiseled self into something more familiar: a suburban man in this place," Haynes recalled. "There's such remarkable physicality in the choices he made as an actor. A friend of mine saw a cut of it, and he said, 'Charles moves like a child and an old man, a combination of the two' — which makes so much sense given his predicament."
May December hits select theaters on Nov. 17 before streaming on Netflix on Dec. 1.
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