GLAAD Interview: Murray Bartlett Shares Queer Joy for New "Physical" Role

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May 26, 2022

In a new interview with GLAAD's Anthony Allen Ramos, actor Murray Bartlett talks about joining the new season of the dark comedy series "Physical" as fitness sensation, Vinnie Green, who quickly becomes a frenemy to Sheila, played by Rose Byrne.

Bartlett, playing a popular and energetic fitness guru in the 1980s, definitely begs the question...was Richard Simmons his inspiration for this role?

"I certainly did find myself drawn to him because he's such an amazing character, and there is such a wealth, such a library of videos and stuff on Richard Simmons.  It's super fascinating and fun," he says.
Bartlett who is beloved among the LGBTQ community for his queer roles in "Looking" and "White Lotus" also talks about the joy he has getting to continue to play interesting and complex LGBTQ characters on television. 

"I grew up in an era where there wasn't this type of queer character on film and TV and I am very happy to be able to dive into that...i've been fortunate to have these characters that are beautifully written and rounded out, to lean into the joy and the charisma of these characters, but also to be able to explore what is underneath that," he says

Social media was abuzz last month after the new season trailer dropped showing Bartlett's impressive aerobics skills and physique.  

"I stay relatively fit! I live in a country area where I ride my bike a lot, but I was put through an aerobics boot camp...which was surprisingly intense!" he says of his own personal fitness routine and getting his body ready for the role.

Season two sees Sheila having successfully launched her first fitness video only to encounter some new and bigger obstacles on her path and since she’s no longer the only game in town, she finds herself having to outrun some fierce new competitors, including Vinnie Green, on the road to building a full-fledged fitness empire. 

"Physical" Season 2 begins streaming June 3 on Apple TV+