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Keith Hamilton Cobb Talks Being an "Exotic" Black Man on Soaps and Steamy Noah's Arc Sex Scenes

Keith Hamilton Cobb

I recently discovered Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters Rant Room podcast and listened to "Episode 104 Captain America Civil War." I enjoyed it so much I started looking at recent episodes to listen to.

Imagine my surprise to see an interview with former All My Children and The Young and the Restless star Keith Hamilton Cobb that aired just last month. Of course I immediately downloaded the episode and I must say I highly recommend it.

Cobb also dishes with Hilliard and Lisa Bolekaja about his time on Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, his latest stage production and those steamy Noah's Arc sex scenes.

On landing All My Children:

“Soap operas had not started, quite yet, their decline into obscurity, so there were always those shows to read for. I’d started to sort of grow out my hair. I had these little dreads and stuff. People would say ‘well Cosby was making that popular’ and you saw more and more kids on commercials selling, you know, McDonald's or whatever. They would say “You read like a leading man, but your hair says Taco Bell commercial.” Of course, to this day, you can’t tell people in a room, well I can look like something else. These are rooms where you go in and they say ‘well we couldn’t see him in a tuxedo because he had cowboy boots on in the audition.’ I was still determined to be who I was going to be. It was funny, I would read for All My Children and Judy Blye Wilson was the casting director and I would read for that. Anytime there was a role she would call me in. What happens is, that hair reaches a length where it goes from ethnic to exotic. Right? You following this? Ethnic means ‘you might stab somebody.’ Exotic means ‘you can fuck white girls.’ That’s what it means. Just being honest, that’s what it was and it crossed that line and I went in for the audition and they were all like ‘that’s it. That’s him.’’

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Soap fans might think that Cobb is most recognized for his role as Noah Keefer opposite Sydney Penny's Julia Santos Keefer on All My Children. However, the actor reveals it’s Noah’s Arc that he gets recognized for most on the street.

“Of all the work I’ve done, which is years and years of work, these six episodes of Noah’s Arc is what, in any city, you walk down the street and [Cobb screams like an excited fan]...'Get Quincy! Quincy!' And I’ve gone back and looked at it and ‘he ain’t all that.’ He doesn’t even get that much camera time in any six episodes. Go figure."

And what about his Noah’s Arc scenes? Cobb shares how he wanted to up the romantic drama between him and Darryl Stephens' Noah.

“He [Noah] walks into his arms and Quincy grabs him by the waist and turns him around like this and the camera is over here to focus on the kiss on the bed. Noah looking up. Quincy looking down. That’s the moment. We come in and the sets all set up and they say ‘this is what it’s going to be’ and we try it once. That works. I’m like ‘ya’all.’ They don’t like you to stop because time is money. I’m like ‘listen. Not for nothin’ here we go. This character, you told me this, is a big dude, a big strong dude and he likes little effeminate men. That’s the whole thing. And we got a little effeminate man. Daryl is, I mean he’s bigger now, he was little and cute and all the stuff he was supposed to be. And big men like little effeminate men for the same reason big men like little effeminate women. They can throw them around. The women, they call them ‘spinners’. You put them on and you spin them around. Right? It’s the same thing. They’re like ‘yeah well, we’re listening.’ I said, ‘well, he’s coming down that hall at a clip. All I got do is put one hand on his chest, one hand on his thigh and lean back and I’ll have him in a full body press. Then I’ll lower him down into the kiss. Your entire audience will cream their pants. Guaranteed.

Listen to Cobb’s entire interview with Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters Rant Room here OR check it out on iTunes. Check out Screenwriters Rant Room on Twitter