It is a new day, and one that dares to scream for diversity! In 2016, television has perforated with shows consisting of diverse casts and minority leads. The LGBT community, however, has opted to make use of a more tech savvy medium to share its stories—the internet! These stories have come in the form of some amazing web series, the most noteworthy being Signal 23 TV’s About Him. Created by Tyson Anthony, the series has become one of the most popular series on YouTube, and even garnered a sold out summer tour! Well, Tyson is not done with us yet and has created another hit series, Pharm! Pharm, short for pharmaceutical, centers a group of young gay Black men involved in the illegal sell and use of pills, also called Pharm, that gets it users high and horny! The show has already become a hit, launching its cast into the stratosphere! HeyMikeyATL managed to grab one of the series’ stars, Cardo DeCardo for an exclusive interview!
On Pharm, Cardo plays “Pax,” a cute and somewhat goofy pizza boy who provides Lathan, his love interest and the maker of Pharm, with a key ingredient to making his popular pills. Unbeknownst to Lathan, however, Pax is strapped for cash and faces an eviction notice. He soon realizes Pharm may be the key to fixing his financial dilemma. “[Pax and Lathan’s relationship] It kind of goes from there. It starts as like they don’t even know each other by name. He’s [Pax] just the guy who sells him his medicine and he’s [Lathan] the guy who buys it. Usually my character just sends it to him but he actually like brings it to him at one point and from there they just build this bond; and instead of it being just this business connection they start getting to know each other more and then it’s like this sexual connection…it’s interesting…Pax is basically going through the struggle. He’s just trying to pay his rent and not be homeless; and I don’t want to spoil anything but he actually does some things to avoid being homeless….he kind of does whatever he has to do to survive.”
Cardo goes on to reveal how he relates to Pax and their quirky similarities. “I can relate to him more on certain actions [things] he does. Like me and him, we’re both geeks—I’m like the biggest geek ever I love Pokemon, anime, superheroes—and that kind of helped with my character a lot because Tyson [Anthony] helped with it and kind of wrote it towards me and being able to relate to the character a little bit more…” Cardo’s work in the series thus far has been pretty amazing and well received. It is shocking to find out that this show is his first acting job. “Tyson was just like okay this is the character. So I sent in my audition and then Tyson e-mails me and is like this is the character I want you to do. And I was like okay, I read for it, and he said this was my role! I was like oh my gosh I’m so excited and we like talked about it…he said after seeing how I acted I changed the character towards me so the audience could relate more and I could too.”
Pharm indeed sheds some light on a part of gay subculture that dabbles in substance use, which in itself sets it apart from a great deal of other LGBT series. Most people, in fact, do not realize that the sell of pharmaceutical drugs for recreational use is at an all-time high! You might try and compare it to its sibling series, About Him, but as Cardo so brilliantly stated, “Comparing the shows is like comparing apples and oranges. They’re totally different. It’s the Empire, Power argument! ‘Pharm’ and ‘About Him’ are great shows. There’s definitely room at the table for all of us.”
Being that the About Him is expanding into a franchise with the spin-offs of About Justin, About Her, and even a rumored polyamorous series, About Us; we have to wonder if Pharm is somehow apart of that “universe.” “There’s been some talk about it and we don’t know, but it would be cool to crossover. Rahim [Brazil] who plays ‘Cousin Kendall’ on there is “Mason,” a drug dealer on our show—and by the way he’s really talented and we hope to work with him more–the cast members on each show are really cool with each other. Brandon [Karson] and Rico [Pruitt] are like my big brothers. I’m the baby being just twenty and they look out for me. Gary [Lavard] is also really supportive and gave me some advice about going into all of this. So it’d be amazing.” If Rahim Brazil does turn out to be a link between the series we could definitely see his character, Kendall, using Mason as his drug dealing alias. After all, Rahim has even expressed a desire for the audience to learn his character’s backstory and more about him in future seasons. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed!
Although he is relatively young, Cardo is simulating some rather explicit sex scenes in the series. Like a true actor he admits it is truly just acting and that he is not hooking up with any of his cast members. “[He laughs] No those guys are like my brothers and we’re pretty close even though we all live in different areas of the country…before doing the scenes Tyson had me and Donivan [ Jordan, he portrays ‘Lathan’ from Pharm] get to know each other so we would be more comfortable…I wish you guys could hear the actual audio when we’re doing them [the scenes]. We’re like ‘Do this, try this, move there.’ [He laughs]” Cardo’s scenes are interesting not only because of the simulation, but his body type. All too often the bodies of gay men on television are virtually unattainable–Abs of steel, loaded guns, and features so chiseled you would have thought they are walking statues. Mr. DeCardo, albeit still very attractive, has a more traditional physique. “I’m really comfortable with myself and it’s time guys see body types and shapes they can relate to. As gay people we can’t be so close minded and shallow and exclude others. The world does it to us and that’s bad enough…”
We love Cardo DeCardo and soon enough the world will too! It is one thing to be a rising star, but it is even more amazing and admirable when that star is humble too. When he is not acting you can catch him dancing and teaching, and we do have some great news; Cardo will be moving to Atlanta this December and is looking forward to what the future hold next for him. Whatever it is, and wherever he is you can be sure we will be in hot pursuit, because being around this kid will leave you on an emotional high! You can catch up on Pharm and watch uncensored episodes for purchase by clicking here! Enjoy!