Chatting Up: Nicole Pacent
With her beloved web series "Anyone But Me" now on DVD, the actor reminisces on filming, fans and being a proud out bisexual.
Photo Credit: Crystal Gwyn
When she first became involved in the web series Anyone But Me in 2008, Nicole Pacent hoped it would help launch her career and further connect her to a community to which she belonged—the LGBT community. Now that the charming, pioneering series has wrapped, it has delivered this and more to Pacent, who is an eloquent and inspiring bisexual actor. I caught up with Pacent after she finished her routine yoga stretches and before she left for a promotional tour of Anyone But Me in London to reflect on what the series has given to her, and to fans around the world.
Four and a half years in a web series. That's a big commitment.
The series is over. I don’t see it being resurrected, we did a big series finale, not to mention that we’re all not able to play those ages for very much longer, to be honest. Unless it got optioned for television, and if it did they would cast it younger...
So it lives on in DVD form. I hear you’re going to London for a special signing at the legendary lesbian venue, Candy Bar.
[Laughs] Yes, I’m so excited, this is just amazing. This is just an example of the sort of opportunities the show has given me. It’s like the show that just keeps on giving. We all loved our characters, we all wanted to see it through, we all really wanted to have that season finale, so that we could give the fans closure, but I think that every single person involved got so much out of it. It felt like the natural time to move onto the next thing. That said, I still did an appearance at The Dinah for it this year, I promoted it; it really is this awesome thing, almost in the way that South of Nowhere was; the [cast] is still interviewed, they still do fan stuff.
Candy Bar and the lesbian scene in London is a big deal. Are you familiar with it?
Not at all, when I was there with my ex-girlfriend in 2006 we did all the sights, went out to dinner, did girlfriendy things. So this will be very interesting. [Laughs.]
You mention you're part of the gay community, but I understand you identify as bisexual. Has anything changed there?
No, that’s the way I identify. I hang out in West Hollywood with all my lesbian girlfriends. I don’t feel like I have to put that stamp on my head. It’s the same community. I have felt a part of the LGBT community for a very long time. I still had to come out. [Laughs]
I often think the 'B' in LGBT is overlooked, and that there are no real guidelines for acceptance in our community. How do you feel?
That’s so true. I’m glad you brought this up. I’ve been out for 12 years and I’ve recently started to realize how little visibility there is. Even for myself. I know very few other bisexual people who are out to connect with myself. It’s very important to be out as bisexual, specifically for this reason. A few years ago I stopped allowing people in interviews to refer to me as gay. If you’re going to mention my sexuality, it has to be bisexual, and that’s it. I decided I needed to be a voice for that. It’s very overlooked and I’m not sure how or when that’s going to change, I think it’s just more education on it from those who are bisexual. There are so many misconceptions and assumptions about it. I’ve watched people’s minds change over it; if I bring around a guy or bring around a girl, no one’s surprised.
It doesn’t help that people in the media discredit bisexuality, for example Dan Savage, or that celebrities say they are bi for the publicity, for example Nicky Minaj.
It’s misrepresented and it’s misunderstood ... and I think that the way society is set up, it’s very difficult for men specifically to come out as bisexual. It’s more acceptable for women for the most part. If it were more socially acceptable for guys I think we’d see a lot more in men. You can get victimized and, Oh, I’m so discriminated against, I’m not visible, and all these things, but that is not the attitude that I take. I think it gives you a unique perspective. I mean, how many people in the world can sit there and be like, I know what it is to romantically engaged with both sexes? I mean, I could write a book! It’s a really cool, weird gift I’ve been given.
Looking back on the past 4 years of Anyone But Me, what was the best thing for you?
The first thing that comes to mind is the fans. They’re absolutely incredible. I could not have hoped to be involved with something that gave me a purpose and made me feel like I was contributing to the betterment of the social sphere. To be able to be involved in something that affected kids coming out, younger girls who are dealing with their sexuality, who were able to accept themselves. That’s like, you realize you’ve been a part of something that is a turning point in someone else’s life. It’s the most special thing. I’ve heard from people all over the world. It’s been such an international phenomenon. The fans make my day every day. And career-wise, I can pretty much relate anything that’s going on in my career or comes along to Anyone But Me, directly or indirectly. It led me to my agent and to my second and third web series. it has paved the way for everything that happened.
Why is the DVD a must-have for Curve readers?
Well, of the most recent DVD release there is behind-the-scenes stuff including [laughs] a n endearing speech that I give after we did our last shoot where I break down crying. So that’s interesting. [Laughs] I just wanted to say thank you to everyone, and lost it! When I think about it, it seems to be like what [teen drama] My So-Called Life was to a lot of people: Like this little gem, like when that came on DVD we went, Yes! We get to be a part of this little slice of history that was only around for a little bit of time. It is a series that made such a big impact, it’s a cult classic. And I think Anyone But Me will be. (anyonebutmeseries.com)