In 'Mother of the Bride,' Wilson Cruz is Perfectly Fit to Star with Hollywood's Sexiest Middle-Aged Actors

Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 5 MIN.

Michael McDonald, left, and Wilson Cruz, right, in a scene from "Mother of the Bride."
Source: Courtesy of Netflix

Cruz has a few shirtless moments of his own in the movie. He too looks defined and toned. And he didn't just get into shape for the part.

"It is a full-time job some days," he chuckles about keeping fit. "I have a regular yoga practice, paired with a core routine. I do it every morning. I lift at least four times a week. I enjoy it –- It's like the Zen time when things get crazy, which they have been lately."

Cruz has been busy. He recently became the new chair of the board of directors at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and joined the cast for the final season of Paramount's acclaimed sci-fi series "Star Trek: Discovery."

The actor isn't new to discovering brave new worlds in entertainment, he may have single-handedly changed the trajectory of LGBTQ+ representation in television back in the less-woke landscape of the '90s.

He played Enrique, an openly gay teenager, in the Ed Zwick production of ABC's "My So-Called Life." That show put Cruz in the history books as the first gay character to be played by an out actor in a series. Still, that milestone didn't seem to matter in cinematic rom-com terms where straight actors portrayed "the gay best friend" trope, a one-dimensional underdeveloped character whose main purpose was to advise the lead. Although Scott in "Mother of the Bride" isn't as robust as Enrique, Cruz saw gold in the characterizations.

"There were a few things," he explains. "First of all, I love that this gay couple was a part of this big, beautiful ensemble cast, they were the most stable couple out of everyone in the movie. And that they've had this long relationship. I also love the fact that we see this really beautiful sibling relationship between Benjamin Bratt and myself. That really resonates with me because I'm also very close with my brothers. But to see this straight older brother and this gay brother be so close, and clearly, Scott is rooting for his older brother, he's very protective of him and wants him to find love."

That connection also extended to Cruz's co-star Michael McDonald who plays his husband. The former "Mad TV" cast member plays it straight, in comical terms, for the movie, but Cruz says it was hard to keep it together off-camera thanks to McDonald's buffoonery.

"Nobody makes me laugh harder than Michael, and you know when you're drinking and something comes out of your nose, laugh? That kind of laughter. He's hilarious. He actually improvised a lot of his funniest lines in this too. So, you know, he's very quick," he said.

With so much good chemistry driving the cast it would make sense to do a sequel or even a series of movies with these characters. Nothing is confirmed, but it's not outside the realm of possibilities.

"Somebody mentioned that --- I don't know how serious they were when they mentioned it when we were finishing up," Cruz says, adding he would absolutely consider doing a second chapter. "I mean, to hang out with these really beautiful people for another month-and-a-half in an exotic location. Let's go!"

Never lax on oiling his professional wheels, Cruz is already back on the set for a new movie starring Beau Bridges and Stephen Dorff called "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree," plus he's behind an intriguing documentary series called "Not Part of the Plan" which is being pitched to streamers at this very moment.

"It's a beautiful verité documentary that follows these four young people and their families and how the Mormon church affects them and their lives," he says.

With so much on his plate, it is a wonder how Cruz can fit any more on it. Maybe it's because he doesn't worry about the portions. Instead, he is grateful that he can revisit the buffet.

by Timothy Rawles

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