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Gage Hubbard, a.k.a. Gage Munster, won the very first Foundation Challenge of the show. He then held on until the finals despite never winning another challenge and garnered tons of fan support with his final makeup, a gruesome take on “Hansel and Gretel.” Predictably, many followers of the show thought he should have won the grand prize based on that design.
We talked to Hubbard the day after the series finale; look for a more extensive interview with Hubbard in an upcoming Gay of the Dead blog soon.
FANGORIA: Your work on the finale was amazing.
GAGE HUBBARD: Aw, thank you!
FANG: I totally thought you had it!
HUBBARD: You know what’s funny? From the reaction I can see online, a lot of people feel the same way. I thought I had it, too. I mean, when we were standing up there doing it, I was looking around, “Oh, my God. I think I got it.” [Laughs]
FANG: Despite not winning, I can’t imagine making it that far isn’t going to pay off for you in some way.
HUBBARD: Yeah, I’m hoping that it does in some way, some how. The whole thing is, you never know quite what it’s gonna do for your career. You’re kind of in limbo. Do you wait for jobs to come to you, or do you keep doing your own thing and see what happens? I don’t know. It’s weird.
FANG: It’s only been 12 hours since the show aired, so…
HUBBARD: I know, that’s true. I’ve been very hesitant to go online. I just turned on my laptop just now. It was like 80–something Facebook updates, and then like 62 Twitters [laughs]. It was insane. From what I could tell, it was like, “You were robbed! You should have won!” [Laughs] It was nice that people saw (my design) and liked it enough to take time out of their day to (say), “No, that wasn’t right.” But really, it’s up to what the judges think.
FANG: Now that the show is over, will you actually approach the judges and try to get jobs? Is that how this works?
HUBBARD: It’s definitely something I’m going to do. I actually ran into Patrick Tatopoulos and Glenn Hetrick. Patrick took my info right away, because he said he has a lot of projects coming up. Patrick really liked me. He felt that Marcel [Banks] and I really took the most risks. We were the ones that consistently thought outside of the box—me, Marcel and Tate [Steinsiek]. We were the ones he really could see a lot of himself in. We were always trying to do something new, we were always trying to create really big characters. So I definitely hope to work with Patrick some day because he’s very, very kind and very cool. And Glenn, I ran into him and he invited me over to his shop to take a look around. So hopefully that will lead to something as well.
FANG: That’s cool. I’m sure he doesn’t hand that invitation out lightly.
HUBBARD: [Laughs] Oh, no, I know! I can’t imagine that he does. Last night I ran into him, and he said, “You guys really did amazing (work).” He said the reason he pushed us and rode us so hard was so we would do our best, because that stress and that anxiety is what pushes people to do their best.
FANG: You never won a Spotlight Challenge, did you?
HUBBARD: No, I never won a Spotlight Challenge. I was always either in the top, or safe. Which was kind of a bummer, because I felt like this last challenge was the one time I could have won a Spotlight Challenge, and I didn’t. But that’s OK.
FANG: You seemed to be, if not the peacemaker in the house, the guy who was going to alleviate some of the tension by being your normal, sunny self.
HUBBARD: [Laughs] That’s totally accurate. That’s funny. I’m glad that came across, too, because the bottom line is it’s very easy to say, “Oh, well there’s a lot that you didn’t see that happened. I was portrayed differently…” At the end of the day, no one would ever know the difference. But I do feel a lot of people were portrayed very accurately, and I feel I was definitely portrayed very accurately. I know a lot of people were trying to involve me in a lot of drama, and I was, like, “Oh, whatever…” It was such childish behavior. I’m competitive, but I have really good sportsmanship. I don’t believe in trying to manipulate people, or go up when someone’s working and say, “Oh, what you’re doing reminds me of this or that…” and then run away. Just trying to annoy them, because that definitely happened a lot in the shop. They didn’t show a lot of that. I think I was portrayed very accurately, as well as several others on the show. Sam [Cobb] is so sweet and so amazing, she was wonderful, and I was so glad to see her in the finale as well. Tate is super sweet and awesome.
FANG: Tell me about the challenge where you had to disguise yourself and fool your boyfriend. First of all, I think it’s awesome that we’re at a time where you can be an out gay guy with a boyfriend on TV and it’s a nonissue.
HUBBARD: Yeah, that was really great. I was really nervous about that particular challenge. Out of all the challenges, that was the most stressful for me, although you’d probably never notice that from watching the show. That one was really, really nerve-wracking for me for several different reasons. For one, I had to fool someone who knows me and lives with me, day in and day out. I had to not only completely disguise myself, but be a completely different person in my mannerisms and the way I speak. But at the same time there was a responsibility to not make it a stereotypical, go over the top and go really Shaniqua with it. There was a responsibility there to try to find a middle, a balance, because there was the potential to be insulting to people. So I said, “F**k it” and I did exactly what I thought, and I kept it very reserved and simple.
And at the end of the day, I was really glad that Syfy didn’t make a huge deal of the fact that I’m gay and I have a boyfriend. If they had been too in your face… The way they handled it was really good in the sense that it gives families in the Midwest—they may not blink an eye at it because it was so subtle, like, “Who cares?” And I feel like that’s how it should be.
I was told by the executives and the network I’m the first openly gay man on the Syfy channel, ever. After everything was said and done, at the wrap party they said, “We’re so glad Syfy finally has an openly gay man on the network. You’re the very first openly gay man Syfy has had on the network…” And I don’t think they mean gay, I think they mean openly gay—here’s my boyfriend, here’s me, I’m very open about the fact that I’m gay. It’s really cool. Bringing Syfy into a new era.
FANG: “The New Future of Science Fiction!”
HUBBARD: Exactly! The “New” New! They changed the logo—it’s crazy up in here!
FANG: I would think that being away from your boyfriend, Matt, for so long, it would be really hard not to run up and hug him when he came into the store. It’s almost cruel!
HUBBARD: It was unbelievably hard. Unbelievably hard. [Laughs] My strategy was to just turn my back to him and ignore him. [Laughs] And then you hear him behind you, and you’re really excited and you want to turn around and say, “Hi,” and you want to hug him, but you can’t. And then when you’re interacting with them—at that point we hadn’t seen our loved ones for a month. We’d been shooting for a month. That was tough.
FANG: It’s mean! That challenge was mean!
HUBBARD: [Laughs] It is! Mean-spirited! That was the hardest challenge. That was the challenge I was dreading. When I went on the show I remember thinking, “God, I hope they don’t do a disguise challenge…” If we had to fool regular people on the street? OK, that’s fine. Fool family members? That would suck—and they did it! They pulled that one! Dang it!
TO BE CONTINUED
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