As one of the stars of the series Love At The End of The World which is currently the most watched series on the global LGBTQ+ streaming platform Gagaoolala, Markki Stroem said he has never had any hesitation taking on daring roles onscreen because of his own sexuality.
“I have done many roles for the LGBTQIA++ community. I am an actor and identify as Demisexual. Meaning I'm halfway between being sexual and asexual. I still feel love, and have emotional attachments, but I have lost interest in mindless sex. Don't get me wrong, I have had sex, many times. Ive just lost interest unless I am attached to someone. This might be due to the pandemic. Now, I refuse to conform to a society that wants to put me in their judgemental boxes, I refuse to have my sexual identity invalidated just because people don't understand. I talked about this early last year on a live session with Alex Diaz and G3 San Diego. So this is by no means a ‘Coming out series,”” he shared in an exclusive interview with PUSH.
Even with all the intimate scenes he had to do in Love At The End of The World, Markki said this is not even his boldest project to date.
“It is probably one of the bolder series I have been in, especially for a lot of the other actors in the series. There’s lots of frontal shots. In fact, I was cast as an alternate to an actor who backed out. I believe my boldest series to date was my first series for gagaoolala, Unlocked. In LATEOTW, my partner had a few restrictions, so we were not able to push the love scenes further. No judgement, just facts. I am a theater actor, and have done a few other roles like this in the past.
“I had to do an orgy on stage for Hair: the musical, a 45 minute sex scene with Althea Vega for Amor Y Muerte for Cinemalya and a pretty raunchy sex scene with Mike Liwag for Unlocked also on Gagaoolala. To be honest, the deciding factor was getting the call from Mike Liwag who I trust as an accomplished thespian. When he asked me if I wanted to be part of the series, of course I said yes. I had much less time to prepare for the role, but just like all the other projects I am a part of, I always put my blood, sweat and tears into everything I do. When direk Shandii Bacolod told me I had to get a tan and speak in an accent, I tried my best to oblige,” he explained.
The Fil-Norwegian actor and singer said he is proud of the projects he accepts because of how it can help educate the public to widen their perspective on issues like sex and the LGBTQIA community.
“I really don't give a hoot about what people think about me, but I am passionate about teaching. I respond through trying my best to educate about SOGIESC. The problem is, there is a lack of sex education in the Philippines, especially in schools. When one does not fully understand or relate to something, one tends to poke fun or be afraid of it. This leads to homophobia, or sometimes internalized homophobia in the community. Let’s just respect and love each other, we are not asking you to conform to our lifestyles, we just want to be respected for who we are… And if all else fails, there is that glorious block button,” he said.
The Love At The End of the World star said he also hopes to empower his fans by empowering them to express themselves to be who they really are no matter what anyone thinks.
“Humans are not meant to be kept in prison cells of judgement. Let us not box people into our stereotypical perceptions of them. Don’t let anyone cage you. You are unique and free and can be whoever you want to be. It is called, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k. I loved that book. There will be haters and bashers, but it doesn't matter. If you respect and love yourself, everything they say is either white noise or solid publicity. Ever since I changed my way of looking at the world, life has been so much easier. Stop worrying about what other people say because they are not paying your bills! To be honest, the more they talk, sometimes you even get a pay raise (wink),” he added.