June 2023

Screened | Fin Argus

Getting Into Character With The Other Two's Fin Argus

Photos Martin Rusch | Words Tamara Rappa

Fin Argus broke out big time, shining bright as the superstar in Peacock's recent reboot of the hit series, Queer As Folk. The Chicago native attended Berklee College of music, plays nine different instruments, has a background in musical theater, and a career as a musician. Prior to melting hearts as QAF's Mingus, they starred in Disney+ film, Clouds opposite Sabrina Carpenter. Argus’ other credits include The Gifted, Stay Awake opposite Chrissy Metz, and a leading role on Awesomeness TV’s popular YouTube series The Commute. With the finest of features and brows to die for, it's no surprise that Fin is a model, having appeared in Yves Saint Laurent's 2016 Spring | Summer Line for Barneys New York. There is nothing the multi-talent cannot do; these days Fin is fixated on felting, they told us, hoping to create characters for an animated series one day. We recently caught up with them about landing their role as Lucas, shameless boyfriend to Drew Tarver's Cary Dubek, in now-streaming season three of Max's The Other Two, headlined by Molly Shannon and known for it's intensely interesting guest-starring actors, whom Fin describes as 'a stacked cast', trusted to 'take their characters into their own hands and make decisions'. In our latest in Screened, Fin fleshes out the behind-the-scenes of their first full-on comedic role, and much more.

The writing and characters of The Other Two embody a very specific kind of humor. What do you love about the series, its story lines, its approach? I was a huge fan of the show, even  before I  got the audition. I binge-watched it in like two days I think, right after the second season came out. There's nothing on TV that has its poignant, satirical take on the entertainment industry. I've been acting and doing music since I was 12 years old, and I started with musical theater, so it's all kind of what I grew up with. I'll watch high school comedies or anything that's based on a typical upbringing, but I myself have had such a unique experience, growing up in entertainment. It's so refreshing for me to see the things that I've experienced being made fun of in such a perfect way.

Were you given any direction or notes for your character, Lucas?
The really cool thing about this project is that they know exactly what they want, and also, a lot of the work goes into the casting process. They cast people they trust to take the characters into their own hands, and make decisions. Everyone is like, 'This cast is stacked! These people are so unique and hilarious and good at what they do!' I felt really lucky to step into that mix, this essentially having been my first full-on comedic role. I was a little bit nervous going into it, but also I love to play and have fun, and this was the perfect character to do that with. I had some crazy takes; and then of course they had adjustments. I love getting notes, but a lot of it came from my own experience, since Lucas' array of characters who I make fun of, in many cases,  are characters that I've played before. I got to kind of just draw from my own experience acting in things either dramatic or melodramatic, and poke a little fun at my own experience.

What character traits did you feel Lucas should possess?
Delusional self-confidence, as well as a sort of deceiving charm. There's something about this character; while he's so despicable in the way that he goes about his 'art' and it's really sort of annoying, there's still this inherent charm or draw that Lucas has, which is why maybe Lucas' personality type is so successful within his universe, you know? There's something sort of train-wreck about him. You don't want to look away. You're like, 'Ew, what's he going to do next? This is so sticky and icky.' He goes pretty far, and you see that at the end of episode 4. You also get to see a glimmer of Lucas's true self, which I love. It adds this layer of insanity that I feel is evident in prior episodes, but then you actually get to see that this person knows that what they're doing is unhinged, yet doing it anyway, in the name of success. That's real, that happens in the entertainment industry. I love that they're willing to go there with this character.

Did you take things any further, imagining any backstory as to why Lucas is the way he is?
Lucas is an amalgamation of a bunch of people whom I've encountered, having been in the entertainment industry for so long. The whole idea is that this character is so delusional, a lot of the time he believes he is the characters he plays, and he is happy to be five different people all at once. It wasn't how I usually approach playing a character. I'll journal out their personality traits and make a playlist for who they are. Because this character is so delusional, it was a much different preparation. It was a lot of building out all of the different characters Lucas is, and kind of almost disregarding the part of him who is so into his art that who he actually is doesn't even matter. I had all these crazy things that I made up in my head. Whether or not they play into Lucas' story, I don't know. It's always fun to have some sort of foundation,  something to play with, in your own mind. I know [writer-directors] Chris [Kelly] and Sarah [Schneider] probably had a stronger idea of who Lucas is, but it's not written down on the page, and who knows if it'll play out. I'd love to see where this crazy person comes from.

Have you ever totally lived a role like that, in your own work?
I'd like to think that I haven't .[Laughs] But also, when I told a couple of friends that I booked this role, they were like, 'This is so funny, you playing this role, because you, yourself, are sort of method sometimes.' I guess it's maybe happened subconsciously. I played a drag queen in Queer As Folk, and prior to playing that role, I had never done drag. When I was done filming, I was doing a lot of drag in my free time, I was exploring. It's kind of like, which came first, the chicken or the egg? It gave me an excuse to crack open as a person who is gender queer, and to play with my gender. It was a really fun experience for me. I still do drag, and it's not like I'm still playing the [Queer As Folk] character. I do find that the characters I play will have a marginal influence on what I focus my time on; maybe I'll try to become better versed in the things that a character would be interested in, stuff like that. Which is why I thought it would be so fun to play Lucas, poking fun at his practice. I'm aware now that I've fallen into those tendencies myself. It's very silly, on a surface level, but everyone has their own process, and apparently it's a part of mine, whether I like it or not.

 How do you describe Lucas and Cary's relationship? 
I'm going go back to my favorite word of this interview, which is 'delusional'. It's based on nothing but fame and success and image. I think that's what it is for both of them. They're very much using one another, and they're both fine with that. A Hollywood power couple, who isn't even really a couple, just like Chase's relationship during one episode this season. That's where Cary and Lucas fall. Their relationship is very image-based and delusional, and they ultimately don't know one another at all.

Is there a future for them as a couple?  Well, listen, they're going to have to do some repairing, because it seems like they're total strangers. As you find out in the last episode, there might be some bigger issues at play that would keep them [Laughs] from pursuing their relationship further, but I could definitely see a world in which they deconstruct, and become more a regular couple with actual human connection. I think it's a long shot, but I also think it would be very funny to watch that  unfold, seeing these two very delusional actors trying to find humanity within themselves while dating one another.

hair: dita vushaj | makeup: jessica ahn

"Skirt layering. Basically very other day, I'm layering skirts together. I have this insane collection of skirts right now, and it keeps growing. One day I was like, I want to wear this skirt, but I also want to wear this skirt. They just so happened to fall at perfect lengths for complimenting one another."

"I've been obsessed with chrome nails...the chrome nail powders that you put on gels. I have this sort of iridescent nail right now that kind of looks like the underside of an abalone shell. The next time I do my toe nails, I'm definitely going to try to create an abalone look."

"I've been really into metallic pallettes. I have this really gorgeous, metallic liquid eye shadow kit by Handaiyan, and I've been using it for a lot of my drag looks.

"I've been really into illustrating and felting lately. I got a felting kit, and I've been making creatures....cartoon characters.  Long term, I would really love to make an animated series, so I've been illustrating characters, and then turning them into felted characters. I've been having a lot of fun with it. It's my new creative venture."

"Ethel Cain is rocking my world right now. She is an incredible musician, and very Americana, sort of indie rock. Her album Preacher's Daughter is single-handedly ruining my life, and repairing it at the same time."

 "Last but not least, I have been obsessed with going to this queer line dancing event in LA, called Stud Country. It's amazing,  it's the most wholesome queer event I have ever been to. Everyone's just supporting one another, learning these line dances, and wearing their cute little cowboy boots. It's very yee-haw, but you know, like, ossified."

Watch Fin Argus in season three of The Other Two, streaming on Max.