Actors Peter Parros and Gavin Houston are not just a pair of handsome Black men who’ve starred on some of America’s most dramatic “soaps”, they also play father and son on the hit OWN television series “The Haves and the Have Nots”(HAHN). The duo recently gave us some exclusive insight into their role as father and son on the show, the importance of their unique narrative, and the way in which roles are changing for Black artists.
As many know, the show details the journey of a young black gay male, Jeffrey Harrington (Houston) who struggles to embrace his sexuality and find security amongst his loved ones, some of whom wish to conceal his identity. While Jeffrey’s mother is hugely unsupportive in an effort to maintain her clout in the public eye, it’s actually Jeffrey’s father, David Harrington (Parros) who takes the lead in supporting his son through difficult times.
“With my character being so vulnerable and so fragile, just wanting his parents to be proud of him and just wanting acceptance and approval, I think it’s just been great,” Houston said of the narrative surrounding homosexuality in the Black community.
Parros says that as a result the show’s narrative; he’s learned from fans just how unorthodox acceptance from a father really is. “What’s important in our dynamic, what I like about the way our story is told, is that it really hasn’t been politicized; it’s more of a personal relationship for my character about loving your children,” Parros said.
Outside of the duos unique roles on HAHN, Parros attributes the new age diversity in film for Blacks to the nature of the material and the extended platforms to produce the ideas. “I think that because there’s so many other venues (Amazon, Netflix), there’s a lot more opportunity for a greater range of material to be considered, so I don’t think it’s just sort of a reaction to the protest,” Parros said.
For Houston, he believes that “Black actors are just better showcased in a lot of stories that weren’t getting told before”. “If anything, it brought awareness that something needs to be done, and more opportunities were created,” Houston continued. Parros said that we must remember, however, that many films are often “years in the development” before reaching the production stage, highlighting the storytellers that have only recently reached the pinnacle of their careers.
The actors also encouraged aspiring artists to continue pursuing their dreams. “Be so good they can’t ignore you”, Houston quoted. “You can’t put all the power in other people’s hands. The one thing that’s within your power is the work. You’ve got to stay fine-tuned, and in the end you’ll reap what you sow,” he added.
As for Houston, he’s continuing to make rounds in the acting game, recently starring in Lifetime’s Toni Braxton biopic as Babyface Meanwhile, Parros is preparing for the upcoming release of a new Christian comic book series entitled “Kidz of the King”, soon to become a graphic novel. Be sure to catch the current season of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” on OWN.