Teen heartthrob Andrew Keegan is best known as Lacey Chabert’s object of affection on Party of Five and as an umarried teen dad in 7th Heaven, but the twenty-one-year-old has been acting most of his life. He launched his career as a Gerber baby and has appeared on Dawson’s Creek, Baywatch, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Thunder Alley. His film roles include Camp Nowhere, 10 Things I Hate About You and the upcoming O.
As an established Tiger Beat pin-up boy, it would seem an odd choice for Keegan’s biggest film role to date to be that of a young gay man in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy. The down-to-earth and well-tanned Keegan recently spoke with me about why he took the role and how he thinks his fan base will react, about his notorious smooch with TV’s Superman and about his relationship with superstar LeAnn Rimes.
Have you ever had your heart broken?
Yes, I’ve had my heart broken before. Uh, no, I can’t share that story.
Fair enough. Can you at least enlighten us as to how you get over a broken heart?
Uh, Haagen Dazs. Thank God for Haagen Dazs. Oh, you betcha. All right.
You’re 21, right?
Are you in school at all right now?
No, not right now. Skipped college. I took some college courses. I’d like to. I’m thinking about taking some classes off the Internet. I think that’s the way to do it right now.
What do you want to study?
I’m interested in producing. I’ve been kinda working on that. But I don’t really need to go learn anything about that. I don’t think you learn anything, you just do that. But yeah, there’s things, like history. I like history.
We went to a Democratic thing… convention. The one in DC, not here. It was pretty wild. Democrats are pretty cool. The Republicans seem like a bunch of stiff asses or whatever. They just don’t seem cool. They were going through the menu, okay -- I don’t know, maybe I bought this propaganda, but he menu of the Republicans was, like, I don’t know, some fancy potatoes and this and that, and the Democrats had barbeque. So I was like, “God, I think I’m a Democrat, because I don’t really like the filet concho or whatever it was. But I don’t know. What did Bush say the other day? You should be pissed because he was talking about some media…
No, most of the media are assholes.
Bush just looks like an asshole. On looks alone, I would go with Al Gore. He just looks nicer.
How did you become involved in The Broken Hearts Club?
I just said, “You know what?”-- I was looking at my resume, I said, “Okay, I’ve got a funny film, I’ve got a dramatic film… I gotta do a gay film!” So… Of course not. No, actually, I just met with Greg. I actually didn’t read the film, because you go on these auditions all the time. You get like two, three a week. So, I didn’t really read it all. I met with him and ended up going back and reading for him. Still hadn’t entirely read the film. And I was like, “Oh my…”
I was lazy. It was like summertime. I was like, “I’m out at the beach. This is great. I got a movie. This will work out well.” And it was going really well, and they started working on everything and they’re like, “All right, he really likes you, yeah, he really wants to use you in the film.” I was like, “Cool!” A week later, they’re like, “So you’re cool with these kissing scenes?” I was like, “I knew it was a gay film, but there’s kissing scenes?” They were like, “Yeah, read the script.” So I read it again and, of course, there were kissing scenes. But Greg took care of us. We did a week of rehearsals and we worked on everything, and it was fine. Not a problem.
You kissed Dean Cain for a week?
We did the other scenes and that was kind of like at the end and then, actually, I didn’t have to rehearse with Dean, believe it or not.
Was he a good kisser?
Dean was -- ah, man. See? I put this away, by the way. This is like one of those things where I did the film, I dealt with it then, that was a year ago, I’ve had a nice summer, nice holidays, everything’s fine, and now, here I am rehashing it. Um, Dean, yeah, he’s a big guy. I thought I was a good-sized guy. But he’s just big. He’s a football player. He’s got some meat to him.
I will be quoting you on that.
Oh man, I didn’t mean it that way.
Back to Dean.
So anyway, yeah, he’s a big guy. Boy, oh boy. They’re all loving this. So, the kiss was real simple. It wasn’t too bad at all.
Who’s a better kisser, Dean or your 7th Heaven co-star Jessica Biel?
I don’t know. They were both good kissers. Jess is a big girl. Yeah, he was bigger.
Will you be returning on the next season?
No, that’s done. It’s just kinda the whole acting thing. I think I’m kinda over it. (laughs)
What does your girlfriend (LeAnn Rhimes) think about you macking with Dean Cain?
Well, she likes it. She’s like, “You gotta keep me around now.” She came with me to the premiere. She thinks it’s great. Yeah, she thinks it’s hilarious. She thinks I should do gay films. She’s totally fine with that. Well, she was a little jealous.
Do you two have conflicting tour and shooting schedules?
She’s got stuff going on. She’s starting a tour soon. But, we spend a lot of time together, really.
What kinds of things do you do?
Just normal stuff. Hang out. Dinners. What do you do?
Go to Vegas, get married to a stripper, drink until I pass out and wake up with a man’s name tattooed on my ass. But then again, I’m not dating LeAnn Rimes.
Put-put golf is fun. (laughs) The beach. We like the beach. It’s summertime. That’s why I have this tan. I have been going down to the beach, playing some volleyball and surfing a little bit. It’s really nice to go and do something relaxing. She’s had a very tough schedule for the last few years so we’re just relaxing as much as possible.
What music do you two listen to?
LeAnn Rimes is killer. (laughs) Let’s see, who do I like? I’m not extremely musical. I really leave that up to her. She’s got stuff going on all the time. Lenny Kravitz has been in there quite a bit lately. Macy Gray. We’ve been going back, she’s been pulling up like Chicago and older bands.
What are the trials and tribulations you face as a celebrity couple that perhaps other relationships don’t have to contend with?
Yeah, all relationships are unique and you have different things to deal with, whatever those things are. I’ve been around this business and been medium-profile for a little while, so I don’t really think about it much.
It’s funny, believe it or not, sometimes we’ll be sitting and girls will come up and “Oh my God! Andrew!”, grab my autograph look her dead in the eye and say, “You’re so lucky.” and just walk away. Just walk away. And she’s going, “HELLO! I mean do they not get it?” And I’m going, “HELLO! Do you know who this is? There are times when that happens. In fact, it seems like it happens more. And then of course they’ll come to get mine and they’ll go to her, “Wait a minute…who are you? I know you!” But it’s fine. It’s just usually cute kids, and they’re all sweet.
How do you think those teenage girls will respond to seeing you as a gay character?
I think they’re gonna love it. They’re gonna be like, “He’s kissing Dean Cain!” No, I’ve got no idea. I don’t know. Girls, though, are much more open. The women I’ve told that to are just, “You kissed who? Oh really?” But young girls, I think, they’ll probably go see the movie. It’s got a bunch of cute guys in it.
I think there’s a lot of young gay people. They’re familiar with it enough now. It’s not like a young girl is like, “I don’t know anybody gay.” They know people now. So I think, when they go see this movie, it’ll also help them understand what it’s all about and make them realize that they’re just people. And I think they’re gonna really enjoy it because if anything, its probably more of a girl film to go watch. It’s got all the kind of emotions that teenage girls are kind of going through. They’re watching this going, “Oh yeah, yeah, that’s kinda what I’m dealing with right now, too.” And to see it all with guys, it’s gonna be probably mindboggling. But I think they’re really gonna like it.
It’s not the standard M.O. of a pin-up boy. I mean, with 7th Heaven and Party of Five, you graced many a glossy magazine page…
It actually started a lot earlier. I did Thunder Alley when I was like sixteen. I had done a lot of the teen magazines back when they had Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I don’t even think they had a singing group then, and I know they were hurting for business, so they kept throwing me on the cover.
And then of course when 7th Heaven and Party of Five happened, I worked with them quite a bit. Yeah, so I was always kinda used to having that audience. And they’re a very loyal audience. I mean teenage girls, believe it or not, I think more than it shows, they’re the ones buying everything, and they’re great. To this day, all the time they come up and say, “Oh yeah, I remember da da da da da,” Hopefully, they will go out and check this out.
What did your parents think of the film?
My mom works in the business, so she’s totally… well, they both do. My mom is a hair stylist and my father does stand-in stuff. My mom really liked it. She kinda cried and, she thought it was really sweet. And I took my dad and I wasn’t sure how he was, because the whole time when I was doing it and everything, he’s like, “You’re doing what?” You know, if you just hear “gay film,” everybody’s thinking the guy with the mustache holding the other guy without their shirts on going, “Ha, ha, ha,” so he saw the movie, and he thought it was great. He liked it a lot. That was really nice for him.
What else would you do if you couldn’t act?
Don’t really know. I started very young in this business. I’ve just kinda been in this business for so long. I’d probably be producing. It’s hard to say. I’ve never really thought of anything else to do. I said “pro surfer” before, but, nah…