Sean Foo is recently in the spotlight for his debut role Sam in the currently on-air Singaporean BL drama Getaway!
Founder of Dear Straight People, he is a digital content specialist with a knack for producing viral content. As an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, Sean has been featured on media outlets such as Hornet. He has also participated in LGBTQ+ forums organised by the likes of Esquire and Marketing Magazine. ‘GETAWAY’ marks his acting debut and first foray into scripted content production. Sean surprised us with his spontaneous replies, which display his passionate nature. Let’s get to know more about this popular Singaporean content creator, as he shares details about his personal & professional life!
1) You founded Dear Straight People (an LGBTQ media platform with a monumental reach) in the final year of your university. Was it a personal pursuit or a daring attempt to provide an outlet for queer, friendly conversations?
It was a personal pursuit borne out of a passion for content creation. You can read my coming out story here.
2) You have mentioned in a prior interview that “Coming Out” to your family didn’t go well and to this day, your sexuality remains a taboo topic. How did you handle this difficult situation?
Things haven’t changed much between my family and me. We are still in a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ situation.
3) In your mouthpiece, you spoke about how Getaway was a “spur-of-the-moment” creation, while you were having a random conversation with co-star Paween “Snooker” Nalieng. How did things pan out from there?
Producing a gay web drama series is something that has been on my bucket list for the longest time.
When I first approached Snooker to act, it was for a completely different story. The story involved an older guy and a younger man that had nothing to do with the BL genre. Snooker would have played the younger guy, and I would not have acted in that drama had I pursued that project instead. (I hope to produce this story one day though)
But shortly after my conversation with Snooker, I got Covid and suddenly had too much time on my hands. That was when I decided to script a new story altogether in the BL genre.
4) This is your first time acting in a BL drama. Why did you choose to cast yourself as the main lead? Was it your desire to try something new, or you wanted to represent the LGBTQ community?
The primary reason was really for marketing.
I knew that framing it as Singapore’s first gay BL web drama series would immediately generate attention. This meant that the series had to have a Singaporean lead.
But seeing as I was based in Bangkok with a limited budget, I couldn’t possibly cast a professional Singaporean actor in the lead as I don’t have the budget for it. So I decided to take on the lead role myself.
That said, I did have an interest in trying out acting but the primary reason was really for marketing and budget purposes.
5) There are very few content creators who have the courage to recreate their own life stories? How personal is “Getaway” and how much is it connected to your life experiences?
‘Getaway’ is not autobiographical by any means but many parts of the story were drawn from my own personal experiences, as well as those of my friends, as I wanted to create a story that not only entertained, but was authentic and relatable as well.
6) In Singapore, consensual sex between men is still criminalised and positive LGBT+ media representation is banned in mainstream media. Instead of playing safe, why did you choose to specialize in the production of queer content?
I specialise in content in general, and I’ve produced content of all types and topics, not just LGBT+ content.
But my non-LGBT work is commercial by nature so I don’t really talk about it publicly.
7) Do you think that cinema can change the radical mindset regarding the LGBTQ community?
Of course! Stories are a powerful tool that have the power to shape minds in a way that is subtle but effective.
8) Same-sex marriages are still not legalized in most Asian countries. What is your opinion about this issue? Do you think that the LGBTQ community might receive a possible reprieve in the near future?
I’m a romantic at heart and my wish has always been to get married legally one day.
So I hope that same-sex marriage will be legalised in Singapore within my lifetime.
9) What were the challenges faced by you while producing this show? From writing the script to fundraising and actual conceptualization, how diffident was this journey?
Everything was a challenge as everything was new for me.
The stress and challenge of each aspect of production also differs greatly from one another.
That said, producing ‘Getaway’ has been a priceless learning experience and I hope to have the opportunity to produce another web series. I particularly enjoyed scripting!
10) How you watched BL dramas or movies directed by others? Did you draw inspiration for Getaway from any of them?
I’ve watched a few BL dramas and my all-time favourite is Addicted (上瘾).
But no, I did not draw any inspiration for ‘Getaway’ from Addicted (上瘾) or any other BL dramas.
I wanted to create something original so I didn’t want to use any existing work as a point of reference.
11) You have spoken at length about the harmful stereotypes in the BL genre. How different is Getaway from most BL dramas/movies?
For starters, all sexual and romantic scenes in ‘Getaway’ are completely consensual.
‘Getaway’ also features an openly queer cast, which is an unfortunate anomaly in the genre.
12) You seem to have a refreshing chemistry with your “Getaway” co-star Snooker? How comfortable are you both working with each other?
Snooker is an easy person to get along with and it helps that we were friends before ‘Getaway’.
Being familiar with one another before ‘Getaway’ definitely helps with our onscreen chemistry.
13) How much do you relate to your character Sam in the show? Any similarities or differences?
I would say that I’m a lot less shy and more extroverted than Sam.
My biggest similarity with Sam is that we are both uptight lol.
14) Talk to us about your upcoming future projects related to LGBTQ+ culture?
I have always envisioned ‘Getaway’ as a two season series so I hope to make a second season a reality in the near future.
15) We have a lot of BL fans and members of the LGBTQ+ community as our avid readers. Do you have any advice or message to share with them?
As cliche as this may sound, things will get better.
The BL Xpress would like to express their gratitude to Mr. Sean Foo and Dear Straight People for this Exclusive!