By Jamie Booth
Photo: My Pet Hippo Productions, Dekkoo
Jason T. Gaffney is lucky to have the best partners in life and work. His life partner is his husband, Matt. His work partner is his real-life father, Ed Gaffney.
“Dad and I started writing together years ago, back with 2012’s The Perfect Wedding, and discovered it was a good fit,” Jason T. explains. In addition to The Perfect Wedding, they have collaborated on the 2019 romantic comedy Analysis Paralysis, and 2020’s Out of Body.
Their latest project, Marriage of Inconvenience, is a series that follows two strangers who enter a witness protection program and must pretend to be happily married in order to hide their identities from the dangerous people who want them dead.
It stars Jason T. Gaffney as Owen, a slacker with anger issues, and David Allen Singletary as Franklin, an obnoxiously rigid English professor who prides himself on his attention to detail. About the only thing the two men have in common is that they’re gay, and people want to kill them. When forced to live together in a very small house as Mr. and Mr. Fulton, they quickly find they share something else in common: they can’t stand each other.
At its core, Marriage of Inconvenience is a story of love and how it can come from the most unexpected of places. We spoke with the series’ writer, director, and star, Jason T. Gaffney, to learn more.
Could Marriage of Inconvenience have been told twenty years ago?
The world is definitely more accepting of a show like Marriage of Inconvenience nowadays, for sure! It really is wonderful to see how far we’ve come. I am optimistic that the younger generation, and the older generation who fought for the rights we have today, are more than ready for a rom-com series like Marriage of Inconvenience. We’ve earned the right for our happily ever after!
What would you say is the funniest moment in the series?
This might be the hardest question I’ve ever been asked in an interview! It’s impossible for me to pick just one moment. I’m a fan of physical comedy, so the slapstick scene where Owen and Franklin attempt to sleep in the same bed for the first time always makes me laugh.
You play Owen, a slob with anger problems. Was it a challenge to make his character loveable?
One of my favorite parts about Marriage of Inconvenience is that we flashback to Owen and Franklin’s past to before they are brought into witness protection. Learning where Owen’s anger comes from and the fact that he is actively trying to manage it certainly helps make him more relatable. It’s also really funny to watch someone with a short fuse attempt to control his anger when everything is exploding all around him.
Then there’s Franklin. He, too, is difficult to like with that stick up his butt.
Franklin has had a difficult life. He was not handed anything on a silver spoon. He worked hard to get his education and become an English professor. I think that a lot of marginalized people, whether LGBTQ, BIPOC, or disabled, can relate to the idea that Franklin has to be better than everyone else to be viewed as an equal to those with systemic privilege. As the series progresses, Franklin learns to let his guard down a little, and spending time with Owen helps him to enjoy life a bit more.
You and David Allen Singletary, the actor who plays Franklin, have great chemistry.
I’ve been best friends with David for about two decades! I’ve wanted to work with him for the longest time, and when I started writing Marriage of Inconvenience, I quickly realized this was the perfect vehicle for him.
In real life, you’re married to Matt, an executive producer on Marriage of Inconvenience
Yes! I’ve been with Matt for over ten years and married to him for just shy of seven years.
Is Matt a Franklin or an Owen?
If I had to pick the character that Matt is most like, it is Franklin, but way less intense! I’m definitely more of the Owen in the relationship, although I have a bit of each character in me. Really, I think there’s a little bit of Owen and Franklin in all of us.
Is it always perfect bliss to live and work with your husband?
Absolutely not! We do a really great job of communicating with each other and finding common ground when there is conflict. In addition to that, we are both each other’s biggest supporters, and we do what we can to help each other realize our dreams. We are, after all, a team. But perfection is boring, and I’m a huge fan of things that are perfectly imperfect.
What can Marriage of Inconvenience teach us about love and marriage?
It’s important to be yourself in a relationship. Also, embrace love and laughter. We all need it in our lives!
Marriage of Inconvenience premieres on Dekkoo on April 6, 2023. For more information, visit Dekkoo.com.