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Dead Boy Detectives star George Rexstrew on *that* scene on the stairs with Charles

'Dead Boy Detectives' star George Rexstrew on *that* scene on the stairs with Charles

'Dead Boy Detectives' star George Rexstrew on *that* scene on the stairs with Charles

The actor explains why it was more than just a sexual awakening.

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Last week, the first (of hopefully many) seasons ofDead Boy Detectives dropped on Netflix and right away we were hooked — but by the end, oh, we were most definitely in our feelings as well. Why? Two words: Hell stairs.

Before we get too far ahead, let’s quickly say that we’re about to get into spoiler territory, so proceed accordingly.

Throughout the season we’ve watched Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew), our lead, well, dead boy detective, discovering and ultimately embracing his queer identity. It’s relatable, poignant, and occasionally hilarious (“what’s a handjob?” am I right?!) But a major driving force is, of course, Edwin coming to realize just exactly how deeply his feelings for his bestie and fellow, well, dead boy detective, Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri ) are once Crystal (Kassius Nelson) joins their little found family and catches Charles’ eye.

All the while, Edwin is being pursued both by a seductive cat and a super-cute crow twink (yes, we know how that sounds, but it’s a thing). While they both help motivate Edwin on his journey of self-discovery, it’s coming to terms with and expressing his love for Charles that ultimately proves to be the last step in his evolution from repressed gay man to accepting gay man. It’s beautiful, even if it happens on a staircase to hell.

PRIDE spoke with Rexstrew about that scene, and the actor agrees the conversation proved to be a watershed moment for Edwin, particularly because it followed one where he saw Simon (Gabriel Drake) — the man whose prank sent him to hell — himself suffering in the pit. He then confessed to Edwin that the motivation for his actions was his own sexual repression. But the ghostly gumshoe had also faced the mirror that was Despair (Donna Preston) — the god of, well, despair, who we first met in TheSandman — and who saw in the closteed young man a kindred spirit. Between facing the literal face of despair and embracing the forgiveness of Simon, Edwin was poised to finally and truly heal.

“I think that’s such a crucial moment in terms of Edwin’s journey with his identity. I think he realizes in that moment, ‘I can’t live my life or exist without regrets. I need to express how I feel I need to communicate.’” Rexstrew recalls. “Then there’s that desperate scene on the staircase, where Edwin doesn’t know if he’s about to be snatched away again and he just sort of vomits out like, ‘I’m in love with you’ [to Charles].”

Watch PRIDE's full interview with George Rexstrew & Jayden Revri below

It proves to be world-changing for Edwin, explains Rexstrew, because there’s just so much happening for him at that moment. “It’s a real discovery of love for Edwin, I think to label it as a sexual awakening — I don’t think it’s reductive, I just don’t think it’s entirely accurate. I think it goes deeper,” he says.

“[Edwin] comes from parents who wouldn’t have even hugged him,” Rexstrew continues. “And we’re seeing this kid learning to love and learn how much he wants to be loved for the first time.”

What does that mean for both Edwin and Charles in the future? Well, as Charles tells his friend, they have all the time in the world to find out. That is if the show gets picked up for a second season, which we’re certainly manifesting — because folks who’ve come out know very well that this story is just getting started.

'Dead Boy Detectives' is streaming now on Netflix. Watch the trailer below. 

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.