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Russian Doll Actor Charlie Barnett Shares His Thoughts On His Character's Hinted LGBTQ+ Scenes - Exclusive

This article contains major spoilers for Season 2 of "Russian Doll." 

Straightforward shows may be refreshing on occasion, but sometimes, fans need a show that makes them question everything. There's no doubt that the Netflix original series "Russian Doll" fits that bill, with a Season 2 that might just be wilder and more delightfully confusing than the debut season. 

While Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) navigates her family's past through somewhat of a time wormhole in the form of a subway train, Alan (Charlie Barnett) dives into his own family history. As he takes over his grandmother's body, he develops what appears to be genuine feelings for his grandmother's boyfriend, Lenny (Sandor Funtek) — even in his own timeline. So could we see Alan explore his sexuality later in the series, or is he just getting into the moment during his time travel excursion? Well, Charlie Barnett has some ideas on the answer to this question, as he revealed in an exclusive interview with Looper.

The body swap is a different reality for Alan

"It's a funny question to me because there [are] a lot of these questions [of] people asking [questions like,] 'Is this a reference into like trans or the trans experience and you switching into your mom and stuff?' I don't think any of that is existent in this. He gets a lucky gift from the universe to go live in another person's body," Charlie Barnett explained.

He elaborated on Alan's mindset on getting to connect with his grandmother through this experience: "They f***** me over for so long by killing me, and now they're letting me live in this guarded reality where I'm allowed to be whoever, explore whatever I want and not have any ramifications." But as Barnett noted, when it comes to figuring out who you are and what experiences you're interested in, doing so during someone else's life (at the other person's expense) takes a bit of the pressure off.

"I went into this season being like, 'F*** you, Alan. You're a d*** right now. You're utilizing your grandmother, this woman who's living in a place in a time when it's extremely dangerous for anybody to be around with their existence,'" Barnett said. "He runs with it because he has that protection ... I really don't think he's exploring his sexuality. He's exploring the moment, he's exploring the freedom, and in that moment, a guy kisses him. He can't say no, because it's part of his existence that he's living in, and it will f*** his grandmother over or her story in a certain way."

Alan is pretty giddy and possibly lovestruck over the situation, even in his own timeline. Yet sexuality is fluid, and Alan's possible interest in Lenny won't necessarily dictate the future.

Charlie Barnett explains Alan's experience of the moment

Of the kiss with Lenny, Charlie Barnett continued, "[Alan's] confused. It opens up all those kinds of questions, of course. He is questioning his sexuality within it, but [it's not] for him ... It's more like, 'This is fun.' I like the feeling of genuine love, and I like the feeling of freedom and fun and excess." Underneath the fun, Alan clearly has some emotions toward Lenny — even if they're platonic.

The actor noted, "It's really fascinating to me, even in watching ... that moment where he does kiss [...] Lenny in the doorway. It was really beautiful. I saw things that I never thought of."

The exciting yet dangerous historical implications of Alan's grandmother and Lenny weren't lost on Barnett, though his character's experience of the scene was a little different. "Alan got to live through that, but in Alan, it's like, 'Oh my God, this guy just kissed me. What the f*** am I doing?' But the reaction, the situation is the same. That's [why] I was like, 'Oh my God, that's really beautiful, and it works,'" Barnett mused.

"Russian Doll" Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.