Sweet Dream, Sweeter Reality

Mason Alexander Park’s Casting in The Sandman Is a Lesson in Going After What You Desire

We’ve all heard the stories of actors being “discovered” randomly on the street or thrust into the spotlight after being seen at an event. Then there are those who shoot their shot to get what they want and that’s just what Mason Alexander Park (they/them) did. 

You may remember the nonbinary actor from their role as Gren in the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop or from their theatre work, where they’ve played the titular role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Well, their most recent role as Desire in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is causing plenty of buzz for their performance. 

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A post shared by Mason Alexander Park (@masonalexanderpark)

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A post shared by Mason Alexander Park (@masonalexanderpark)

And how did they get the role, you ask? By sending a tweet to The Sandman creator himself. Park tweeted out to Gaiman “Will Desire be making an appearance S1? And if so, please tell me you haven’t found them yet/are still auditioning”. Of course the tweet was paired with a perfect Sarah Paulson gif. 

What did Gaiman do? He shared casting director information with the talented actor. 

Park responded in a way that I think everyone else would too.

And the rest is history! But imagine if Park wasn’t out there bringing to life the Endless known as Desire on our TV screens? Thankfully we don’t have to and I can’t think of anyone else so perfectly cast in a role.

Gaiman is known for incorporating queer and trans characters into his literary worlds and many of those characters have transferred into on-screen adaptations. You can check this out for American Gods, Good Omens, and LuciferFor The Queer Review, Gaiman said: “When I was writing it, and today, I had gay friends, I had trans friends. I wanted to see them represented in the comics that I was writing”.

This rings true for The Sandman. Characters like the Corinthian (gay), Johanna Constantine (bisexual), and Desire (nonbinary) all play important roles in this live-action adaptation. Consequently, LGBTQ fans of Gaiman’s work can rejoice in the representation of these characters. 

With season one out and receiving plenty of positive feedback, we can definitely expect Park to return for the next season, helping us acquire what we truly desire. 

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