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Getting To Know Sugar High’s Adam Fox

We sit down with the openly gay actor to chat about coming out, role models, his first acting gig, the upcoming TV show, and much more…

By Christopher Turner

One of the most anticipated shows to hit LGBTQ+ specialty network OUTtv in recent memory is Sugar Highs, a lighthearted comedy about three men in their 20s who vie to find sugar daddies to get out of working for a living. The leader of the pack and the brains behind the operation is Bud, played by Adam Fox, an actor, writer and director from Vancouver.

Raised in a creative, unconventional household, Fox attended McGill University for one year before moving to New York to pursue acting and complete a BFA degree at New York University for acting, where he was placed in the Stella Adler Studio. Since graduating, Fox has performed, directed and worked behind the scenes in over a dozen studio and independent projects, but OUTtv’s original six-episode series Sugar Highs is his biggest role to date. We sat down with him recently to get the scoop on his first big role, what Sugar Highs is all about, and much more.

Let’s kick things off and talk about Sugar Highs! What can you tell us about the series?

So imagine any fun roommate comedy (How I Met Your MotherFriends) but then make it gay and add sugar daddies – sounds like fun, right? Basically, the series follows Bud, Mickey and Tab, three roommates who are struggling to make it in San Francisco and survive in today’s economy. Solution? They all find sugar daddies (and mommies). But trading love for money is never that simple, and a roller coaster of events ensues. It’s part comedy, part drama, but also part coming of age. I say the latter because all three characters are in their early 20s, and they begin their sugar baby journey at a formative age. All their experiences – good, bad or indifferent – will leave a mark on their minds and change the way they look at life from there on out. It’s a journey that yields some growth, some success and a lot of failures, where they come to learn that, in fact, the life of a sugar baby is not always so sweet.

What can you tell us about your character Bud, the brains behind the operation?

Bud is a musical theatre gay, with a twist. He is resourceful, determined, bold, naive, and at times ridiculous and brazen – it’s a fun combo. Bud gets the idea to find a sugar daddy after hooking up with his dance-class crush, who says he can afford his beautiful apartment because of his ‘daddy.’ That subplot is a whole comedy of errors – watch to find out – but nonetheless, it inspires Bud to sign himself and his roommates up on the Sugar App, at times against their consent. Bud takes on the role of pimp and matriarch, commanding Tab and Mickey while also looking out for them. In spite of his sassy quips and cheeky reads towards his roommates, it’s clear that he really loves them and that they are his chosen family, and that was important to me as an actor to convey. Behind the sass, brazenness and insults is a guy who is desperate for connection, and who just wants to be loved without judgment. 

What was it like working with legendary Canadian filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald? What kind of director is he?

It’s clear from his resumé that Thom is a maven at what he does, and getting to be the lead on one of his shows is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. For that reason, I was a little nervous to meet him in my Zoom callback, but we hit it off instantly, and I knew we would have a great working relationship on the show. What surprised me, however, was how much freedom I had in my role. There were days on end where I went without receiving any direction that wasn’t technical. Then there would be times where I had ideas that I worried were too outlandish, but he’d encourage me to try them. At the end of the day, if you show Thom that you have really put thought into your work, he will pretty much let you try anything. 

What’s your favourite TV show (not including Sugar Highs)?

It always changes, but my favourite show of recent years is Search Party from HBO. As a writer and actor myself, I admire shows that take risks and are willing to venture away from something typical. I love the way the show boldly oscillates between comedy and horror, and even into the obscene. In any given episode, I will be gasping in shock, then laughing minutes later. It’s such a wild ride and the characters are outrageous. It’s almost Brechtian in that it isn’t trying to present four likeable characters – if anything, they are very unlikeable. 

In general, I’d say I get most excited by shows that make me think ‘how fun would it be to play one of those characters.’ It’s not an obvious choice, but I would one day really love to play a character similar to Search Party’s upstairs neighbour April, who is completely unhinged, erratic and wild. I just think that would be such a thrilling experience. 

When did you come out? And what was that experience like for you?

So I actually came out as straight this year on April 1 in a very emotional video on my Instagram (@adamfoxofficial). Though I thought it was funny, I actually felt guilty because so many people believed me! I guess I am just that good of an actor. [laughs]

In reality, however, I came out at age 15. The whole coming-out journey was interesting for me. The truth is that if I’d been able to be in the closet and live more healthily, I probably would have stayed in the closet longer, but prior to coming out I was completely shut off: I had no friends at school from age 12 to 15, I wouldn’t participate in class because I was scared people would make fun of my voice, and it was stopping me from living life and being a good student. Even before coming out, I started forcing myself to talk to people, even if my voice stuttered initially out of anxiety, but I had to trust it was the only way to get better. 

I had trouble saying ‘I’m gay’ or ‘I’m queer,’ so I had a classmate post a video on Facebook of myself dancing to a Britney Spears song, in addition to changing my Facebook to ‘interested in men.’ I got a LOT of mixed reception, and a lot of very mean My Honesty Box messages (may that app rest in peace, thank God), but I was able to start living freely. Very quickly I became part of the popular groups, and was even welcomed by the ‘Regina George’ of my high school, but it was quite jarring to go from having no friends to being in that group. Eventually, I found a good group of friends who were also popular, but a little bit more open-minded and made me feel celebrated. By the end of high school, I’d say I had a great relationship with my sexuality and felt pretty celebrated by my peers, in spite of a few inevitable haters.

Who do you consider a role model?

That’s always a tough one, but off the top of my head I’d say actress and acting teacher Sarah Redmond. Sarah is a working actor who has been in the industry for ages and still has this incredible attitude and endless kindness in her heart. I recall when I was younger, people would always tell me that one day I’d become jaded, and I always resented that. That’s why I think it’s helpful to have role models like Sarah, who has experienced a lot but still goes about life with a positive outlook. She was one of the first acting coaches I ever worked with and she always made me feel loved and special. One day I’d love to be able to have that impact on others…though I probably have too much innate Jewish cynicism to become quite as ethereal as she is. Even if I’m 10 per cent of her magic, I will be making a difference in the world. 

What was your first acting gig?

My first acting gig was actually when I was working overseas as a model in Thailand. It was a commercial for a deodorant brand – I had never acted before and I was SO BAD and it was honestly mortifying. We basically just had to make animal noises and ogle as the female models walked by (cringe, I know), but I really had trouble coming out of my shell and having fun with it. Nowadays this kind of job would be a cakewalk for me, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was I! Next time I have to ogle at women to sell deodorant, I promise to bring my A-game. 

What are you most proud of?

So often I hear people say, “The moment you stop looking is when it happens,” and my response to that is: NO! The way I have gotten anything I’ve wanted in life is by willing it into existence, and being extremely persistent and using any resource I have. My family is always commending me on how I am always somehow able to get what I want out of life. Everyone is different, but that’s what works for me, and frankly, I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked and for making my dreams come true. If you had told 15-year-old me that I would get to model overseas and then later in life be a lead actor on a TV show, I think you would have heard a gay gasp so loud you could hear it in China. 

If you weren’t acting right now, what would you be doing?

Masturbating. If not that, definitely writing. I was once introduced to an extremely successful university dean who told me that after speaking with me, he felt I had the voice, outlook and mind of a writer. Though I didn’t go to school for it, what he said really stuck with me, and now I write all the time. I’ve always had a wild imagination and it only seems to get wilder with age. 

One of the highlights of the pandemic was writing two full-length scripts and two shorts. A lot of these won’t come to fruition but that does not bother me, because it led to me feeling confident enough to pursue making my upcoming series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wigs, which I have now found a great showrunner for, and it feels very likely that this dream will come true. One day I’d love to write a book too! The world is my oyster, and I’ll keep slurping.

What do you want people to know about you that they might not already know?

Unlike a lot of LGBTQ+ folks, and also actors, I have the privilege of having an extremely loving and supportive family behind me. A sad reality for a lot of LGBTQ+ folks, and also actors, is that they don’t have a great relationship with their family. I like talking about mine, not to boast, but because I think it’s great to give people hope, and know that one day even if their family does not support their identity, or even their career, that one day love may prevail and turn things around. Don’t get me wrong: like every family, we’ve had many ups and downs, but we’ve persevered and are closer than ever. They are truly my favourite people in the world, and nobody makes me laugh harder than my mom, especially when I am with my sister and we can both revel in my mom’s antics – I’m talking belly laughing and cheeks hurting. 

In regards to Sugar Highs, they were the first people to watch it when it came out, and have been supporting it whole-heartedly – my dad even telling me that he felt the sex scenes were ‘appropriate’ and asking if I was comfortable sharing it with his friends. I like to call my parents ‘cool parents’ minus the trying to be cool part…. They are their own version of cool, who can handle watching sex scenes but still go to bed at 10 pm. 

What’s next for you?

As I just finished filming Season 2 of Sugar Highs, I’ve been unavailable for most projects that have come my way in the last few months, so now that I’m done, I’m excited to get back in the game. My team and I have been looking over some amazing scripts recently and I’m excited to sink my teeth into something awesome. In addition to that, I recently signed a production agreement with a prominent Canadian showrunner for my upcoming series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wigs. The show is in its development stage, and if all goes well, we will be filming by Summer 2023! It’s super exciting to see my idea come to life.

Sugar Highs is currently streaming in Canada on, the OUTtv Prime Video Channel and the OUTtv Apple TV Channel, and will be on the OUTtv broadcast channel sometime in the new year. In the United States, it streams on, the OUTtv Apple TV Channel and OUTtv on The Roku Channel.

CHRISTOPHER TURNER acted as guest editor for this issue of IN Magazine. He is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media @Turnstylin.

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