The nighttime soap, The Haves and the Have Nots, on OWN already has at least one prominent celebrity fan – our own Tom Joyner. His crush on actress Tika Sumpter, who plays Candace, is one of the reasons, but there’s plenty of acting talent on the show. Gavin Houston, who plays Jeffrey Harrington is another fan favorite. The veteran actor, who is Guyanese, grew up in New Jersey.
He began his career on The Cosby Show but he’s not new to soap opera fans – he starred on the popular daytime soaps The Guiding Light and General Hospital as well. Harrington’s character is gay on the show, which has caught some flack from the church folks who watch. But Houston says that just means he’s doing what he’s supposed to.
“The role is a blessing, the character is a blessing. I treat it as a human being. And for me, if people are believing that’s who I really am, then I’m doing my job. It’s a true honor. When I get a character, I have a blank canvas and I just color it without any limitation.”
On the show, Candace and Jeffery have teamed up for nefarious purposes, an alliance that has implications as Candace competes for the father and Jeffery competes for the son of the show’s wealthy family, the Cryers. They may not be the most sympathetic characters, but Sumpter and Houston are winning audiences who love to hate them.
But even Houston, who works with Perry regularly, is impressed that he’s auditioning actors on the Fantastic Voyage 2014.
“That man never stops working. He puts so much work in and I truly appreciate it. When I got cast, I went into his studio and you couldn’t see him because there was a bright light. He was on a lunch break from Madea and he was still in costume, casting for other shows. I’m glad I didn’t see it because I would have damn sure lost my lines.”
The Haves and the Have Nots airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on OWN.