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Grey’s Anatomy Alex Landi is ‘breaking stereotypes’ as first gay Asian surgeon

Ella Braidwood January 4, 2019
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Alex Landi who plays Dr. Nico Kim on Grey's Anatomy.

Alex Landi plays Dr. Nico Kim on Grey's Anatomy. (alexlandi7/instagram)

Grey’s Anatomy actor Alex Landi has said he is “trying to break stereotypes” by playing the show’s first gay Asian male surgeon.

Speaking to Attitude in a recent interview, Landi explained that he loved playing Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. Nico Kim because the role combines a racial and sexual minority.

“[Producers] wanted a very masculine ‘bro’ type, and they wanted him to be openly gay. That was disclosed to me before the audition,” he explained to the magazine.

“Another undertone is that he is also the first male surgeon of Asian descent.”

Alex Landi: “I’m trying to break stereotypes”

Landi pointed out that fan favourite Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) was the first Asian doctor on the show, but that he was the first openly gay male surgeon.

He continued: “I’m trying to break stereotypes. Asian men are not seen as masculine in the media and that is something that I am striving to change.

“I just love how diverse Grey’s is. Less than three percent of Asians are represented on TV, and less than 1 per cent are LGBT+, so for them to combine both of those minorities in one role is great.”

Land’s character was introduced in the fifteenth season of the show, which is still ongoing.

“Why can’t there be an Asian James Bond? Why can’t there be an Asian Marvel superhero?”

—Alex Landi

Dr. Nico Kim dates Dr. Levi Schmitt, a closeted intern played by Jake Borelli, who recently came out as gay himself. 

I love how diverse Grey’s Anatomy is, says Alex Landi

Landi went on to discuss the lack of people of colour on television,

He explained to Attitude how, growing up, he’d watch “tons of movies” but that the “leading men were white.”

He added: “Why can’t there be an Asian James Bond? Why can’t there be an Asian Marvel superhero?”

In November, Borelli discussed playing Schmitt, saying he had “assumed” his character was straight.

Jake Borelli, who plays Levi Schmitt on Grey's Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy’s Jake Borelli has said he thought of his character as straight. (Gray Hamner/Gay Times)

Speaking to Gay Times, Borelli said he had played his character as if he were straight—before finding out that Schmitt was set to share a kiss with Dr. Nico Kim.

Borelli told the publication: “I think I, along with the rest of the audience, assumed Levi was straight.

“That was all the information we had, and that’s how I played him for the whole first year, just because I wasn’t given any contradictory information.”

Related topics: Alex Landi, asian, dr nico kim, Gay, Grey's Anatomy, Jake Borelli, US

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