Out Australian actor Murray Bartlett, capitalising on his well-received role in The White Lotus, is stepping into a new starring role in Physical on Apple TV+.

The trailer for the show’s second season was revealed May 12 and features Bartlett, 51, as Vincent “Vinnie” Green, a “charismatic fitness instructor, weight-loss guru, and pioneer of the late-night infomercial.”

In the preview, Bartlett as Vinnie sets the tone for his new character, saying, “I control my own name, I control my own business, and no one tells me what to do or say.” Bartlett co-stars with fellow-Australian actor Rose Byrne in the dark comedy, set in 1980s San Diego.

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Byrne, who also serves as Executive Producer for the show, plays Sheila Rubin, an unhappily married woman who creates a new life as an aerobics instructor. Season two sees Sheila trying to capitalise on the success of her Body by Sheila home workout video while facing some intense competition from Bartlett’s character.

 

‘The White Lotus’ Success Was A Surprise

Bartlett, who also starred in HBO’s highly acclaimed LGBTQ series Looking, as well as the most recent instalment of Tales of the City on Netflix, as Micheal “Mouse” Tolliver, has been on a solid career trajectory as of late; however it was HBO’s hugely popular The White Lotus which turned the actor into a household name. Bartlett played Armond, the manager of the Maui resort in which the first season was set.

For his work on The White Lotus, Bartlett was named on May 15 as a Logie nominee as Most Popular Australian Actor or Actress In An International program.

Gay Logies: Murray Bartlett, Hugh Sheridan And Troye Sivan Nominated For 2022 Logie Awards

“It’s definitely a surprise,” Bartlett said of his recent success in a 2021 interview with The Guardian. “It’s not like I expected it to happen, for sure. But now that it has happened, it feels like it’s really good timing … I’m a bit wiser. I’m anchored in myself.”

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Bartlett received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series.” Bartlett was also named “Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television” by the Broadcast Film Critics for the role.

Bartlett is not returning for the second season of The White Lotus which is now set in Sicily. Italian actor Sabrina Impacciatore, will play the role of the hotel manager. LGBTQ fan favourite Jennifer Coolidge is the only cast member from season one who is making the trip to Italy for the highly acclaimed show’s second season.

Portraying Intimacy Between Men Authentically

Charlie Barnett and Murray Bartlett in Netflix’s ‘Tales Of The City’

Bartlett has moved from one career high to another in the past few years, and has found success while at the same time playing a variety of gay characters.  Bartlett told The Guardian he enjoys “trying to show intimacy, especially between men, in a way that feels authentic and feels loving and feels connected, in a way that I feel we don’t see enough.”

“I hope that we are seeing more freedom of expression in that way, thanks to Queer as Folk and Tales of the City and The L Word – all the shows that have come before that are slowly nudging those boundaries, so that we don’t have to pretend that those things don’t happen, or hide them away.”

Sydney-born Bartlett, a graduate of NIDA in 1991, has his calendar full and  is currently lensing appearances in The Last of Us, alongside Pedro Pascal for HBO and Immigrant, with Kumail Nanjiani for Hulu.

The second season of Physical is set to bow June 3 on Apple TV+.


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