And whether he'd be interested in a 'Queer as Folk' revival

By Oliver Gettell
August 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

In the new Hallmark movie Summer of Dreams, Debbie Gibson and Robert Gant have a meet-cute in a grocery store. She plays a fading pop star who’s reevaluating her life after being dropped by her record label, and he’s a down-to-earth guidance counselor who helps her find new perspective.

It’s a fateful moment for the two characters, but for Gibson and Gant, it was actually the second memorable introduction they shared. As Gant told EW, the ’80s chart-topper and the Queer as Folk star first came face to face at a charity event 10 years ago, and they hit it off immediately.

“We had kind of this moment — all of a sudden I walked in and there she was at the little step-and-repeat,” he said. That’s when Gibson, who studied with the same acting coach but didn’t know Gant, “just threw herself into my arms and went into this dip, and I grabbed her and dipped her, and that was how we really officially met.”

A decade later, when Gant got the opportunity to work Gibson on Summer of Dreams, he thought, “This is so perfect.”

Working with Gibson was part of the draw (he’s a longtime fan of her music), and so was impressing his folks. “My parents are absolute, utter fans of Hallmark,” he said, “and for years my mom has been saying to me, ‘Is there some way you can get on one of those movies?'”

And though Summer of Dreams has a feel-good vibe, Gant also related to its exploration of what it means to experience success and deal with the aftermath.

Citing his own Hollywood career, he said, “I had an amazing experience being on a hit show for Showtime, doing Queer as Folk, and impacting things socially, like helping change hearts and minds. It’s such a big chapter of my life.”

Gibson’s character finds herself asking, “What does being relevant look like, and what’s really important?” Gant said. “In some ways, I think [Gibson] and I both are having our journey with that, as many, many people do.”

While on the subject of Gant’s next chapter, EW asked whether he’d be interested in a potential Queer as Folk revival, the prospect of which was raised last year during a reunion panel at the ATX Festival.

Gant, who is openly gay and a noted LGBT activist, said the time feels “really ripe” to revisit the show’s themes and characters. He added that he and his cast mates all keep in touch and are very close.

“The family dynamic that was created there has really endured,” he said. “We’ve had these conversations, and I know that everyone would be on board for some sort of a revival or another season or whatever. … So hopefully that has a future.”

Summer of Dreams premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark. Watch the trailer above.