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Actor Frankie J. Alvarez Digs SF's Men and Their Beards

Alvarez, pictured center, plays a gay man in HBO's new show Looking; photo via the show's <a href="http://instagram.com/lookinghbo">Instagram</a>
Alvarez, pictured center, plays a gay man in HBO's new show Looking; photo via the show's Instagram

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It may have been Frankie J. Alvarez's massive beard that landed him the role of Agustin in HBO's new series Looking. At the time he sent in his audition tape, he was rocking a Civil War-worthy beard that he wanted to shed before his actual audition. But the producers asked him to keep it, and the rest, as they say, is history. "2013 was all beards for me," Alvarez said to The Back Lot in a recent interview. And since taking the part in the show that explores the lives of three gay men living in SF, Alvarez has realized just how important big beards and tattoos are for fitting into the city's man culture. And it just may be his aesthetic: "I'm straight, but this is the second time—first London and now San Francisco—where I found my head turning for the guys more often than for the girls." Looking premieres on HBO this Sunday, January 19 at 10:30pm.
· "Looking" Interview: Frankie J. Alvarez On Beard Culture & Intimacy [The Back Lot]
· Looking [Official Site]