Michael J. Willett

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Michael J. Willett
Michael J. Willett at Paleyfest 2014.jpg
Willett in 2014
Michael James Mansel Willett

(1989-09-11) September 11, 1989 (age 29)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active2002–present

Michael James Mansel Willett (born September 11, 1989) is an American actor and musician. Willett is known most for his roles as Lionel in United States of Tara and Tanner in G.B.F..[1][2] He starred in the MTV show Faking It from 2014 until its cancellation in 2016.

Early life[edit]

Willett grew up in Fresno, California, and attended Clovis West High School. From a young age he always wanted to perform, and has stated, "When I was younger I was more uncomfortable with that side of myself, being outgoing and talkative. I realized along the way that was how you get people to know you. I've grown to be a more open person."[3]

When that he was asked about playing gay characters in multiple roles, Willett responded, "I want to play all different kinds of people; gay or straight. For example, when you go in to play a serial killer, you don't question if it meets your physical or moral standards. You disregard that and play the character. I didn't question it [accepting the G.B.F role]. I want to play all different kinds of characters and hope to continue to do so."[4]


Willett is also a singer, listing himself on his Twitter as a singer first and actor second.[5] He has stated that after G.B.F he would like to start writing his own music.[6] Willett's debut album is named Diapason, which he describes as the "full, rich, melodious outpouring of sound. That is exactly how I describe what I do".[3]

Personal life[edit]

Willett is openly gay, stating in an interview with The Advocate published on their website that, "I didn't really ever want to make it a thing ... I never saw it being something that separated me from anyone else. If anything, I found that it has given me an advantage in the industry."[7]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 G.B.F. Tanner Premiere: 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Theatrical Release: January 14, 2014


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Joan of Arcadia Billy Episode(s): 1
2005 Without a Trace Aaron Episode(s): 1 (as Michael Willett)
2010 Cougar Town Glee Club Member #4 Episode: 1
2011 Blue Mountain State Joe Daniels Episode(s): 1
2010–11 United States of Tara Lionel Trane Episode(s): 16
2014–2016 Faking It Shane Harvey Lead role


Year Title Album
2013 "In Love Alone" Diapason (Unreleased)
2013 "Burning Desire" Diapason (Unreleased)
2014 "Started Over" Regeneration: Phase II


  1. ^ D'Addario, Dan (January 18, 2014). "Was an R-rated gay teen comedy screwed by the MPAA?". Salon. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Ferber, Lawrence (January 16, 2014). "Homo High". Next Magazine. Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Rothaus, Steve (October 2013). "Actor Michael J. Willett to Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film fans: 'I'm your G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend)". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Caban, Erik R. (January 30, 2014). "SFGN Talks to G.B.F. Star Michael J. Willett". South Florida Gay News. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Rose, Christopher (April 26, 2014). "Michael J. Willett, G.B.F. Star, Is About To Break Out". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Lambe, Stacy (December 4, 2013). "A Shirtless Michael J. Willett Performs Stripped Down Cover of Natasha Bedingfield". Out. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Cruz, Eliel (September 23, 2014). "Faking It's Michael J. Willett Is the Teen Heartthrob We've Been Waiting For". The Advocate. Retrieved August 9, 2015.

External links[edit]