Showing posts with label Pro Gay Actors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pro Gay Actors. Show all posts

January 8, 2019

Robert De Niro Worries About the Safety of His Gay Son with A President Such as Trump

Robert De Niro has been on the side of the LGBT community as far as I can remember. It seems he wanted to be open about important people in his life. One was his dad and on 20014 he made it point to say how much he loved his dad who died in 1994. He was not as close to his dad  as he was to his mom because his parents were divorced and he was raised by his mom. But he says there was love between them and his dad "was not an absent dad." He also says he remembers being dimly aware his dad was gay. He proudly even made a documentary of those times and about the relationship
 with his dad and his growing up. Now he opens up about having a son who is also gay and how concern he is for his son's safety because of an anti gay president, Trump. I wonder how much the milennials know about this man and magnificent actor. He is had the looks, the fame and all that goes with it but he is also is had an honesty about something most straight men don't like to go into. That is being gay. Yes it was in his family but he is not the only famous person with gay members in his family except they keep it as a secret and will pay or sometimes even kill to mantain tha secret. Would it matter? To some everything matters but so many of us have come out that have made easier for the rest o the community to convince the straight community not to oppose our legal and human rights. Many, particularly those in power for what ever reason have taken the advice to heart. Men like De Niro sets people at ease that is ok to be who you are. This is not a disease except very capable men and women Like Davinci have beeen gay and also talented beyond belief. I wont generalised but when I see a gorgeous man whi is also talented the thought crosses my mind.

 De Niro and De Caprio, Two straight fire fighters for the LGBT Community

The legendary actor has said he believes the current President of the United States is a “white supremacist” and added that he worries about how his public discourse and policies will affect marginalised communities.

“I’m older now and I’m just upset about what’s going on,” De Niro said in a new interview with The Guardian. “When you see someone like [Trump] becoming president, I thought, well, OK, let’s see what he does – maybe he’ll change. But he just got worse.

“It showed me that he is a real racist. I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in the city but he’s as bad as I thought he was before – and much worse. It’s a shame. It’s a bad thing in this country.”

De Niro has six mixed-race children, and when conversation turned to the rise of Trump making people with racist, homophobic and sexist views feel legitimised, he added: “Yeah, I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it.”

When asked if he would consider Trump a white supremacist, he replied: “Yes.”

A fascist? “I guess that’s what it leads to,” De Niro said. “If he had his way, we’d wind up in a very bad state in this country. I mean, the way I understand it, they laughed at Hitler. They all look funny. Hitler looked funny, Mussolini looked funny and other dictators and despots look funny. 

“What bothers me is that there will be people in the future who see him as an example and they’ll be affected in some way, but they’ll be a lot smarter and have many more colours to their personality and be more mercurial and become someone with the same values as he has but able to get much further and do more damage as a despot. That’s my worry. There are people who look up to him: ‘I want to be like him.’ But they’ll do it much better and they’ll be more smart about it.”

De Niro is opposed to Trump so much that if he ever bumped into him around New York City, he’d walk away.

“If he walked into a restaurant that I was in, I would leave. I would not want to be there,” he admitted.

Robert De Niro has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump throughout both the 2016 US election and his presidency.

Last year he was one of a number of high-profile names – which also included Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – who was sent a pipe bomb by fanatical Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc.

The bodybuilder sent out 13 pipe bombs to people who were the most outspoken about Trump and his administration’s policies.

Meanwhile back in November, Bernie Sanders – the Vermont senator who lost the Democratic nomination for president to Hillary Clinton back in 2016 – described Trump as “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history”.

It came weeks after a leaked memo from the Trump administration said it was looking to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex.

The proposal would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by an individual’s genitals at birth.

However, after being re-elected as speaker of the House of Representatives on 3 January, a position she previously held from 2007 to 2011, Democrat Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed her long-time support for the queer community.

In her first speech as speaker of the House of Representatives, Pelosi announced that she will seek to pass the Equality Act – which would outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people – in the upcoming Congress.

December 13, 2016

How To make A Bed Scene with Gay Sex Virgin Daniel Radcliffe

John Krokidas, Kill Your Darlings
In his first big post-Potter sex scene, Daniel Radcliffe plays the writer Allen Ginsberg as a young college student on a voyage of self-discovery: Obsessed with the beautiful best friend (Dane DeHaan) who strings him along, Ginsberg ultimately strikes out on his own and loses his virginity to a man he meets in a bar.
Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn't want the sex scene to feel like that in any way. I wanted the arc of the scene to go from nervousness to a place of pure enjoyment to a realization that this would ultimately become a formidable part of his identity. Allen Ginsberg was one of the most renowned gay artists of the 20th century, and I felt that not including his sexuality as part of the story would be a crime. He wore it unabashedly on his sleeve and helped establish queer sexuality as something you could even talk about in art and literature, so the scene was incredibly important to capture right.
Dan had no issue with doing the scene whatsoever. His only question was, "Just so I know, how naked do you want me to be … movie-naked, or Equus-naked?" I said, "I hate when people block sex scenes in order to play hide-the-genitalia — that feels so forced. So let's just block it, and if it falls into frame, we'll shoot it." But then I remember going, "Oh shit: You're British, and Allen Ginsberg is one of the most famous Jews of the 20th century. On second thought, I don't think we're going to go Equus-naked." And Dan said, "John, my mother's Jewish and I'm circumcised. Play the scene any way you want.” God bless Daniel Radcliffe, he commits to all of his actions.
I knew we needed to nail the blocking. If we got that down and rehearsed it enough times with clothes on, there would be less time having to put two naked men in awkward positions with certain body parts pressed up against each other in a way that would make the actors feel self-conscious. I could tell people were getting a little bit nervous and antsy, so in my attempt to bring some levity to the situation, I said, "Let's do this with stand-ins, and I'll be one of the stand-ins." And I asked Reed Morano, my cinematographer — I was very close to her by that time — to do it with me.
They always say to directors that your actors will follow you if you do whatever you're asking them to do, and ultimately, it was really helpful: By doing it ourselves, we could show the actors exactly what we needed from their blocking … although I thought that when I was the top and Reed was the bottom, it could look a little wrong, gender-wise. So I let her take the dominant position, and in the middle of this blocking, with my legs in the air and Reed on top of me, that was when I really realized we were feigning intercourse in front of our entire crew. We both looked at each other like, Is this the moment we're always going to remember from this set? But it's also the moment that cemented our friendship. Once you've simulated sex with your director of photography, what else do you have to hide from each other?

Photo: A24

Drake Doremus, Equals
In a futuristic world where sex and emotions are verboten, Silas (Nicholas Hoult) feels unfamiliar stirrings that he comes to realize are feelings for his co-worker, Nia (Kristen Stewart). When the two of them finally get together, neither person has so much as kissed someone before, and their first rendezvous is a liberation.
First and foremost, I approach the scene from a voyeuristic standpoint. I'm guiding the actors by making them feel like they're completely liberated and in the moment, so that risks are okay. Rather than saying, “Stand here, touch her here, do this,” it's more of an exploration, and the intention is that they should lose themselves and let the scene sort of take over. If we've done our job right, it should feel like maybe we shouldn't even be there because it’s so intimate and personal.
For Kristen, the direction was pretty simple: You know you can't touch him, you know you can't be touched by him, but then there’s this exhilaration. So it’s a really interesting arc in that scene, and I'll guide those specific beats, but everything in between those moments is completely and utterly about the exploration of getting to those moments. A lot of it has to do with how we schedule the shoot, to be honest. This scene in particular, we'd been shooting for weeks, and they really hadn't touched at all until this moment. The anticipation and the tension boiling over between them just naturally finds its way into the scene, so sometimes you can just schedule things so that they pop at the right time, you know? You want to get something when it's at its fever pitch.
Music is a huge part of it as well. Oftentimes I'll be playing music just before a take if it's a dialogue scene, or even during a take, if sound doesn't matter. I'll just hide a speaker in a cupboard or in a wall and the actors won't even know it's there on the first take, and then all of a sudden, we start rolling, and music will come up. I'm kind of DJing from the monitor, so it's almost as if I'm directing them if they just follow the music, in a way. So there's little tricks and things like that.
I’m more interested in textures and skin and eyes and looks and moments, rather than all-out nudity. To be honest, on my other film, Like Crazy, we shot a lot more explicit stuff and once we got in the edit room, it just didn't find its way in. To me, a love scene isn’t really about the sexual nature of their experience — it’s a lot more about the emotional experience. It’s about realizing what it’s like to fall in love.


March 1, 2015

Paying Tribute to Leonard Nimoy, The President, JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto

Following the death of actor Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Mr. Spock on Star Trek, countless tributes have poured in for the man who popularized the phrase "Live long and prosper." Among those remembering Nimoy’s legacy are astronauts, scientists, writers, sci-fi fans, fellow actors and directors and even President Barack Obama, who wrote in a statement from the White House, “I loved Spock." 

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future," Obama wrote. "In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for 'Live long and prosper.' And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it's clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.”

Zachary Quinto, who took over the role of Spock in the Star Trek reboot and acted alongside Nimoy in two films thanks to the films' time-twisting plot lines, shared on his Instagram, "My heart is broken. I love you profoundly my dear friend. And I will miss you every day. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Nimoy passed away Friday at his home in Los Angeles after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83. In a handwritten noteStar Trek director J.J. Abrams penned, "Dearest Leonard. What a man you were. What a life you lived. As funny and thoughtful and generous and loving as you were talented. You taught us all, at every encounter. We will miss and love you forever.”

A trio of Star Trek captains also remembered their fallen comrade. "It is with sadness that I heard of Leonard Nimoy's death. I was lucky to spend many happy, inspiring hours with him. He won't be forgotten," tweeted Patrick Stewart, who played Jean-Luc Picard on the TV spin-off Star Trek: The Next Generation. Following news of Nimoy's death, his longtime co-star William Shatner wrote, "I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love." Chris Pine, who portrays Captain Kirk in the Star Trek cinematic reboot, tweeted simply, “ he world has become a darker place."       
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February 2, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Gay Rights Campaign Ignored by Prince William


Benedict Cumberbatch’s gay rights campaign has appeared to have been snubbed by Prince William and Kate Middleton. The “Sherlock” star is one of the high-profile celebrities calling for the pardon of around 49,000 men who were prosecuted for their sexuality under the old gross indecency law, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge refused to sign the campaign.
Cumberbatch, who plays WWII codebreaker Alan Turing in the film “The Imitation Game,” has led a campaign seeking the pardon of the men prosecuted for being gay under the British “gross indecency” law. The petition was launched by Matthew Breen on, and has been endorsed by Cumberbatch and other artists and personalities, including actor Stephen Fry, civil rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, biologist Richard Dawkins, “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum and Rachel Barnes, Turing’s niece.
As the petition cites as an example, Turing, who helped decrypt the Enigma code during the Second World War, was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952. The then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued Turing an official apology on behalf of the British government in 2009. The mathematician was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, decades after he committed suicide in 1954.
There are an estimated 49,000 other men who were prosecuted for homosexuality as well, and they, too, deserve to be pardoned for the act that was considered a crime until it was repealed in part in 1967. Around 15,000 of those men are still alive.
“The UK’s homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable,” the letter, obtained by the Guardian, states. “It is up to young leaders of today including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand.”
But William and Catherine have apparently washed their hands of the issue. A spokesman for the royal couple said that the issue is a matter for government, and they therefore would not make a comment.
Upon his conviction of gross indecency in 1952, Turing was given a choice between imprisonment and probation. He chose probation, which was conditional on his undergoing of hormonal treatment that amounted to chemical castration. He committed suicide two years later.

October 17, 2014

In many places You can marry and be kicked out by landlord when Your Partner Moves in


J. Edgar” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black takes the stage at the benefit and brings the problem of gay protections on the states.                                                                    
What comes after marriage for the LGBTQ rights movement?
Dustin Lance Black has dedicated much of his work to addressing this question, both in and out of Hollywood. It’s part of the reason he joined Emmy-nominated “Orange is The New Black” star Laverne Cox and Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player, Wednesday at Chicago House’s sixth annual speaker series luncheon on “Gender, Race and Economic Diversity: A Discussion of Inclusivity and Equality beyond Marriage.”
For Black, it’s a topic informed both by his achievements as an out, gay director and award-winning screenwriter of “Milk,” “Big Love” and J. Edgar,” and his Southern, Mormon upbringing.
“Families are important to me and a lot of young people growing up in the South, and right now for a young LBGT person in the South, in order to live as a first-class citizen in the U.S. and not a second-class citizen, they have to move. They have to leave, they have to go to the coasts,” he told RedEye ahead of Wednesday’s event. “For some young people that sounds great, but for many that means leaving their family, leaving their friends, leaving the world that they love, and that’s not right.”
Black pointed out how the lack of housing and employment protections in many states creates a strange legal incongruity: A couple’s same-sex marriage might be recognized in some states, but, “if they take their wedding pictures and put them up at work, they can be legally fired.”
Black also has advocated for the U.S. to grant asylum to LGBTQ people abroad, in countries like Uganda or Russia that have restrictive, anti-gay laws, with “Uprising of Love,” a performance series borne of the controversy surrounding the Sochi Olympics and Russia’s anti-gay policies.
Closer to home, Black would like to see more LGBT representation in TV writers’ rooms, especially as more shows add more LGBT characters and take on topics of gender representation and sexuality.
“In order to have these stories and characters ring true and be as specific and real as heterosexual folks, you need to have more LGBT writers and writers in diversity in those rooms,” he said. “God bless all the white, male writers who have been in the rooms over the decades, but they really won’t have the experience to write some of those characters accurately.”
But for better or worse, marriage equality has turned into wedding fever in many places, Black said, and he isn’t immune.
“A lot of people keep asking me all the time if I’m going to get married. I don’t know yet, but I’d like to,” he said. “I grew up Mormon, man, I’m not actively Mormon now, but you can’t take the Utah out of the boy.”
As for the people in the U.S. who would like to see marriage equality laws repealed, Black said he’d just like to soothe their worries.
“I feel like I just want to give them a big hug and say, ‘Hey, we don’t want to break anything,’” he said. “We’re just going to sell a lot more ice sculptures and wedding cakes, and it’s going to be all right.”
Black would like to have children someday, he said, and after that happens he is envisioning his family taking a big road trip together—one where his family’s rights would be recognized wherever he chooses to go.
“If you do a cross-country trip with your kids and your spouse, as you cross state lines you go from married to not married, married, not married, equal, not equal,” he said. “It’s very interesting in terms of how you’re protected and perceived in this country. It’s like driving across a checkerboard, and that would have to change.” | @rachelcromidas

October 16, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) “I’ll defend gay rights to the death”


Benedict Cumberbatch has said he would fight religious extremists to the death in defence of the right to express one’s sexuality.
Cumberbatch, who stars in The Imitation Game as Alan Turing, the brilliant second world war codebreaker who was persecuted by the British authorities for being gay, lamented the horrors faced by gay people in many countries and fiercely declared his determination to stand with them in an interview with Out magazine
“People are being beheaded in countries right now because of their beliefs or sexual orientations,” he said. “It’s terrifying. It’s medieval — a beheading! I’d take up arms against someone who was telling me I had to believe in what they believed or they would kill me. I would fight them. I would fight them to the death. And, I believe, the older you get, you have to have an idea of what’s right or wrong. You can’t have unilateral tolerance. You have to have a point where you go, ‘Well, religious fundamentalism is wrong.’”
Despite his status as a wartime hero credited with cracking the German Enigma code at Britain’s Bletchley Park, Turing’s life was destroyed by the period’s anti-homosexuality laws. Police arrested him in 1952 after learning of his sexual relationship with a young Manchester man. After being found guilty of gross indecency Turing accepted injections of synthetic oestrogen intended to neutralise his libido. He continued to work part-time for GCHQ, the postwar successor to Bletchley Park, but his mental health is said to have suffered, and he was found dead – of cyanide poisoning – by his cleaner in 1954. 
Cumberbatch said The Imitation Game should be read as “a warning that this could very easily happen again” and dismissed the pardon handed posthumously to Turing by the Queen in 2013. “It’s an insult for anybody of authority or standing to sign off on him with their approval and say, ‘Oh, he’s forgiven,’” Cumberbatch explained. 
“The only person who should be [doing the] forgiving is Turing, and he can’t because we killed him. And it makes me really angry. It makes me very angry.”
The actor also said during the interview that homosexuality remained a “huge obstacle” in Hollywood for those hoping to carve out careers as a leading man. “We all know actors who are [gay] who don’t want to talk about it or bring it up, or who deny it,” he said. “I don’t really know what they do to deal with it. Human rights movements and sexual and gay rights movements have made huge social progress in the last 40 years, without a doubt, but there’s a lot more work to be done.”

January 19, 2014

Star Trek 'Sulu’ Tells Utah Gov Where in Space to Travel

Utah residents set phasers for stunned when a guest at the state’s Sundance Film Festival attacked their governor, and implicitly the whole state, for not backing gay marriage.
George Takei, the gay “Star Trek” and “Celebrity Apprentice” actor who is here to promote a documentary about his life, “To Be Takei,” called Gov. Gary Herbert “stupid” and “mean” for withdrawing state recognition from some 1,300 gay marriages that took place in the state because of a district court judge’s ruling that Utah must be forced to recognize gay marriages under the Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted the state a stay in recognizing gay marriages while the courts sort out the matter.
In an interview with, Takei said Herbert “consciously and mean-spiritedly refused to recognize the marriages that already happened. I’m stunned by his stupidity. Apparently he believes in governing by hysteria — that’s the only way it can interpreted.”
“This governor now is trying to put the toothpaste that’s been squeezed out back into the tube. It’s something that can’t be done.”
Takei and his husband Brad Takei, né Altman, were married in Los Angeles in 2008, each clad in a matching white tuxedo. They made their entrance at the reception to the strains of the Broadway showstopper, “One,” from “A Chorus Line.” Both men, who have been a couple for more than 25 years, star in Jennifer Kroot’s documentary, premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Citing the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, the district judge ordered the state to recognize gay marriage in a surprise ruling on Dec. 20. Not so fast, Sotomayor said in her stay, issued Jan. 6. The Justice is in charge of emergency appeals from Utah and neighboring states. Utah’s referendum defining marriage as between one man and one woman carried with 66 percent of the vote in 2004, but a poll this month suggested support for state recognition of gay marriage in Utah is now up to 48 percent.
Takei said, “We thought the timing would amazing. Important historically events were happening in the progress of equality for the LGBT community and so to have this chronicled would be a fantastic thing to have, and so we agreed to do it. And here we are premiering in a state that still reflects that struggle that we have.”

December 6, 2013

James Franco on a Real S&M Sex Film

Interior. Leather Bar: The film reimagines lost S&M gay sex scenes from 1980 movie Cruising.
In 1980, Al Pacino starred as a cop touring New York’s gay sex venues to catch a serial killer.
The film, Cruising, was loved and hated. But rumors suggest it was almost even more controversial. The story goes the director William Friedkin cut 40 minutes of gay S&M footage to avoid an X rating.
Now filmmakers James Franco (of Milk fame) and Travis Mathews have imagined what that 40 minutes of footage may have looked like.
Their new short feature, Interior. Leather Bar doesn’t recreate Cruising but is a mix between their take on that lost footage and a documentary-style, partly scripted, partly real, behind-the-scenes look at how they made it.
Here Mathews shares the joys of difficulties of getting actors to have ‘real’ gay sex on screen and his reasons for taking on a subject many would rather he left alone.
How did you get involved with James Franco and this project?
Early in the summer of 2012 my first feature, I Want Your Love, was playing film festivals and getting some attention because of the way I wove un-simulated gay sex into the story.
This was happening around the same time James was interested in revisiting Cruising. One of the things he knew from the offset was he wanted there to be real gay sex in it, and this is where I came in.
I knew with the number of films James had recently made that had either gay or queer content, people would be talking. And even though we weren’t remaking Cruising, there’s some baked-in controversy to that movie that casts a pretty long shadow. We could use this all to our advantage.
We knew we needed to be one step ahead of the audience for this to work. I had a list of things I expected people to ask upon hearing about the movie: ‘Is James gay?’ ‘Does he have sex in this?’ ‘Who does he think he is for touching this
And it’s been exactly how I thought it would be with people asking me these same questions all the time. And James, to his enormous credit, was open to going out on any limb as long as there was a smart reason behind it.
How did you find the actors?
A couple of different ways. One of the actors, Brenden Gregory, worked with me before. So I contacted him, and he and his real-life boyfriend, Bradley Roberge, got on board.
Brenden was reluctant to do this initially, because he wants to be taken seriously as an actor and he didn’t want to do another film where he was going to have to take his clothes off. We waited until the day of production to talk about these issues. This was an aspect of the film that’s both real, but also sort of staged. We were filmed working through his reservations, and it made it into the first cut of the film, but now it’s the domain of DVD extras.
We also had a casting call. The only thing the guys who showed up knew was it was a James Franco project involving a gay bar scene. There were probably 50 guys who showed up.
Once I got into the specifics, a good third of the men left the room. I wasn’t asking any of these guys to have sex. They were all going to be extras for the bar scene, but I was asking for them to be in a very gay space where sex would be happening around them.
For this, I needed to know how comfortable they were with kissing and touching another man in a space that was supposed to be a gay leather bar. What we ended up doing was putting different people in different corners of the room based on their comfort level interacting with another man and being so close to actual gay sex. I kill myself a little every day wishing that we’d filmed this. It was pretty rich and would have probably made it into the final cut.
The groups ranged from ‘I’m up for anything, I’ll do whatever’ to a group where the guys were only as comfortable as taking off their shirt, but not actually touching, kissing, or dancing with anybody.
I could see a lot of these guys doing some quick internal processing about what they might be getting into and what it all meant. To be honest, I was pretty surprised at how weirded out many of them were. Nevertheless, we ended up keeping almost everyone who wanted to be part of the bar scenes.
Initially, I didn’t want anyone from the ‘weirded out’ group, but the more I thought about it, it seemed like including those guys would add to the whole texture of it. I thought it would be interesting to have a solid mix of gay and straight men involved, but also with varying degrees of comfort being in such a gay space, and it worked.
How about casting the lead, Al Pacino’s character?
Val Lauren is an old friend of James. Val looked at it and had a conversation with James where – it was relayed to me – he asked James to reconsider the whole project.
Val didn’t understand the artistic merit in doing something like this, and there were all these boundaries he was putting up very quickly about what he would and would not do. Hearing all of this and having just watched James’ film Sal, in which Val played Sal Mineo, I knew he’d be perfect. His resistance mixed with a willingness to be part of the film was music to my ears.
We got along great, but there was always some tension with what he wanted to do and how far I might push him on the day of the shoot. James was interested in letting it be whatever it was. Honestly, that was a bit scary for me, but it was the right decision.
All of the stuff you see with Val in the opening scenes where he speaks directly about his ambivalent feelings, totally real. None of that was planned.
How did you film the sex scenes?
I never sought out to be known for my sex scenes. It may seem like it’s been strategic, but it all just kind of happened this way. I’ve been consistently interested in telling stories I wasn’t seeing on screen, ones that felt honest, intimate, and raw in different ways... that interest dovetailed into sex at a certain point.
There are so many different stories that can be told through the way somebody has sex. It’s playful, and it’s super fun, and it’s hot, and then it’s like you’re taking a break, or maybe you’re feeling insecure. There are a lot of underutilized ways to explore character and story through sex.
For the sex scene between Brenden and Bradley, we knew it was going to involve Master Avery instructing them on what to do sexually, and then something wasn’t going to work, and we were going to have to stop, and I was going to have to sit and talk with them about what they needed to make this sex scene happen.
This was going to give us permission – within the story – to shoot something that's more intimate and loving than just a fuck scene, which was basically what the sex in the film had been up to this point.
With Brendan and Bradley we didn’t really know what was going to happen to make them uncomfortable. Some of that was a bit staged, but they truly were ill at ease with the instructions Master Avery was giving them, and it became a strange experience for all of us.
At a certain point, we stopped, and I sat on the couch with them to talk about the issues they were having. This was ‘scripted’ in so much as we planned for when these things were going to happen.
Brenden and Bradley became uncomfortable with the way in which Master Avery was instructing them because that’s not how they normally have sex with each other, so we had to deal with it. As a director, it was about understanding what was uncomfortable for them. If they had said that the whole situation was just too much for them, we would have stopped.
Filming sex scenes adds up to a lot of basic stuff, like trust, giving the performers space, respecting them as people, catering to what they need, and ultimately, as much as possible, receding into the background.
There’s a certain amount of room I give people in finding how to get from Point A to Point B. I think that’s where a lot of the raw, honest stuff comes out. The actors figure out how they (and their characters) would normally get to the next stage sexually with someone, and people recognize that.
One of the things that’s maybe important to point out is everybody whom I’ve filmed having sex was performing for the first time on camera, with a crew I should add [laughs].
To my knowledge, none of these guys are aspiring porn stars. These guys get involved because we’re all on the same page with trying to capture this sort of raw intimacy. It makes it so we’re all together for similar reasons and on the same page, but it also becomes a much more vulnerable experience, for everybody.
I heard you edited this in your childhood bedroom?
I flew to my mom’s house in the middle of nowhere Ohio to edit the film in my boyhood bedroom. I worked 12 or 14 hours a day to go through all the footage from multiple cameras and line everything up.
I realized pretty quickly there was a richer narrative present than I even expected, and I was going to push to make this into a feature.
How did your parents feel about you editing a celebrity gay leather bar movie in their house?
They loved it. It was so much like being in high school again with me always in my room with the door shut and my mom always asking what I wanted for dinner.
If my 16-year-old self would have known that I’d be working on this with my family’s enthusiastic support... my mom was really the first audience for this. I’d edit a section, mom would go get her glasses and her soda and I’d have her take a look. She had some good notes.
How did you reference Cruising in the film?
One of the things I knew about Cruising was its history as a lightning rod for a lot of people, and it still is, for its representation of gay people.
I still think if you just look at those gay bar scenes alone – forget the murder stuff, even forget Pacino for the most part – it really is an interesting and important document of NYC gay, leather subculture right on the brink of AIDS.
A lot of that comes through because, according to reports from people who were on the set for the bar scenes, Friedkin encouraged the extras to treat the space, which was a real gay S&M bar, as if it were any old night. So people were drinking, people were smoking, people were smoking weed, doing poppers, and by a lot of reports, there was real sex happening. I think that’s why those scenes have a documentary feel to them.
A UK limited edition DVD will be available from 9 December. It’s the the most luxuriously packaged LGBT release featuring a beautiful soft touch slip case and UK bonus extras including a short film by James Franco ‘Feast of Stephen’ and interviews with both the directors: Franco and Mathews.
London cinema-goers can see the film at Hackney Pictures on 9 December with a Skype Q&A with Mathews or on the same day at Greenwich Picturehouse. A screening on 15 December at the ICA on the Mall, central London, will show it as a double bill with William Friedkin’s Cruising and a recorded introduction from Mathews.
Watch the trailer here:

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