Hello &

Hello &

Wentworth Earl Miller III

Wentworth Earl Miller III



Friday, January 23, 2015

OUT Magazine Interview re: THE LOFT (2014)

OUT Magazine Interview re: THE LOFT (2014)

January 22, 2015 at 7:22pm

Q: What primarily attracted us to this film (THE LOFT) is the great, diverse quintet of men who are leading it: You, Danish star Matthias Schoenaerts, lady-killer James Marsden, sci-fi star Karl Urban, and Eric Stonestreet, who of course has shown his diversity playing a gay dad on Modern Family. Can you discuss how this cast came together? Was the diversity of it part of what excited you about the project?

I think they put together a strong cast, but the reason I said "yes" was the part. It was different than anything I'd done before. On PRISON BREAK I was "the man with a plan." This time I got to be the guy who's just lucky to be invited to the party. And then wishes he'd stayed home.

Q: To be honest, info about this film is limited--very cloak and dagger! But I have one source listing you as having written the script, and another crediting it to other writers. How involved were you with the writing? Did you opt to use a pseudonym, like you did with STOKER?

No idea where that rumor came from. I didn't have anything to do with the script.

Q: This is a remake of a Danish film, which also starred Matthias. What would you say is the greatest difference between the original and the American version? Was there a significant cultural shift that changed the tone of the piece?

For me, as far as making sure these characters really felt like American men, like the story was really set here in this country, it was about being conscious of the small stuff - the nicknames, the banter, the body language when the guys get together, how and when they hug or don't hug. The subtleties. All of that can help create an energy and a vibe that feels culturally specific and true.

Q: From what we can tell from the synopsis, the movie--about a group of men who meet their mistresses in a private place, then wind up with a murder on their hands--explores the comeuppances of those who step out on their significant others. How did you approach the moral conflicts of that? What are your own thoughts on it?

I never looked at it as some kind of morality play because I was taught that it's a mistake for the actor to judge the character. If you're judging your character you're outside of it. And you want to be inside.

I saw the story as being more about how hard it is to really know other people. You can spend years with someone, think you know them like the back of your hand, then one day you find yourself in a totally unique set of circumstances and they're behaving in this way you'd never expect. And you're like, "I don't know who you are right now." It's disorienting. And then of course the follow-up question is, "What am I really capable of? When push comes to shove?" Probably more than we'd care to admit.

Q: What was the most enjoyable part of being involved with this production? Can you give us a few offbeat, funny, or unique anecdotes about the process of making the film?

I seem to remember a lot of singing between takes. James has a very good voice.

Q: People are constantly discussing the lack of diverse roles for gay actors, but so far, you, like Neil Patrick Harris, are openly gay while still portraying straight men--specifically straight men who are (ostensibly, in the case of THE LOFT) actively sexual. What's your general opinion on this? Describe the types of roles you're most interested in playing as you progress in your career.

Just to clarify, I wasn't out when we shot this. Not professionally. So I can't speak to what the people who hired me did or didn't know about my sexuality or if that had any bearing on my casting. I'd like to believe that it didn't.

If you're asking why there aren't more openly gay actors getting cast in straight parts - in movies, specifically, because I think TV is different - I don't know. I'm sure there are any number of factors. Hopefully it's not about Hollywood still wondering if gay actors can play straight or if audiences are going to accept gay actors playing straight characters. Because the answer to both of those questions is "yes." In my opinion.

Q: Since the release of STOKER and the disclosure of your sexual orientation were in pretty close proximity, it almost felt to me as if you came out as gay and as a screenwriter concurrently. You were initially tight-lipped about both, and remained pretty modest about the project (STOKER). What was it like having those professional and personal revelations coincide?

It's an interesting idea but I don't know if I'd necessarily connect the timing of one with the other. I wrote STOKER in 2010, the movie came out in March of 2013 and I posted my response to the Russian film festival invite - which I consider my official coming out - the following August.

If there's a connection between "coming out" as a screenwriter and coming out as a gay man, it probably has something to do with me pushing my own boundaries. My sense of what was possible. I didn't think of myself as a writer, so I didn't write. I didn't think of myself as someone who could afford to come out, so I didn't come out. But then I realized that these were self-imposed limitations. I think sometimes we need to become activists in our own lives and fight against the existing order. Against our own beliefs about who we are and what we're capable of.

Q: How have your ambitions changed since shifting some of your focus to writing, and how do you anticipate that balance continuing?

"Balance" is the key word. For sure. For the last couple of years it's been all about the writing. Which has been great. But I don't want to only tell stories sitting at my desk staring at my laptop. I want to use my body. My voice. Give life to someone else's words. So the hope is to do both. To act and to write. If I can swing it.

Q: Since coming out, you've been very outspoken not just about your beliefs, but about your past, eloquently saying things like, "What you think of as scars are medals." How is the work that you're doing now related to you processing your own past, and what projects are you eyeing that might help you continue to express your own ideals and experiences?

I have found that putting things down on paper helps me to process them. I guess that's why so many people keep a journal. And there have been times when I've slipped something personal into a script I've been working on. Just a detail or two. And that always feels a little risky. But nine times out of ten when someone reads it and gives me feedback that's what they'll zero in on. And they'll be like, "That's the part that made me laugh" or cry or what have you. If I finish a script and it feels like I failed to reveal something about myself on the page, something I'd hesitate to say out loud to someone who knows me maybe, then I know I haven't pushed the script far enough.

Q: Finally, what's your favorite whodunit and why?

I just saw CLUE with Tim Curry for the first time. Which was great. Don't know how I missed that one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...