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Harry Hamlin talks about 1982′s “Making Love”

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http://www.afterelton.com/archive/elton/movies/2006/photos/barry%20sandler/mloveCrop.jpgHarry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna showed up at TV Critics Press Tour today to gab about their new TV Land series Harry Loves Lisa.

It’s a six-episode reality series debuting in October that follows the lives of his Hollywood couple as they navigate their hectic life as parents, business people and as stars.

Since there’s only so much you can ask about such a show, the questioning veered off into other directions including how Hamlin met Rinna three days after his former wife, Nicolette Sheridan, left him for Michael Bolton.

Harry, former star of LA Law and People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1987,  was also asked about his most famous feature film: the 1982 drama Making Love in which he played a gay writer who becomes involved with a married and closeted doctor (Michael Ontkean).

“It’s something I would do again if I were offered the same kind of opportunity,” Harry said of the film which also starred Kate Jackson and was directed by Arthur Hiller. “At the time I had 70 percent of the people in my career and life telling me not to do it and 30 percent kind of on the fence. No one was saying, you’ve got to run and do this.”

The plot focused on how a married couple struggled with a husband’s closeted gayness which comes to a head when he falls in love with Hamlin’s free-spirited character. The film was not a commercial success.

“I wanted to do it because I sat there with director Arthur Hiller and he talked about the issue of gays and the time in America,” Hamlin recalled. “This was, by the way, pre-AIDS and HIV when we made the film. The whole situation was somewhat different in those days. Hollywood wasnt really ready for that movie at that time, it was probably 10-15 years head of its time. I’d do it again but I’m not sure if was helpful to my future film career.”

At the time of the movie, Hamlin was coming off the success of the adventure flick Clash of the Titans which was recently remade.

That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t reunited with Ontkean for a sequel: “If they want to do something about a gay octogenarian, I may be up for it in a couple of years.”

His wife was asked what she thought of the film and her husband’s participation in it: “I think he was really brave to do it. I think it was an awesome move back then. I think it’s very cringe-provoking to watch for me. I married him!”

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5 Remarks

  1. I remember when this was playing in the theatres. It was instrumental in my decision to walk into a gay bar for the first time in my life.
    I also remember the audience reaction to the ‘bedroom scene’.
    This has to be one of my all time favourite coming out movies. The second would be Consenting Adults with Marlo Thomas, Martin Sheen and Barry Tubb. It was a made for TV movie which I don’t think was ever brought to DVD.

  2. One night I asked a friend of my boyfriend if he wanted to go see this film. I didn’t know this friend had literally just come out. It was not the right time for him as he was so shocked by it that he could hardly talk. Fortunately it didn’t scare him back into the closet.

    It was a groundbreaking film. It made me look at life in a different way then. It still does.

  3. I think this film should be revisited. Harry Hamlin is still cute and I love his new reality show with his hotter-than-hell wife Lisa. I haven’t seen the other lead (Michael Ontkean) in anything lately but I remember catching him in a few Lifetime-type movies and he is still handsome and would never be asked to leave my bed.
    Poor Kate Jackson, the victim (hehehehe) in this classic but still she was flawless and still looks good to this day. Everyone is right, this movie was way ahead of it’s time but someone had to lead the way and make room for colossal movies like Brokeback Mountain and even TV shows like Queer As Folk. Harry Hamlin is the grand daddy of gay films and what a hot grandpop.

  4. This movie came out right when I was on a military base and was falling in love with a married man. The base didn’t know what the movie was really all about and many guys walked out but we stayed and held each others hands, one seat away to not be noticed. We never did have go any further then that but it was wonderful wathching a movie, when I just turned 20 and was coming out with someone, I really liked allot. This movie helpded me, to not be ashamed and for the first time, I felt normal and understood. Thank God, for this wonderful movie, it was right on time for me.

  5. Sorry for typing too fast with my mistakes. I wanted to add one more important point. This movie was not really about homosexuality, it was about the depth of love, between two people and being able to have enough courage to sacrifice for it, even if it meant each other. I feel sad that many straight people, didn’t understand that this movie was trying to teach them something much larger than the story, it was about humanity and respect for all kinds of relationships.

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