Earlier today, I posted The Life and Times of Harvey Milk documentary in its entirety. If you don’t have time to watch it all, at least watch this amazing speech by this great man who died far too soon.
He is so worth remembering today on Harvey Milk Day and every day.
What’s really fun about another Sex and the City movie coming out is all the anticipation – the interviews, the preview pics. I love it!
The Advocate’s Brandon Voss gives us a terrific interview with writer-director-producer Michael Patrick King.
Here is a portion:
Before we talk about the film, what are your thoughts on the recent Newsweek article claiming that gays can’t convincingly play straight roles?
It’s interesting that you would ask me that question on a Sex and the City 2 junket, because Sex and the City is really about people allowing themselves to be whatever version of themselves they want to be. So I don’t like any kind of labeling unless it’s Chanel, Dior, Louboutin, or Manolo. Labeling people by their sexuality is absurd because acting is magic, and movies and the stage are about suspended belief. This might come as a shock to some people, but Hugh Jackman was not Peter Allen when he was performing that character in The Boy From Oz. Richard Burton wasn’t King Arthur when he did Camelot. It’s all an illusion anyway, so the label of actor is all anyone should be talking about.
Sean Hayes, with whom you worked as a consulting producer on Will & Grace, was one of the main actors mentioned in that Newsweek article. Should gay actors like him avoid labeling themselves in the media?
The journey out of the closet into the public is a personal journey, and it can be as rigorous for somebody who doesn’t have a spotlight shining on them as it is for somebody who does. I don’t have any rules about that. It’s amazing when someone comes out, but it’s really a personal choice.
When Cynthia Nixon came out, did you consider for even a moment that she might suddenly no longer be believable as a straight character?
She’s such a strong actress, and it’s such an amazing character. That’s a real testament to the idea of the split in a personality versus a performance because Cynthia is Miranda. So it never dawned on me for a second to suddenly include ideas that Miranda is gay.
When it comes to Sex and the City’s main gay characters, it’s worth noting that you cast an openly gay actor, Mario Cantone, as Anthony, and a straight actor, Willie Garson, as Stanford. Does sexuality ever come into play when casting?
It’s sex, not sexuality, that comes into play, and there’s a big difference. How many guys went through Samantha’s bedroom? I have no idea what their sexuality was. Literally, I blew through — and this is not a pun intended — hundreds of sexy men in the series. So many actors came in and out, took their clothes off, and I never had anyone say, “Oh, you shouldn’t cast him because … ” They were either sexy or not sexy.
It’s no secret that Stanford and Anthony get married in the new film. Did you ever envision them getting together during the series?
Absolutely not. I liked in the series that they were archenemies. I liked that Anthony was so completely cold to Stanford, because I see that a lot in dating, and just because they happen to be the two gay characters doesn’t mean the rules change. Charlotte has walked out on men on sight just because she’s like, “No, not right.” Anthony’s her best friend, so he has the same kind of dating profile. But then in the first movie I started to have the luxury of seeing Stanford and Anthony together — and Willie and Mario together. In my mind their New Year’s kiss was the fantasy doorway that could open up to something. The other chaser for that drink was the idea in my mind that they got closer because of Carrie’s tragedy. Getting through a humiliating experience like that, they had to look at each other, drop all the bullshit between them, and relate as people.
Their whole lavish gay wedding, complete with Liza Minnelli officiating, felt to me like a special nod or thanks to Sex and the City’s loyal gay fans.
To me, it’s a nod to the big Preston Sturges, black-and-white, madcap MGM musical. For me, the movie’s about tradition and each of the girls struggling with a traditional role, so what’s important to me is that even within our nontraditional — now traditional in some states — gay weddings, even a couple like Stanford and Anthony is struggling with how to be “brooms.” But it’s also important that no one character speak for all gay men just as no one girl speaks for all women.
Did you get to party with Liza?
The only party I saw was the work. She worked her ass off and shook her ass off, as you could see. We did have a couple lunches before we started filming. Just to sit down and have a conversation with her was fantastic. She was so Liza Minnelli! I said to John Melfi, my producing partner, “If this were a Liza Minnelli drinking game, where you did a shot every time she said a word that Liza Minnelli would say, we would’ve been shit-faced 10 minutes into it.”
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Harvey Milk Day into law last October. He had vetoed a simlar bill in 2008 and there was fear that he might do so again.
But since that veto, the movie Milk was released and won Academy Awards for star Sean Penn and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Also, president Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He fought hard against discrimination – including Proposition 6, a ballot initiative that would have made firing gay teachers—and any public school employees who supported gay rights—mandatory. It lost by a million votes.
As a supervisor, Milk was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city but just 11 months into his term, he and Mayor George Moscone were murdered at City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White.
Milk was just 48 years old and had been a gay rights activist for less than a decade. There was so much still ahead.
Here is the superb documentary The Life and Times of Harvey Milk:
On Glee, Mark Salling has won our hearts as Noah “Puck” Puckerman, a more sensitive-than-we-thought jock who is about to become a daddy.
At 27, Salling is one of several young performers to become an overnight star after being cast on the show and he has shined as an actor and a singer.
Pre-Glee, Mark sang, wrote, and played guitar in a solo project under the stage name “Jericho”, whose debut album, Smoke Signals, was released in 2008. He also appeared in the films The Graveyard and Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering.
Harvey Milk Day is a new day of recognition across California as of this year and it has been a long time coming.
It will happen every May 22, which was Harvey’s birthday.
Some background: Milk was one of the first openly gay people elected to public office; he served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. His life and legacy were commemorated in the Hollywood film Milk that came out about a year ago. Through a bill sponsored by Equality California and authored by Senator Mark Leno, the California Legislature passed and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill creating a state commemorative day for Milk last year, making 2010 the first year that Harvey Milk Day will be celebrated.
Lots more on this site tomorrow on Harvey Milk and his legacy.
Here are some of the events going on this weekend to mark the day:
SATURDAY: Tomorrow morning at 10 am, over 100 volunteers will go door-to-door in neighborhoods that supported Prop. 8 to build support for marriage equality through one-on-one conversations.
Right at 10 before the volunteers depart, a number of speakers will talk to the crowd, including United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, Assemblymember Hector de la Torre, Assemblymember Kevin de Leon, LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar, and Dustin Lance Black (pictured, left) Oscar-winning screenwriter of the film Milk about Harvey’s life.
Tomorrow afternoon, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne will open their home for a celebration for Harvey Milk Day. Harvey Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk (pictured with President Obama last year) and California Senator Mark Leno will also be in attendance.
SUNDAY: In the afternoon from 1-4 pm in Brentwood, there will be a family BBQ and picnic to celebrate Harvey’s life. This event will kick off the creation of EQCA’s Families Advisory Council, a group of LGBT and allied parents who will help EQCA to develop effective messaging and strategies to build support among parents of young children. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113422325362958&index=1
UPDATE: If you want to get involved, Karen Ocamb has an extensive post on what is going on tomorrow and where. Check it out at LGBT POV!
ADAMANIA!!! The third single from Adam Lambert’sFor Your Entertainment album looks like a winner.
Says Adam: “The theme of this video today is, quite basically, no matter how much money you posses or material things you accrue in life, if you don’t have a connection and love, it’s worthless.”
Adam is set to perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight but first, check out this piece that ran on last night’s Entertainment Tonight which, if you ask me, should spend more time covering exciting stars like Adam and less or no time covering cheating spouses and mistresses etc.
This is a fun way to head into the weekend: Out magazine is back with its annual “Hot List,” listing who to see, what to wear, what to do, and how to live this summer.
Here are the top three “Hot” things on the list, head to OUT.com to see the rest!
1.Les Cagelles: The birds are back in town! Gone from Broadway since 1988, La Cage aux Folles returned in April, and though star Kelsey Grammer’s name may be the biggest on the marquee, it’s these showstoppers who really dominate.
Sean A. Carmon,Terry Lavell, Logan Keslar, Nick Adams, Sean Patrick Doyle, and Nicholas Cunningham steal the show as the world famous Cagelles every night at New York City’s Longacre Theatre.
Anything the sensational Nick Adams is in, we want to see!
2. Scissor Sisters: If the recently unveiled teaser track “Invisible Light” and, um, cheeky Robert Mapplethorpe cover art are any indication, Scissor Sisters’ upcoming third album is going to be their filthiest, most gorgeous party yet.
Night Work marks the first time the glam-rock darlings — Jake Shears (left), Ana Matronic (right), Babydaddy, and Del Marquis — have worked with an outside producer, recruiting big shot Stuart Price (Madonna, the Killers) for the duties. And though sleek songs like the anthemic “Fire With Fire” and pulsing “Invisible Light” (whose bridge boasts a stately, “Thriller”-style voice-over from none other than Sir Ian McKellen) sound destined for the club, don’t think Price has buffed away the band’s token downtown edge.
“The first two records were very patchwork, like buffets of a lot of different influences,” Shears says. “Night Work is the first record that doesn’t sound like anything else other than ourselves. It completely sounds like us. It’s really fun, but in a much darker, sexier way. You can make out and have sex to the whole album.”
3. Jonathan Groff: Musical theater buffs have long lusted after Groff, who created the role of Melchior in Spring Awakening and appeared as Claude in the 2008 Shakespeare in the Park production of Hair.
This spring, he came back into our sights on Glee, where he’s currently heating
things up as Jesse St. James opposite his former Awakening costar Lea Michele.
In July, look out for Groff in Jeff Lipsky’s indie feature Twelve Thirty, before he returns to the stage at the end of August to star in the West End production of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap.
Cynthia Nixon, a Tony winner, Grammy winner and two-time Emmy winner, is a lesbian actress who very convincingly plays the straight character of Miranda in the Sex and the City franchise.
She’s also a very intelligent woman and LGBT activist who will speak out when she feels the need. The controversial article by Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh which essentially made the point that gay actors, once they are out publicly, are not convincing in straight roles.
“I think it’s horrible. I think it’s so horrible, and I think it’s really, really, really terrific that there has been such an enormous response and so much back-and-forth and discussion about it and people trying to explain to this gentleman why they’re so upset about what he wrote,” Cynthia told MTV News this week.
“I just feel like it’s hard enough to encourage people to come out of the closet, like it’s not going to damage their careers. And when you have someone who is so … it’s not even like he’s negative, he’s making fun of people in a really cruel way. I think it’s really set us back 10 years.”
One of the actors who Setoodeh singled out as being particularly unconvincingly was Sean Hayes in his Tony-nominated role opposite Kristen Chenoweth in the current Broadway production of Promises, Promises.
Megan Mullally, who acted opposite Hayes for eight seasons on Will & Grace, blasted the article in an interview this week with Chicago Now.
“It’s just beyond comprehension,” Mullally said Tuesday. “That the article was written and the editor allowed it to go out online is beyond comprehension. They should be ashamed of themselves.
“I could talk about it for 27 hours [but] we don’t have 27 hours. I just feel like there’s nothing good to say about it. It shouldn’t have been published.”
Neil Patrick Harris may be one of the hardest working men in showbiz but even he was a bit overwhelmed at the fast-paced work environment of the FOX smash Glee.
NPH gust starred this week as Will Schuester’s former nemesis who comes back into his life as a school board member determined to disband the glee club.
“It’s a bit of factory work,” he told ew.com. ‘It’s just a lot of “Next take! Next take! Moving on! Moving on!”‘
Broadway veteran Harris performed Dream On alongside series star Matthew Morrison and described the set as so “wildly grueling” that he forgot every one of his lines on his first day.
NPH said his favorite character on the show is hunky quarterback Finn Hudson who is played by Cory Monteith: “He’s dreamy. But also I think he represents a really great element of the viewership and what glee club can be because he’s a quintessential straight guy, kind of a bumble-y.”
This is wonderful news: Kelly and Sharon Osbourne have been chosen as grand marshal’s of next month’s LA PRIDE Parade in West Hollywood.
These mother-and-daughter reality stars and human rights advocates have hearts of gold and I know I’ll be cheering when they ride down Santa Monica Boulevard on Sunday, June 13.
Kelly posted this Tweet about the news: “Getting a rainbow manicure: $35. Finding a fabulous outfit: $200. Being the LA PRIDE Parade Grand Marshal with Mum: PRICELESS! See you 6/13!”
Christropher Street West President Rodney Scott said of the selection: “The Osbourne’s meaningful support of the LGBT community goes beyond simply making appearances. Sharon & Kelly speak out for social issues that educate and encourage increased participation which carry out our mission of Pride 365, Power, Passion, Purpose.”
Last year’s Grand Marshals of L.A. PRIDE were none other than comedian Chelsea Handler and pal Chuy.
After the Ricardo’s get back from Hollywood, everyone stars treating Ricky like a big star. When a magazine writer tells Lucy she is the envy of women everywhere, even she starts treating Ricky like a king.
In order to get his wife back, Ricky turns into a big diva and starts making outrageous demands having Lucy shine his shoes and type his script and answer the phone – all at the same time! She’s finally had enough when he tops all that of with: “Lucy, my cigarette ashes are about to fall off. … What do you want me to do with them?”
It’s not difficult to believe that the one man Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones’ just can’t quit is Smith Jerrod, played on the series and in both feature films by fashion model-turned-actor Jason Lewis.
He and Kim Cattrall share a wonderful chemistry and I have considered Smith the perfect man ever since he shaved his head in solidarity with Samantha when her hair was falling out to do chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.
Jason’s other big television role as once closeted TV star Chad Barry on Brothers & Sisters who was involved with Kevin (Matthew Rhys) when he and Scotty were broken up.
I spoke with Jason about the role of Chad at the GLAAD Media Awards a few years ago and he said: “I think the writing on it was fantastic because, although it was about a character coming out, I think it was universal in that it was about anybody who doesn’t understand themselves and kind of destruction they do to their lives.”
While Jason is straight off-screen, he has been a big supporter of the LGBT community and did a guest role in the animated Logo series Rick & Steve The Happiest Gay Couple in the World.
He also presented the best feature film award to A Single Man at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles.
Jason reprises his role of Smith Jerrod in Sex and the City 2 which hits theaters next week!
Okay, the Luke and Reid thing is starting to slow to a glacial pace and I’m getting bored.
Today, Luke took Noah out for a little outing by the lake and they had a talk. Said Luke: “I never thought I was ever going to fall in love ever until I met you … I couldn’t imagine you not in my life and I couldn’t see myself with anyone but you.”
“Then the accident happened and you started pushing me away …It hurt me and it changed me more than I think you know. … When you decided that you couldn’t be all in with me, I forced myself to let you go. But the thing is, I couldn’t totally let you go and I always thought that we’d find a way back to each other. … But … you can’t hold on to an idea forever.”
Meanwhile, Reid is agonizing over Luke, even talking to himself: “What was I thinking? As if dinners for two and walks in the park are my thing.”
Back to Luke and Noah’s heart-to-heart. It’s interrupted when Noah suddenly gets a splitting headache – such a soap thing to do.
Back at the hospital, Lily decides to butt in and give Reid a fair warning to be careful with Luke then Noah tells Reid the one thing he knows for sure is he loves Luke as much as he ever did.
Reid looks like he is about to explode about 10 times in this episode!
Then we get Noah pushing Luke away again and MY head is about to explode.
I’ve watched Chely Wright’s appearance on The Oprah Show several times because it is so rich and so powerful.
With her honesty and hard-earned strong sense of self, Chely could end up becoming one of the most effective activists in the LGBT movement. She’s articulate, emotionally intelligent, and might be able to reach a lot of people out there who are not being reached.
I think she is most magnificent and a gift to us all.
She talked to Oprah about growing up and realizing she was a lesbian: “I was told in church that there were building blocks of sin and evildoing, and these words were strung together to scare me—drunkard, thief, adulterer, homosexual. I thought, ‘That’s what I am,’” she says. “I prayed every day for God to change me. And it was: ‘Dear God, please don’t let me be gay. I promise to be a good person.’ I said that prayer every day, multiple times a day.”
Despite her professional success, Chely was haunted by her closely guarded secret. “I was never able to fully absorb the joy of my accomplishment. With each rung of the ladder I climbed, people wanted to know more,” she says. “Had you told me in 2000, had you said, ‘You’re going to be the first chart-topping country music singer to step forward and acknowledge her homosexuality,’ I would have laughed in your face. I knew it would ruin my career.”
At one point, she began dating fellow country singer Brad Paisley even though she knew she could never be satisfied: “Doing anything with someone you shouldn’t be doing something with—having sex with him, kissing on him, going into a movie and holding hands with a man when you’re a lesbian—feels wrong,” she said. “When you want to be with someone else, it’s wrong. I wronged him.”
When people hide from their truth, Chely points out that they wreak havoc on themselves and everyone around them. “I damaged [Brad], and I hope he forgives me,” she says. “I hope this fills in some emotional gaps for him. I don’t assume he’s pining over how Chely Wright hurt his feelings a few years ago. I’m assuming he’s happy and moved on, but I would welcome any chance [to talk to him].”
When a decade-plus relationship with a woman ended in 2006, a heartbroken Chely began to have a breakdown and ended up putting a gun to her mouth: “I couldn’t find a way to get the pieces of my life to fit, and [I thought]: ‘I’m trapped. I can’t come out because there’s never been an openly gay country music singer,”’ she says. “I decided on that night I was done. I was tired. I couldn’t do it anymore. I said a prayer to God to forgive me for what I was about to do, and I began to cry.”
“There was not a cataclysmic event that had led me to that night,” she added. “It was layers of a lifetime of hiding and lying. … [I thought], ‘I’m a successful country music singer, and I’m a lesbian.’ Those two things had historically never co-existed, and I had painted myself into this corner.”
Once she decided to live, Chely knew she had to come out to her family. She recalled calling her father, Stan, who had said “Chel, what have I done? Are you mad at me? Is there something wrong? Why aren’t we close?’”
She told him her truth: “[I said]: ‘I have to tell you something I’ve needed to tell you my whole life. I’ve been afraid, though, to tell you because I’m afraid you won’t love me, and I’m afraid you’ll be ashamed of me. … I’m gay.’”
Stan was in the Oprah audience and shared his reaction and feelings now: “I grabbed her, and I put my arms around her. I told her it was all right. It would be fine. … I knew her heart. I knew her mind. I knew her soul. You hear a lot of times unconditional love. Well, in this old man’s world, it’s true.”
“The simplest thing I can tell anyone is, do not close the door,” Stan says. “Open the heart.”
In addition to her father’s comments, this quote is my favorite from the interview from Chely on taking her power back by coming out: “I’ve been whispered about in country music for a long time. … The word ‘lesbian’ has been used as an insult,” she says. “[Now], you can say I’m ugly. You can say my songs are stupid, but I won’t allow the word ‘lesbian’ to be used as an insult toward me anymore.”
She indeed wants to make a difference in the lives of other people and God bless her for it: “Young people in every corner of America are being told by their churches, and their parents are echoing what the churches are telling them, that they are damaged goods. And they are not,” she says. “I have to stand up. I’m uniquely positioned in my culture of country music. … Country fans know me. They already think I’m a heck of a gal, a patriot, a good girl, and I am a lesbian. I have been the whole time.”
Dammit Noah. We had already written him off as hopelessly not worthy of Luke as we root for Luke and Reid to begin a torrid affair.
Well, in the latest installment of As the World Turns which aired on Wednesday, Noah (Jake Silbermann) is as sweet as he’s ever been and tells Luke he loves him. He had been so awful to Luke since losing his sight bit I’m almost ready to forgive him!
Noah says he thinks he loves Luke as much as he ever did, if not more.
“I really hurt him when I pushed him away before,” Noah tells a friend.
Anyway, Noah is still clueless about the attraction between Luke and Reid and thinks they are still at odds. He asks Luke to keep his distance from Reid so nothing interferes with the care he gets from his doctor.
Meanwhile, Luke hates keeping things from Noah but Reid advises he do so because knowing about Luke and Reid could prevent Noah from recovering: “Don’t try and turn him into your father confessor. He doesn’t need that right now. … What he needs is for you to be there and help him heal. And if that means lying your butt off, you damned well better.”
Annie Potts was perfection for all seven seasons of Designing Women as Mary Jo Shively, a divorced woman who is the creative brains behind the design business that the show revolves around.
This is one of her most memorable scenes in which she utters the line: “These things are POWER!”
Mary Jo is a beautiful gal, but she is not near as blessed in the boob department as Suzanne or Charlene.
So when a relative dies and leaves her some money, she considers breast enlargement surgery. She’s not sure how big she wants to go so tries out a few different sizes and goes out on the town with Julia (Dixie Carter) to gauge the reaction.
This scene in the bar is an absolute hoot!
Here is a LINK to an earlier scene in the episode that sets this up. I am unable to embad it. Enjoy!