Milk Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black Spills

The Bay Area Reporter interviews Dustin Lance Black who wrote the script for Milk, the Gus van Sant biopic about the slain civil rights supervisor, who, if you’re a regular reader here, you’ve already heard much about.

LbSays Black: “When I was in high school, we moved from Texas to Salinas, California. My stepdad had been transferred to Fort Ord. I started getting into theatre and acting, working at The Western Stage down in the Salinas-Monterey area, coming up [to San Francisco] for TV auditions, and getting to know, for the first time in my life, out gay men. It was the late 80s, early 90s, it wasn’t a hopeful time in San Francisco. The one story of hope you did hear was about Harvey Milk, this one man who accomplished so much in a short period of time, and was really the charismatic leader that people were looking for when I was here. In college, when I first saw a copy of the documentary [The Times of Harvey Milk], I remember just breaking down into tears. I thought, ‘I just want to do something with this, why hasn’t someone done something with this?’…Texas kept me very quiet. I became intensely shy, I had thoughts of suicide. I was a pretty dark kid, because I had an acute awareness of my sexuality, and was absolutely convinced that I was wrong. In his Hope Speech, Harvey Milk says, ‘There’s that kid in San Antonio, and he heard tonight that a gay man was elected to public office, and that will give him hope.’ And when I first heard that speech, it really did that. It really, really gave me hope, for the first time.”

Much more at the Reporter.

How He Got Milk [bay area reporter]

Josh Brolin on Tackling the Role of Milk Assassin Dan White [tr]
James Franco Hangs on to Milk Mustache [tr]
Milk in Action on Castro Street [tr]
Sean Penn and James Franco as Lovers in Milk [tr]
Milk: The Transformation of Castro Street [tr]