Interview Hub




John Cameron Mitchell on Returning to 'Hedwig': INTERVIEW

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As we revealed earlier today, John Cameron Mitchell will debut in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on January 21, returning to the role he created Off-Broadway 15 years ago and immortalized in the cult-hit 2001 film. I spoke to Mitchell about stepping back into the show he penned with Stephen Trask, reuniting with fans and the rock-and-roll influences that shaped everyone's favorite trans glam rocker.

Naveen Kumar: What made you decide to do go into the show?

John Cameron Mitchell: Well you know, come on! The production is sitting there and I’ve certainly been thinking about it. I didn’t want to open the show, because it was just way too much pressure and time, and I could barely imagine doing it as long as the superman called Neil Patrick Harris. So, this manageable run, at a time when box office usually dips in January and before my film starts shooting next year, it was sort of a perfect slot. Certainly, it’s been in my mind that’ I’d do once more before I collapse into old age. [Laughs]

NK: So, it’s something you’ve thought about since the planning stages?

John Cameron Mitchell jcm344BW(med) by Nick VogelsonJCM: Years ago when we were thinking about Broadway, I didn’t really want to do a full run and thought maybe I could share it with someone—as they did with Fela!, because it was just so much singing and dancing. We reduced it to seven performances a week—I think Andrew Rannells did one week of eight—but no Hedwig has ever done eight and lived to tell the tale, because it’s way too hard. So, it was the enormity of it that gave me pause.

To be honest, it’s a great excuse to get in shape! [Laughs]

NK: How do you think it will be different for you this time?

JCM: Physically it will be much harder. But, the show is about finding a wholeness, and after 15 years, moving into middle age—you think about wholeness in a different way. In some ways, you are more whole, in other ways you’re more realistic about romance. The myth of ‘The Origin of Love,’ of finding a way to complete yourself—the young version of that is, ‘One person is going to complete me forever and heal the primal rift.’

And then you become a little wiser, even at the end of Hedwig, she’s alone in one way but there’s a kind of wholeness implied, because she’s been through these experiences. She’s the sum of everyone she’s met. You understand that more when you’re older, for better or worse. And, hopefully you’ve made the right choices as to who those people are. Everyone makes mistakes, and they make loving mistakes, which is really the best you can do. You make decisions based on whether you love or hate yourself.

A lot of queer people grew up feeling inferior, hating themselves from a young age, and have to heal themselves. And queer people include straight people who didn’t fit in in terms of gender, trans people, anyone. Your butch mom: She’s queer too, even if she’s straight. So, that’s the Hedwig community and it’s been built up from nothing. Of course there are Rocky Horror fans and rock fans mixed in, but we’re really different.

The people who love Hedwig love it forever, so there’s a responsibility to doing this right and being honest on stage. I’m excited about reuniting with those people—the last 15 years of their lives will inform the show as much as the last 15 years of my own, which has been very peripatetic, exciting and tragic and full. It’s going to be wiser, it’s going to be frayed. It’s not going to be as nervous as when I was a kid. I’m actually nervous about it now—but that ‘s more about how strenuous it is and keeping it together vocally and physically. It’s exciting; I need a kick in the ass right now, and there’s no bigger kick in the ass than Hedwig.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Homophobe Cardinal Raymond Burke Stirs Up Anti-Gay Hate In Ireland - VIDEO

Burke

Speaking at a conference on "the Catholic family" in Limerick, Ireland last month, anti-gay conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke said he would refuse holy communion to any politician who has been supportive of same-sex marriage, reports RTE.

Burke, who in the past has said that anti-gay discrimination is "perfectly good and just," was last month demoted as head of the Vatican's "supreme court" by Pope Francis.  

Unsurprisingly, Burke was not willing to discuss his demotion but he was more than happy to call on the pope to clarify his position of same-sex marriage and on divorced people.

Burke's comments follow a recent meeting of Catholic bishops that broached the subject of homosexuality but failed to reach consensus following a backlash from conservatives.

At the conference, Burke declined to comment on an Irish referendum on same-sex marriage expected in early 2015.

Watch a short report followed by a longer interview with the grumpy Burke here.


Interview: Daniel Ribeiro on His International Hit Film 'The Way He Looks'

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New student Gabriel (Fabio Audi) and his blind classmate Leo (Ghilherme Lobo) in "The Way He Looks"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Nine months after its debut at the Berlinale festival, the gay Brazilian hit THE WAY HE LOOKS (reviewed earlier at Towleroad) is still collecting the hearts of audiences everywhere it shows. And that's a lot of places now. After theatrical runs in France and Brazil it's currently playing in multiple US cities, in the UK and Hong Kong and soon expands to Taiwan and Sweden. This super charming coming-of-age movie charts the slow blooming romance between Leo, a blind student, and Gabriel, the new kid in town. Leo's best girl friend Giovana (Tess Amorim) doesn't react well. If you haven't seen it yet, seek it out. You'll have a new favorite to add to your Best Gay Movies list.

Daniel+Ribeiro+Film+Maker+Afternoon+Tea+bbFC0__pR3ClThose who've already fallen for its assured storytelling and sensitive acting might be surprised to hear that it's the debut feature of not only its young writer/director but also its principle trio of actors. 

I spoke with the 32 year old director Daniel Ribeiro this week about his breakout film which has been selected by Brazil to represent them at the Oscars. 

NR: You’ve been getting great reviews, awards, and audience response since the premiere. Is this the best year of your life or what?

DANIEL RIBEIRO: Probably, yeah! [Laughter] It’s been really exciting.

How did you feel when your film was selected to compete for the Foreign Language Film Oscar?

It was surprising. It's a very political choice for our country. Even if we don’t get selected, it is the film that is talked about now.  

Brazil -- we’re in an interesting place. We have a lot of visibility. People are talking about the issues. Young kids are more comfortable about being out. But we have a lot of problems with LGBT rights. We have a very conservative congress and we have a lot of homophobe congressmen staying stupid things.

That sounds familiar! 

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mykki Blanco Does Not Want To Be Called A 'Gay Rapper'

MykkiblancoYesterday Mykki Blanco spoke with Entertainment Weekly to promote his new album, Gay Dog Food, which drops today.

In the interview, Blanco describes the album as "gross," and he characterizes sound as "like it’s coming out of white noise." He compares the "crunchy" sound to an "air conditioning unit and a blender," and he says his "more pensive and feminine" energy is the yin to the yang of known acts with similar sounds — such as Death Grips, System of a Down, Limp Bizkit.

Blanco talks sexuality, too. On the one hand, being gay means his work is often given less credit. Blanco remembers a particular anecdote: 

To be honest I remember when my song “Haze.Boogie.Life” came on a friend—he didn’t say this to make me feel bad, it was just the f–king truth—he was like, you have one of the hottest f–king songs right now, but because you’re a gay rapper, people are trying to turn a blind eye toward it. If Lil Wayne or somebody came out with this song, it would be on the radio.

He also is annoyed by the labels he is given, saying he finds it "stupid" if a listener hears his new album and still wants to just put him in the simple box of "gay rapper."

Check out the artist's SoundCloud here.


Shia LaBeouf Strips Down and Bears It Up For 'Interview': PHOTOS

Shia

Shia LaBeouf shows off his buff physique for Interview Magazine's latest issue. He talks with Elvis Mitchell about his dark upbringing and, among other things, that now-infamous run-in with Alan Cumming:

LaBEOUF: ...Really I'm gaining control over myself again. I've given up so much control over myself to this industry. I felt like a slave who wasn't allowed to read. That's extreme, but it really is that debilitating when you have no say over it anymore. A lot of my actions in the public—and not all of them, because there have been some straight-up mistakes, like grabbing Alan Cumming's ass and getting arrested in New York at Cabaret.

MITCHELL: Was that about you walking into a theater and turning it into a performance space?

LaBEOUF: I was reading about [pioneering performance artist] Allan Kaprow happenings, and performance art of the '60s and '70s. So I thought, "All right, I know a little about that." We're all involved here. It's not just you on your stage. We're all in here and we're all part of this. I was wrong. The New York crowd didn't see it the same way, and I totally understand that. So I see the error of my ways. But that moment actually saved my life, forced me to look at myself. And when you're in a cell with a f--king mask on your face and a lead jacket, you can really see that some of your life choices were skewed wrong. And for some people it does take that. I still am a very stubborn, hardheaded person who is theatrical by nature. [...]

LaBEOUF:...That's partly what I've been doing for the last year, trying to reinvent myself, in very calculated behavior, and sometimes in very uncalculated behavior. 

MITCHELL: What would be an instance of the uncalculated behavior? 

LaBEOUF: Well, like, grabbing Alan Cumming's ass and being a drunken buffoon in New York. But the way it gets construed in the media, I have no control over. 

Check out a few more photos of LaBeouf baring his body (and bearing it up) for Interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also read the full interview HERE.

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Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO

Angley

A series of reports in The Akron Beacon Journal has detailed decades of abuse and cover-ups by Ohio televangelist Ernest Angley.

Angley, pastor at Grace Cathedral Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has been accused by former church members of performing genital "examinations," encouraging abortions and vasectomies, and arranging a marriage between a congregant and a convicted child molester.

Reporter Bob Dyer said that he had heard rumors about Angley for a long time but it wasn't until July when he received a recording of a church service in which Angley admits to examining the private parts of males that he began looking into the reports.

GraceDuring the July 13th service, addressing accusations that he is gay and has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley said “I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. ...

On the issue of urging men in his congregation to submit to vasectomies, Angley said:

“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years. They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all. And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.”

Kenny Montgomery, a former usher at the church, who like many others interviewed by Dyer who compared Angley with cult leader Jim Jones, said “that place is a textbook cult. I’m really scared for my friends and family that still go there.”

Becky Roadman, who quit the church in 2013, said that members are not allowed to have children, an accusation backed up by another former church member Angelia Oborne:

“My husband and I can’t have children because my husband had a vasectomy. We were looking at getting it reversed, but I’m 35 years old and ... may not be able to have children anymore. And that breaks my heart, because that choice was made for me, because of the brainwashing, the mind control. We weren’t allowed to have children. If you turned up pregnant, it’s almost as if you had sinned.”

Oborne added that many church members have been forced into having abortions.

Former member Greg Mulkey said that Angley doesn’t want his congregation to have children “because it would take their time and money away from [the church]. He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach.”

Mulkey added that male members were often forced to have vasectomies.

Watch Bob Dyer discuss the allegations against Angley, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

Continue reading "Televangelist Rocked By Accusations He Abused Male Church Members, Forced Vasectomies - VIDEO" »


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