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Towleroad TV Oscars Exclusive: A SINGLE MAN Actors Colin Firth & Julianne Moore On Gay Marriage

Not long ago Towleroad TV correspondents Josh Helmin and Josh Koll of Josh & Josh Are Rich and Famous sat down with A SINGLE MAN co-stars Colin Firth (nominated for Best Actor for his role) and four-time Academy Award-nominee Julianne Moore to talk about their critically well-received film (the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford) and their thoughts on the continuing gay marriage debate.


Jonathan, Just Because

Jonathan

In mid-March, Towleroad correspondents Josh Helmin and Josh Koll (who you may also know from their own blog Josh & Josh are Rich and Famous) were featured in the New York Times along with their friends Kirsten Major and Adam Lehman because of a recession-era undertaking made possible by the fact that Josh and Josh had both recently been laid off from their jobs and Major and Lehman had time on their hands as well. Their goal was to simply create something.

Said Koll to the NYT: "Even if it doesn’t go anywhere, the major prize of this film is that we did it and now we know we can. Unemployment gave that to me."

The undertaking (created with a budget of, well, nothing) is a short sweet film called Jonathan, Just Because which I'm happy to present to you here this afternoon.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Towleroad TV: Spotlight on Jennifer Hudson

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Towleroad TV correspondents Josh Helmin and Josh Koll recently sat down for a brief chat with Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, who released her self-titled debut album last week.

Hudson talked about an interview last year in which her remarks about gay marriage were misconstrued: "A lot of times you do interviews and everybody's not a fan. They want to turn things around and display you in a certain way. It broke my heart because I don't feel that way at all. It hurt to see me being misrepresented in that way."

Asked if she'd be there to support one of her gay friends at a marriage in California, Hudson replied: "I'll be singin!"

She also talks about whether she'll be making a return for the Sex and the City sequel.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously on TowleroadTV
Towleroad TV: Augusten Burroughs at Home in Massachusetts [tr]
Mario Lopez on A Chorus Line, His New Book, and Gay Fans [tr]
Christopher Rice on Death Threats and His New Thriller Blind Fall [tr]
You can find Josh & Josh at Josh & Josh are Rich and Famous.

Continue reading "Towleroad TV: Spotlight on Jennifer Hudson" »


Inside Scoop: Tom Dolby Dishes About His New Book, The Sixth Form

GuestbloggerThis week Towleroad correspondents Josh and Josh caught up with noted author Tom Dolby as he began the book tour for his second novel, The Sixth Form. Already a successful author after his debut novel, 2005’s The Trouble Boy, which focused on the coming of age of a twenty-something gay man in Manhattan, Dolby’s second book follows the story of two friends, Ethan and Todd—one straight and the other discovering he may be gay—as the duo navigates the halls and traditions of their final year of boarding school. But all bets are off when Hannah, an alluring and mysterious teacher, is thrown into the mix.

Tom_dolby_author_photoTodd and Ethan have quite a few adventures while at Berkley School. Were your years at Hotchkiss as adventurous as theirs?

Some of the stuff that happens in the book is inspired by [my years at boarding school], in terms of rituals and rhythms of what happens in the course of a school year, like the carnations at Valentine’s Day, dances, and the importance of long winter weekends. I definitely had intense crushes, too, but I never acted on any of them.

And, of course, the student-teacher relationship is fictional, but that kind of thing does happen. It’s pretty rare, but it happens. You have these schools out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes there’s not a big age difference between a teacher and the kids, who are sometimes sexually precocious. A good teacher will set boundaries—but Hannah is an example of a teacher who is not setting boundaries.

Sixth_form_tom_dolbyThe Sixth Form has a darker tone and plot than The Trouble Boy. Are we going to be seeing a darker Tom Dolby in the future?

After I finished The Sixth Form I realized, “Wow, I’ve written a pretty dark book” and I wanted to write something that was maybe dark, but funny dark. There’s unexpected humor in The Sixth Form, but it does have its dark and serious moments.

The book I’m working on now is much lighter and funnier. It’s set in California and focuses on a family. There has been this tangential theme in my past books with characters going home to visit their families and I realized I really liked writing those scenes. There is a lot of humor to be mined from those situations. I’m still very much in the beginning stages of that project—maybe on page 100 at this point.

We noted that The Sixth Form is dedicated to Drew. Who’s Drew?

Drew is my boyfriend. This summer, as the deadline was approaching to submit the final draft [of The Sixth Form], I made some drastic revisions and he was just amazing—I think he read four different drafts in a week. And of course that’s not the only reason it’s dedicated to him, but it absolutely would not have been the same book without his help. When doing book tours you’re surrounded by people, but they’re strangers, and so it’s nice to have someone at the end of the evening to ask how it went. It’s really nice to do [a book tour] with a boyfriend or partner.

See Tom Dolby read from The Sixth Form at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 11, at Barnes & Noble Chelsea, 675 Sixth Avenue, New York.

Want to win an autographed copy of The Sixth Form? Correctly answer the trivia question after the jump and it could be yours!

Continue reading "Inside Scoop: Tom Dolby Dishes About His New Book, The Sixth Form" »


An Interview with Chris Garneau, Indie Music's New Gay Star

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Chris Garneau photographed by Josh Koll in New York City

Guestblogger_2Last week Towleroad correspondents Josh Helmin and Josh Koll sat down with twenty-four-year-old singer and songwriter Chris Garneau to talk about his debut album, Music for Tourists. The indie record, with Garneau's softly sung vocals and heartrending lyrics, has garnered praise from mainstream media including The Advocate and National Public Radio, with word also spreading like wildfire throughout the blogosphere. Originally from Boston, and raised for a few years in Paris during his childhood, Garneau has settled into the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he's at work on a follow-up album and preparing for a nationwide tour that begins on May 12.

How did your debut album, "Music For Tourists," come about?

Musicfortourists Duncan Sheik produced it. I was in the first workshops of Spring Awakening [for which Duncan wrote the music] when it was being written. I was 16 when they first started it. I did numerous productions of it with the same team that is still working on it now. They were like, "Just sing this song, and that song, but don't say a word." I was so awkward and I hated acting. Anyway, that's how I met Duncan. I did these silly recordings in high school at a studio and I gave them to Duncan, and he said, "I'm going to produce your record some day." When I moved back to New York five years ago, we started working on it at his studio. It was a long process. He's a really busy guy, so there was a lot of down time. We started when I was about 21, three years ago.

Originally it was going to be really big and really produced, but the longer the process went on, the more eager I was to complete it, and we didn't really have any money going into it. We were recording everything on our own time, and he was engineering it at the studio in Tribeca. I had the studio to myself for a month, so I would just go in and set up, which I had no idea how to do. I was recording by myself. Four of the songs are just one take.

Do you read your reviews?

I do. I read all of them. I should probably stop. [laughter] It's really hard in the beginning to not do that. I don't know who would do that with their first album, to just be like, "I don't read them." I have to remember half the time that there are people writing to make a point, or to have people just read their reviews. There are writers who sometimes write really drastic reviews, really good or really bad, so it sticks out and people notice it. I understand that that's a factor. I also try and consider that there are writers who truly care about music and really know music, probably a lot more than I know, and there are things I can learn from some reviews. It's a first record, and I was young when I wrote the songs. I don't expect everyone to love it.

Chris_garneau_photographed_by_josh_While you were recording the album were you thinking about if you were going to be an openly gay artist?

Absolutely Kosher [the record company] asked me "How do you want to deal with press and publicity for being gay? Do you want it to be not mentioned at all, do you want to be out if people ask, do you want to be really forthright?" At that point I wasn't exactly sure. My feeling then was that I didn't want to be the gay piano-playing "fagitor" from Williamsburg who has a new album, "Music for Tourists." If anybody asks, or if gay press wants to run this feature or that, I thought, "Let's do it." I don't feel terribly political. I'm making music and I happen to be gay, and that's what's happening. If you want to hear about it, fine, and if you don't, that's fine, too.

So everybody's going to want to know: Are you single?

Why does everybody ask me that? That's so weird. [laughing, looking embarrassed] My feeling would be like, if I saw someone cute in a magazine or wherever, I wouldn't even care if they were single or not. I'd just be like, "How can I interfere? Who are they in a relationship with, and how can I fuck it up?" [laughter, then a pause] I am dating someone right now. He's a photographer. He just gave me a Polaroid camera -- he mainly does Polaroids -- and he's teaching me how to use it. It has a real lens so you can focus. It's a for real camera, not just a twenty dollar one you can get at a pharmacy.

Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?

When I was really young, and started playing piano, I thought I would want to play music, but I didn't know in what form. When I was in high school I started thinking about what I wanted to do, and it was music. As soon as I started writing music, that's what I knew I wanted to do.

How's the second album coming?

It's pretty much all tracked. There are a lot of big vocals. There's a big choir on one song. There are a lot of big string arrangements, percussion, and horn arrangements. There are a lot of things taken from "Tourists" stylistically, but almost simplified in a way. It's just smarter. It's better. I'm older.

For more about Chris Garneau and his touring schedule, or to listen to tracks from his new album, check out his website and MySpace profile.

Music for Tourists [iTunes]


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