Tony Kushner Hub

Breaking Down LGBT-Themed Oscar Nominations: GRAPHIC


With the Oscars almost upon us, the folks at farsite foreast, where Nate Silver's statistical formulas are applied to the entertainment world, have broken down LGBT-related Oscar, SAG and Golden Globe wins and nominations from years past.

A sample of their analysis:

In the last ten years, in particular, there are 13 identifiable LGBT roles that have received Oscar nominations, and quite a few more who have picked up SAG and Golden Globe nods. Nominees range from the iconic (winners Sean Penn as Harvey Milk and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote) to the ordinary (Christopher Plummer in Beginners and Annette Bening in the Kids Are All Right).

While we seem to celebrate the straight actor or actress taking on the daring challenge to play gay, consider that we have no openly gay actors or actresses who have won an Oscar, and few have even been nominated.

We should include a few caveats. Gay actor John Gielgud Won for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for Arthur and he was nominated in 1964 as well. Despite a gay scandal in the British tabloids 1953, Gielgud’s sexual orientation was not well-known or publicized in Hollywood. Recent news-maker Jodie Foster has twice won and four times been nominated for an Oscar. But, until last week’s Golden Globes, Foster’s identification as a Lesbian was Hollywood’s worst kept secret. She, in fact, made this into a punch line in her speech.

Sir Ian Murray McKellen has long been out and proud. But, despite multiple Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, five Emmy Award nominations, and two Academy Award nominations, Sir Ian has never taken home the Oscar.

This year's LGBT-related nominations are outside the "Big 5" realm: Tony Kushner is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Lincoln and ParaNorman is up in the Best Animated Feature category, making the first animated movie to feature an openly gay character and be recognized by the Academy.

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Tony Kushner, Husband Praise Obama's 'Lincolnian' Endorsement of Marriage Equality at White House Screening

As you probably know, Steven Spielberg's Tony Kushner-penned Lincoln opens today, and it opened last night at a special screening for Obama at the White House, the Daily Beast reports:

Lincoln_obamaKushner joined moderator Tina Brown on a summit panel about the making of the film, saying he thought Obama “really liked it." The president's entourage also "seemed to like it," he said. "They all stood up.” Then he joked, “Maybe they do that every time.” Clearly having an unusual evening, he added with a laugh, as if to explain his somewhat harried state, “I just literally walked out of the White House. I couldn't find the limo.”

Kushner, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play Angels in America, said he wrote three drafts of the Lincoln script, which ultimately zoomed in on the president’s life during the passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. The film is based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The film's subject resonated with Kushner and his husband (EW editor Mark Harris) in a personal way:

Kushner said he talked personally with Obama about the film on Thursday night and that the president “really knows his Lincoln.”

Kushner also said he felt that Obama’s decision to express support for gay marriage was “very Lincolnian.” He said, “I think it was handled with absolute strategic and moral perfection. It arrived at exactly the right moment. As my husband said to him tonight, it was a life-changing moment when the president of the U.S. said that.”

Watch Tony Kushner Explain Why Lincoln Isn't Gay In 'Lincoln': VIDEO [tlrd]

Watch Tony Kushner Explain Why Lincoln Isn't Gay In 'Lincoln': VIDEO


Some are disappointed that Tony Kushner didn't address rumors that Abraham Lincoln was gay in the screenplay for the new movie Lincoln. While Kushner is well aware of the rumors, and in fact believes there's some credence to them, he felt the movie should instead focus on a "specific moment" in time.

"I don't feel that there was any evidence at this particular moment that Lincoln was having sex with anybody," Kushner tells Tom O'Neil in the video AFTER THE JUMP. "He seems to have not slept and taken no time off during this period …. I don't say in my movie whether the Lincoln character was gay or straight. You can ask Daniel (Day-Lewis) what he was playing, but it did not seem to me a thing to make a movie about now."

As for the Lincoln was gay rumors, Kushner said, "I personally believe that there is some reason to speculate that Lincoln might have been bisexual or gay." One of the reasons is that Lincoln shared a bed with his bodyguard, prompting gossip that the men were involved. But even if Lincoln was indeed playing for the other team, Kushner has no doubt that he and wife Mary Todd were deeply in love.

"These two people loved each other," said Kushner. "It wouldn't be the first time that a gay man and a straight woman hooked up and had a great marriage. But I don't know. I really don't know."

Watch Kushner and O'Neill discuss Lincoln's sexuality and the new movie AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Watch Tony Kushner Explain Why Lincoln Isn't Gay In 'Lincoln': VIDEO" »

Watch The 'Lincoln' Trailer That Ran After The Debate: VIDEO


Clearly hoping to intrigue some politics and history buffs, Disney last night aired another extended trailer for its forthcoming Steven Spielberg-directed biopic Lincoln. Some, like MovieLine's Frank DiGiacomo, seem to think the studio wanted viewers to equate Lincoln and Obama.

"[The clip] not-so-subtly established Lincoln and Obama as kindred spirits," he wrote, highlighting the similarity in lines uttered by both Lincoln, played in the Tony Kushner-penned flick by Daniel Day-Lewis, and President Obama. In the clip, Lincoln declares, "I am the President of the United States of America...clothed in immense power," while Obama at the Democratic National Convention insisted, "Times have changed, and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the President."

Political divining aside, the trailer offers us the clearest view yet of what this movie will be all about: war-time action, backroom scheming and lots of Lincoln being anguished. Oh, and there's a scene of Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln griping about how Lincoln is locked into a marriage of convenience.

Could this be an allusion to rumors that Lincoln preferred the company of men? Watch the trailer AFTER THE JUMP and judge for yourself.

Continue reading "Watch The 'Lincoln' Trailer That Ran After The Debate: VIDEO" »

The Full Trailer for Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' is Here: VIDEO


It's the  other Lincoln movie of the year — the one in which he isn't a vampire hunter — and damn if Daniel Day-Lewis isn't the spitting image, but will there ever be a movie that touches on Lincoln's rumored homosexuality? We'll see.

If Tony Kushner won't touch it, who will?

Screenplay by Kushner based partly on the book A Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the film also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, James Spader, David Strathairn, Sally Field, and John Hawkes.

Watch the full trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

In 2004, C.A. Tripp published a controversial book suggesting Lincoln was gay, which I covered at the time of its publication:

According to the NYT review, among Tripp's assertions are that Lincoln had a "youthful affair" of four years with Joshua Speed, had a homosexual relationship with bodyguard David V. Derickson, shared a bed with a man named Billy Greene who told Lincoln's law partner that the president's thighs "were as perfect as a human being Could be," and "wooed" fellow lawyer Henry C. Whitney "to close intimacy and familiarity."

The book argues that it was Lincoln's homosexuality that led to his volatile relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln and describes an account by bodyguard Derickson's commanding officer: "Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the president's confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln's absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him and — it is said — making use of his Excellency's night-shirts!"

But that will likely be fodder for another movie...

Continue reading "The Full Trailer for Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' is Here: VIDEO" »

Here's the Teaser for Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln': VIDEO


Here's the teaser from Steven Spielberg's Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis, narrated by the black Union soldier seen walking away in the clip. The clip premiered in a Google+ hangout today with the full trailer premiering this Thursday.

Written by Tony Kushner and based partly on the book A Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the film also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, James Spader, David Strathairn, Sally Field, and John Hawkes.


Continue reading "Here's the Teaser for Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln': VIDEO" »


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