An Early Frost, the first-ever movie about AIDS (broadcast on NBC in November, 1985, at a time when there were no gays portrayed on TV) starring Aidan Quinn (and featuring Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands, Terry O’Quinn, and John Glover), is out this week for the first time on DVD, and AfterElton talks to Glover, whose flamboyantly homosexual character Victor dies in the film.
AE notes that while the film’s writers Dan Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk) fought a multitude of battles to get the movie made, they didn’t receive a single memo from the studio about the character of Victor. Why? “In the DVD commentary, Lipman and Cowen reveal that when they asked why, in two years and fourteen drafts they had never received one memo about Victor, they were told it was because he dies, so he was seen as getting what he deserved.”
It’s a shame that in plenty of areas in America, that perspective remains virtually unchanged.
AfterElton also speaks with Glover about how he felt star Aidan Quinn’s career was affected by taking on such a controversial role: “Only positively, that’s all I could guess. It was such a brilliant performance, and such a great role. It showed what a great actor he is.”
And still today, Quinn gushes about the film in the DVD commentary: “People always ask me, ‘Gosh, wasn’t that a brave choice for you to do that.’ No! It wasn’t at all. To me, it wasn’t brave because it was something I was invested in and cared about. Number two, it was with phenomenal actors who I had always loved. And three, it was a beautiful script and it was a great part, and I was well paid! What’s so brave? There’s nothing brave about it!”
An Early Frost [amazon]
An Early Frost: The Landmark Gay Film Comes Out on DVD [afterelton]