Steven Weber Plays the Political Card

Actor Steven Weber one-ups even Larry Craig and J. Edgar Hoover (at least the version depicted in Oliver Stone’s JFK) as a sinister-and-sleazy-beneath-the-surface politician in writer-director Luke Eberl’s drama Choose Connor.

BY Lawrence Ferber

October 13 2008 12:00 AM ET

Oh, those wacky,
closeted, deviant politicians. Actor Steven Weber
one-ups even Larry Craig and J. Edgar Hoover (at least the
version depicted in Oliver Stone’s JFK)
as a sinister-and-sleazy-beneath-the-surface
politician in writer-director Luke Eberl’s
drama Choose Connor. Weber plays Lawrence
Connor, a charismatic congressman who drafts a 15-year-old
high achiever, Owen (Alex Linz), as his “youth
campaign spokesman.” As Owen becomes more
entrenched within Connor’s inner circle, he learns
that Connor’s attractive twink of a nephew,
Caleb (Escher Holloway), is being used in sordid,
sexual ways.

The New York-born
Weber -- who famously played the neurotic gay title
character in 1995’s Jeffrey and lists
TV’s Wings and Brothers &
Sisters
 (his character returns this season) among
his credits -- is pretty obsessed with politics
himself, and regularly rails against the GOP with
zingy panache on his Huffington
Post blog
. Sarah Palin is a frequent target of
his ire of late: “Dan Quayle looks like Alistair
Cooke compared to this most current excuse for a
Republican construct,” he wrote October 3.

We had a chat
with Weber about Choose Connor, closeted
Republicans, “Miss Half-Baked Alaska,” and
what Jeffrey might be up to today.

Advocate.com:How did you get involved with Choose Connor and
its 22-year-old director, Luke Eberl?
Steven Weber: They came to me. I was
dumbfounded at how young he was, and even more than that,
how young he looked. But then I was quite struck by
how much we had in common, how much we both love film
and how serious, complex, and earnest he was to tell
this story.

Connor pimps out his own nephew to
“supporters” -- there’s an
Eyes Wide Shut-esque scene during which
Owen catches a bunch of men having their way with Caleb
in a room -- and one can surmise there is a sexual
relationship to boot. Is there actual love between
Connor and Caleb, or is he just using him?
I feel like it’s the latter. I
don’t know if Connor’s really capable of
an emotional attachment to anything except himself and his
ambition. I don’t even know how much Connor
indulges in that [sexual] behavior himself. I
don’t know if he can. We never really see him in the
movie doing anything [sexual with Caleb], which is
good. It leaves so much to your imagination, which
makes it more insidious to me.”

That said, would Escher make a pretty good boy to
send out and “drum up support”?
I think that if you were just to look at him as
just a brand. he’s quite good. Appealing to an
important demographic I would want to reach out to.

Which real-life closeted Republican would you most
liken Connor to?
The obvious one would be a guy like Larry Craig,
but more than anything else Connor is, rather than a
sexual predator, an utter opportunist and has little
else to recommend him aside from that. He has a good deal of
intellectual capability, but he’s corrupted; his soul
is gone. He’s not as bad and ridiculous as Tom
DeLay. He’s a little more subtle in his
criminality. 

Tags: film

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