Love Is All Around
BY Jeremy Kinser
July 15 2010 3:10 PM ET
Nicholas, how did J.C.'s being a gay screenwriter and filmmaker inform the film and your performance?
Downs: I found that communication with a gay writer-director was very easy. I'm not sure if it was because we both were gay or not, or if we were just on the same wavelength as people. I think the experience of working on a gay set with gay filmmakers was very easy and fun because we all wanted the same thing. Our universal goal was to make a great, honest, and entertaining film that reflected our lifestyles in a positive way.
What was the first gay character you remember seeing in a film and what was your reaction?
Downs: There are two that happened right at the same time. The first character I remember being affected by was Clive Owen in Bent, about two men who fall in love in a concentration camp. I found it to be a beautiful love story that happens in a devastating place. Amongst the horror of the setting and their situation, something magical happens. And Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters—what an amazing performance by what I consider to be one of our greatest actors.
Calciano: I remember being affected by the films Making Love, Maurice, My Beautiful Launderette, and Beautiful Thing. These stories inspired and touched me about what love meant and how two men could find each other. I remember being inspired to touch others the way those films touched me.
With the mainstream success of gay-themed films such as Brokeback Mountain and now The Kids Are All Right, why do you feel it’s still necessary to support LGBT film festivals?
Calciano: Our community is an incubator for wonderful and creative storytellers and filmmakers who sometimes never get distribution and whose work would never see the light of day. Gay film festivals are a fantastic opportunity for smaller films to be brought to the public.