Adam Shankman Keeps Rocking Steady
BY Jeremy Kinser
June 17 2012 2:54 PM ET
You grew up in L.A. and your father worked in the music industry. What are your memories of that period?
I remember being on the tour bus with X. I remember Barry White and Sister Sledge having dinner at our house. I remember Paul Williams taking me to see Bugsy Malone. I remember A Taste of Honey sitting in our living room. I remember watching David Foster produce an album for Alice Cooper that was about being in an insane asylum. I remember going with David to watch Barbra Streisand record “Somewhere.” It was a fantasy world.
Last fall you received Outfest’s Visionary award. Do you feel a responsibility to create positive LGBT images?
What I feel is the need to not be irresponsible. I feel a responsibility to tell the truth and the truth is that not all gay guys are great. Not all straight guys are great and not all of them are bad. I just want to tell stories correctly. My movies do have a very gay sensibility to them anyway. I have a gay couple in a totally positive, healthy relationship. In HairsprayI have Chris Walken and John Travolta in a happy marriage. I don’t know how much better I can do than this. At some point I would like to tell a story that exposes the difficulty of being in a gay relationship. All I can do is tell honest stories about human behavior.
You recently hosted a screening of Rock of Ages as a benefit for The Trevor Project. How did that go?
It was great. The Trevor Project is so near and dear to my heart. It’s such an important organization. Dealing with suicide prevention, we just have to stop with the shame. At least on a school level we can do something. We can’t go into homes and make parents be better parents and have them put restrictions on their kids’ behavior, but we can do it in the schools. These kids who are feeling so alone and so outcast really need someone to talk to so it’s an important organization. What was really great about the screening is a lot of people not involved with the organization showed up just to see the movie and then they got educated about Trevor Project. It was great and very moving and I cried.
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