The Evolution of Prayers for Bobby

From big screen to Lifetime, Susan Sarandon to Sigourney Weaver, it's taken 12 years to bring Prayers for Bobby, the story of homophobe-turned-activist Mary Griffith, to life.

BY Dale Hrabi

January 23 2009 1:00 AM ET

PRAYERS FOR BOBBY SIGOURNEY WEAVER MARCHING WITH PFLAG (BEN MARK HOLZBERG/LIFETIME TV) | ADVCOATE.COM
 

How was Sigourney Weaver different from some of the
other actresses you’d talked to over the years?
Dan: She was more emotionally invested right
from the start. Before she committed, she wanted to meet
Mary Griffith to make sure that Mary was OK with her
playing the role. So we flew up to the Griffith home
in Walnut Creek [near San Francisco] to meet Mary, and
after we’d all talked, Sigourney and I went up to
Bobby’s bedroom and sat on the bed, and she
turned to me and said, "We have a huge responsibility
to get this right.”

Is this project a conscious effort on the
network’s part to redefine the “Lifetime
Movie,” which in some circles is shorthand
for cheesy Meredith Baxter-Birney melodramas?
David: I think so, yes. Lifetime really wanted
to do some bolder material and reach out to a significant
star and they made it clear that they would make that
work economically. And for us, of course, going with
Lifetime meant that the movie would be seen by
millions of people…the audience who really needs to
see this movie, the other mothers out there, the other
Bobbys out there.

Do you feel the movie is even more necessary in the
wake of Proposition 8?
Dan: Twelve years ago, none of us could have
predicted the timing. We would have been even luckier if the
movie had aired at the end of October. Who knows? It
might have helped change the tally of the votes.

Tags: television

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