Nothing But the Truth



ANTHONY RUIVIVAR 2 X390 | ADVOCATE.COMYou’ve appeared in a couple of pretty prominent gay films. High Art is a huge film for lesbian audiences, and it was the start of a big career for Lisa Cholodenko. What do you remember most about that project and working with her?
Lisa and Dolly Hall [producer], they’re the best. I lived in New York for 13 years. I just recently moved out to L.A. They’re just groundbreaking, continually producing stuff. I remember that it was a shoestring budget; we shot the majority of it in this decrepit warehouse in Brooklyn. But they did some really cool stuff. I just felt at the time that we were shooting something really edgy and raw, and I haven’t had that feeling in a really long time. I think things have since taken on that gritty look and feel, but at the time, that’s really the heyday of independent films. The term independent film — who knows what that category is anymore. But at that time, that was the real deal. I still keep in touch with them — it’s one of those experiences where I may not talk to them for two years, but then I’ll see them and pick up right where we left off.

Congratulations also on your play. Tell me about Safe.

Safe is great. I wrote Safe in New York post-9/11. It’s about five people trapped in a bank vault in the aftermath of a robbery, playing off of this whole idea of what happens when five people are left to wonder whether they’ve been taken hostage, if they’re running out of air. I was motivated by the Stanford Prison Experiment, where you just see the human psyche and where that will take a group of five people who are trapped. It’s exciting. Samuel French ended up buying it and publishing it. I’ve been really happy because it’s had a life of its own. People have done it in L.A., Chicago, Vancouver. It’s done really well. Me and the cowriter are also working on a screenplay in our off time. I started in theater. The is a part of my life. Even though I do TV and film, it’s in my blood.

Tags: television