Stuart Ross: Hollywood Marriage
BY Brandon Voss
May 08 2011 8:30 AM ET
Have you been met with any hesitation from actors or their publicists who are afraid to be associated with a gay benefit?
Yeah, there’s been a lot of that. We only hear it from the casting director, so we never hear, “I don’t want to kiss somebody on stage,” but there have been actors who just aren’t interested. For some reason, a lot of the more famous gay actors have not responded very favorably to us — “he’s busy, she’s busy” — but we have had amazing gay actors like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Benjamin Hickey, and Peter Paige participate. We try to get a good mix of openly gay talent and straight allies. But gay or straight, everyone we’ve gotten to participate has been fantastic.
Not only might they need to kiss other men, male actors might also have to deliver lines like “I love cock” in Neil LaBute’s contribution, Strange Fruit.
Oh, our actors just love that line, and you should hear some of the interpretations we’ve gotten. Some guys really get into it. And the kisses have never a problem. Well, they always end up sincere in performance, but sometimes actors do get a little shy and goof on it a little in rehearsal. Actually, straight actors are sometimes bolder than gay actors.
Which actors are on your wish list to do the show?
Daniel Craig and Meryl Streep. I also love Daniel Sunjata. And Denis Leary is someone who would really make people take notice, and he would just sound amazing doing these plays, especially the Neil LaBute play. Who else? Taye Diggs. Sean Connery. Samuel L. Jackson. Vin Diesel. Honestly, the butcher, the better — and the sweeter, as I’ve found.
Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays opens May 9 at the Renberg Theatre in the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center in the Village at Ed Gould Plaza. For more info, visit standingonceremony.net.