Chu and Blossom was brought to me by my old chum Ryan O'Nan, with whom I acted in The Seagull at the Classic Stage Company in 2008.
He wrote it with Charles Chu, and Charles directed it with Gavin Kelly. The film stars Ryan, Charles, Mercedes Ruehl, Melanie Lynskey and many more. Here I am with my onscreen sister Annie Potts. We play Ryan's character Blossom's gay uncle and aunt. Can you tell by our costumes?
Any Day Now was written and directed by Travis Fine and is the story of a gay couple in the 1970s and their struggle to keep custody of a down syndrome child who they have become fathers to. It was shot in Los Angeles in May/June 2011.
Myself and Garret Dillahunt play the gay couple, and the amazing Isaac Levya is Marco. I was immediatley drawn to this incredible story. It really is a beautiful one and confounds your expectations and challenges your prejudices about what a family means. I was also keen to do the film because I am sad to say that things haven't really changed all that much for same sex couples in the arena of adoptions since the film was set. There are certain states where it is possible but in most it is still utterly impossible to do without going elsewhere, usually abroad, or through surrogacy. So the activist in me and the artist in me were both conjoined in perfect harmony in the character of Rudy Donatello.
The film is doing so incredibly well. Thus far it has won the audience award at the Tribeca, Provincetown, Seattle and Outfest festivals. I have won Best Actor awards from Seattle and Outfest.
It will be released on december 14th 2012
I did the voice over for this short film, directed by my old friend Gary Hawes
The artist and film-maker Carter asked me to play a role in his feature debut , opposite James Franco, Catherine Keener and Fallon Goodson.
Maladies is about a talented and successful actor (James) who retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister (Fallon) and his best friend (Catherine), we watch as their Maladies intertwine.
Photo by Pamela Berkovic
I voice Gutsy Smurf in The Smursf, a Scottish gruff-but-he-has-a-soft-side-too kinda guy. Well, not a guy. A smurf.
Almost in Love was written and directed by my friend Sam Neave. It\'s a film made up of two 45 minute shots. Yes, only two very long shots in the whole film! He had shown me the first part - set on a rooftop patio looking back at the NYC skyline - earlier in the year and I was really impressed, and so when he asked me to play a character in the second half of the movie, set a few years later, I jumped at the chance.
We shot in a beautiful house in the Hamptons, and the story picks up at the wedding party of one of the characters. It\'s late, everyone has been drinking and old buttons are freshly pressed.
What was amazing about doing this was that the end of the 45 minute take had to coincide with the sun coming up. So we had a really weird working schedule: getting up at 1am or so and getting ready, having a few drinks to get us in the proper party mood (!) and then shooting till daylight. Then we\'d stay up and have another few drinks before going to bed again. Most days I had to go back to NYC to shoot The Good Wife or have meetings, so I was pretty exhausted by the end of the week. But it\'s an experience I wouldn\'t have missed for the world.
Incidentally, Sam and his wife Marjan (who plays my date in the movie) showed me the first half of Almost In Love the night that I had been offered the role of Eli Gold in The Good Wife.
Here\' s a little film I made after shooting ended one morning, and then the trailer...
Burlesque is set in a Burlesque bar in Los Angeles, run by Cher. As my character, the door whore Alexis, constantly says 'We may not have windows but we do have the best view on the Sunset Strip'.
Christina Aguilera arrives in town and soon becomes the star of the Burlesque show, but danger is near at hand as Cher may have to sell the club to a nasty developer. The film also stars Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough and Cam Gigandet.
Here's a video I made on my last day of shooting, and my big number that was eventually cut from the film...
The Tempest is a beautiful play, Julie Taymor has a truly unique aesthetic, and Helen Mirren taking the role of Prospera (normally played by a man as Prospero) was a combination I really wanted to be a part of. I also got to work with really amazing actors like Chris Cooper and David Strathairn, and did I mention that we shot for a couple of months in Hawaii?
I play Sebastian, one of the noblemen who is shipwrecked on Prospera's isle. Julie wanted to use Hawaii because of all the lavic landscapes, and indeed it felt like we shot on practically every piece of remote lava they had. But is is a stunning backdrop to the story, and Helen playing Prospero brings a more healing, Mother Earth sensibility to the character, making the story more about reconciliation than vengeance.
Tom Conti, Ben Wishaw, Reeve Carney, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina and Russell Brand completed the cast, and what a rare old time we had. We moved islands a couple of times and each time we were given a blessing ceremony by one of the locals. My favourite time was when we were doing a shot coming out of the water, so we could only do it once, and the sun was going down fast. Julie and the 1st AD's faces were hilarious as they were looking at the ebbing light and willing the blessing man to get on with it.
We were indeed blessed to be a part of The Tempest.
I did a reading of a play directed by David Brind, when he told me he was in pre-production for a movie he had written, Dare. The reading went really well, David and I got on like a house on fire and kept in touch. Over the next while, he emailed me telling me how it was going with the film preparation, in particular with the casting. There is one character of an actress who comes back to her alma mater and bitch slaps the main character played by Emmy Rossum. He had been having trouble casting it, and in one of the meetings someone said, “why don’t we make it a man, and get Alan Cumming to play it.” Everyone laughed, but then they actually did it. And I was offered the role.
So I popped down to Philadelphia for a few days and had a really great time. The script is really clever and surprising. It’s about three friends at high school, finding themselves and each other, but it’s not at all your usual right-of-passage teenage flick. I think David is a really great writer, I enjoyed working with Adam Salky, the director. And poor Emmy, who had to stand a whole day of me being so mean to her.
The initial reason I was attracted to Boogie Woogie was Charlotte Rampling. I have admired her for a very long time. And so before I even read the script, the fact that the accompanying letter had her name attached as one of the actors made me quiver! When I read the script, I was hooked. It’s a really dark look at the London art world, a world that I’ve been fascinated by and have dipped my toe in from time to time as I know various people I know who are at the very heart of it.
It’s a true ensemble piece revolving around a painting by Mondrian called ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie,’ which is owned by the Rhinegolds, played by Christopher Lee and Joanna Lumley. Danny Huston’s character, art dealer Art Spindle, wants to buy it so he can sell it to a pair of avid collectors, the Maclestones, played by Stellen Skarsgard and Gillian Anderson. I play Dewey Dalamanotousis who is trying to set up a show at Art’s gallery of his friend Elaine’s (Jaime Winstone) work, and is being helped initially by Art’s associate Beth (Heather Graham). Other characters are played by Jack Huston, Amanda Seyfried, and Simon McBurney.
I play the nicest person in this film, in fact, the only nice person in the film. That’s really why I like the script so much – everyone is awful, there is no moral compass. I shot my last scene on the first day (which happens so often in film) and I’m really glad I did because it meant that I went through the shoot with a sense memory of where the character was going. I think that made him all the more poignant. I am sporting a geek-chic look too.
The film is based on a novel by Danny Moynihan who was around all the time on the set. It’s directed by Duncan Ward who I really liked and hope to work with again.