- Director of new Netflix film Joe Mantello: ‘There's a chemistry that they have.’
New Netflix gay movie The Boys In The Band ended up having an all gay cast by chance – but it harnessed a ‘powerful’ ‘chemistry’.
That’s according to Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons who stars in the film and its director Joe Mantello.
The film has landed on the streaming channel today. It reunites the cast of the Tony Award-winning 2018 Broadway revival of Mart Crowley’s famous play. Moreover Ryan Murphy – the brains behind Glee, Scream Queens and American Horror Story – is the producer.
The Boys In The Band is about a group of men who gather for a birthday party in 1968 in New York City. However a guest from the host’s past turns the evening into chaos.
The original 1968 off-Broadway play became an unexpected hit. It has sometimes been controversial for fostering gay stereotypes. However, many now consider it an historic achievement in LGBT+ representation.
Likewise the previous film – from 1970 – is a milestone in the history of queer cinema. Incidentally, it is also the first mainstream American movie to use the swear-word ‘c*nt’.
‘Very fortunate series of events’
Parsons stars in the lead role, Michael. He, co-star Matt Bomer, and director Mantello discussed the film’s release with Sky News.
‘I had such a powerful experience being with a group of gay men for a long, concentrated time like this. It was new, it was something I had not gone through before.
‘I think it speaks to the changed world, I think it speaks to the fact that gay men and other people don’t necessarily need quite the same literal protection of their fellow gay humans in order to get through society, things are a little bit better now.’
Moreover, he says the casting had a positive impact on how the men worked together:
‘It was just an intense thing, there was a language we all seemed to speak with each other, an understanding we all had with each other that I was taken aback by.’
Likewise Bomer, who plays Donald agreed it was ‘pretty unprecedented’ to have a cast of nine openly gay men. He credits creator Murphy who for supporting LGBT+ people and ‘voices that need to be heard’.
Meanwhile Mantello explained the casting wasn’t a deliberate choice. It simply happened through a ‘very fortunate series of events’. However, he added:
‘That being said, I think having an out gay cast really did inform the work and it took on a particular kind of tone because of that, which is not to say that’s the only way to approach this material.
‘But for this particular group, it did something that I think is very, very special. There’s a chemistry that they have.’