Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Tommy Stovall Talks About Hate Crime
by Andrew Davis
2006-12-13

This article shared 6959 times since Wed Dec 13, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Seth Peterson ( left ) and Brian J. Smith in the film Hate Crime.

_______

In the riveting award-winning thriller Hate Crime ( $26.99 ) , violence ensues after an ultraconservative guy moves next door to a gay couple—but that's defnitely not the end of the plot. Windy City Times recently spoke with the film's director, Tommy Stovall, about dealing with religious intolerance, working with a kid and popping his cinematic cherry.

Windy City Times: I read somewhere that you hadn't been on a movie set before filming this. Is that true?

Tommy Stovall: Yes; I hadn't been on a movie set. My experience was in video production, and I had done pretty much everything by myself: shooting, editing and stuff like that.

WCT: So what was the most important lesson you learned?

TS: Oh, wow. This whole thing has been a big education, that's for sure. I learned how to work with actors, which was [ initially ] very daunting, but it turned out to be one of the most fun parts of the whole thing.

WCT: And speaking of actors, you have some pretty heavy hitters in this one: Seth Peterson, Giancarlo Esposito, Susan Blakely—and Bruce Davison, who's come a long way from Longtime Companion.

TS: Yes, and I didn't know who I could get to be interested in the project. I expected to cast mostly unknowns and have one or two names. [ However, ] when we put the casting announcement out in Hollywood, we got an overwhelming response from accomplished actors. [ Regarding Davison, ] I never expected to get someone of his caliber

WCT: However, with all the actors, my favorite character was Kathleen, the neighbor [ played by Lin Shaye ] .

TS: Oh, that's good to hear. She gets a lot of praise.

I had actually written that character for a much older woman. When Lin Shaye's name came up, I [ initially ] thought that she was too young, but then I thought that she would be great. She turned out to be incredible.

WCT: How would you describe this movie?

TS: I describe it as a compelling crime thriller. But at the same time, it's about something important—and there's been a lot of confusion because some people seem to think [ going in ] that it's just a message movie. My goal was to make an entertaining thriller that gets some messages across and, luckily, it's done that. There are mainstream audiences that may not think about hate crimes or religious intolerance but then they talk about it afterwards.

WCT: What statement is this movie making about organized religion?

TS: We show both sides of it. There's a scene involving the two sermons [ from gay-tolerant and -intolerant churches ] . People appreciate that we show two extremes of the same religion. Growing up in Texas and in the Bible Belt, that was something I wanted to explore. I didn't go to a church that was headed by someone like Bruce Davison's character, but I know people who did.

I was always interested in how religion fosters bigotry, particularly towards gay people. My research showed that most people who attack gay people use the Bible to justify their actions, so I wanted to explore that a little bit.

WCT: You actually answered my next question, because I was wondering why the movie was set in Dallas.

TS: My partner and I actually lived in Dallas for several years, and had friends and family there as well as access to location. Something like this could certainly happen in Dallas, where a gay couple could live right next door to fundamentalists. However, this story could happen anywhere in America.

WCT: I thought the scene that was most touching was at the wake with Seth Peterson's character and the ring.

TS: Oh, I'm glad to hear that. I was so worried about that scene and making it real. I've gotten a lot of good comments about it. Surprisingly, most of the people who talk about that scene and the scene where the [ gay couple ] talks about adoption while in bed happen to be straight. One person at a recent screening—a married woman with three children—said that she never considered herself a homophobe but she was bothered by the idea of two men kissing, but she said that [ the movie ] changed her and saw gay couples as being [ on par ] with her marriage.

WCT: And what were you saying about the character of Chris Boyd, a homophobe who has same-sex encounters?

TS: Well, being from the South, I know so many gay people who are conflicted over religion. They were raised in religious families, and were told that gay people are going to hell. I wanted to put in that idea; a lot of people don't think about gay people being cut out of their families.

WCT: Talk a little bit about the music in this film. It's used quite effectively.

TS: Chad Donella [ who plays Chris ] referred me to a friend of his, Ebony Tay. I contacted her and we were on the same wavelength, and her music really fit what I was looking for. Also, this was a personal journey for her; she has two gay brothers and a family member who was a victim of a hate crime. She just put her heart and soul into this movie.

WCT: I also heard that this one actor, Trevor Sterling Stovall [ the director's son ] , was a real terror.

TS: [ Laughs. ] Oh, he was the most difficult one to work with. Interestingly, we got a penalty from SAG [ The Screen Actors' Guild ] because we forgot to pay him; we had to go back and issue him an official check for his one day of work.

WCT: So what's your next project?

TS: I'm writing a project called Sedona, which is where I live [ Sedona, Ariz. ] . I call it a mystical adventure; it's very different from Hate Crime. It more along the lines of [ TV's ] Northern Exposure.


This article shared 6959 times since Wed Dec 13, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SOCCER Lloyd scores five goals as U.S. women rout Paraguay
2021-09-17
Scoring five goals in a soccer match can be called a glut or even a "repoker." Whatever it's called, Carli Lloyd accomplished that incredible feat as the U.S. women's national team routed Paraguay 9-0 in Cleveland ...


Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago
2021-09-17
Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

WORLD Trapped in Afghanistan, lesbian pioneer, anti-gay crimes, Valencia's bid
2021-08-22
Among the Americans trapped in the suburban areas of Kabul, Afghanistan, under Taliban control was Josie Thomas, 32, a transgender government contractor for the U.S. State Department and former U.S. Air Force Sergeant, The Washington Blade ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden nominees, San Diego crime, HRC, Fox News contributor
2021-08-08
President Joe Biden reappointed out lesbian Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum as a commissioner of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which is an advisory post pertaining to issues of religious freedom, Gay City News reported. ...


Gay News

Wis. man attacks trans couple but won't be charged with a hate crime
2021-08-04
In Wisconsin, a La Crosse official said incomplete state laws prevented them from charging a man with a hate crime after he attacked a transgender couple in a public park, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. La ...


Gay News

Analysis of hate crime laws finds limitations, opportunities, rising hate violence
2021-07-28
--From a Movement Advancement Project, National Center for Lesbian Rights press release - With a rise in hate violence across the country, a new report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and 16 leading civil rights organizations provides a groundbreaking analysis of state and federal hate crime laws. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-LGBTQ crimes, conversion therapy, out prime minister, Pakistan school
2021-07-11
In England, police are treating the painting of a homophobic slur on an LGBTQ Pride mural as a hate crime, the BBC reported. The wall in St Helens, Merseyside, which was painted by volunteers and artists ...


Gay News

THEATER Goodman's 'I Hate It Here' to stream July 15-18
2021-07-02
Goodman Theatre's streaming-in-real-time Live series will conclude with I Hate It Here, written by Ike Holter and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. I Hate It Here appears July 15, at 7:30 p.m.; July 16, at 7:30 p.m.; ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items
2021-06-13
Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...


Gay News

Employee fired for using gay slur at Indiana Arby's
2021-06-12
An employee at an Arby's restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana, was fired after writing a homophobic slur on the receipt of a gay couple, NBC News reported. Craig Gray and John Burns were dining at the restaurant ...


Gay News

When crime goes viral
2021-06-10
Activists say Illinois's law that makes it illegal to expose others to HIV is racist and homophobic. Now they're close to changing it.
In early 2016, Jimmy Amutavi had what he considered a happy life. More ...


Gay News

Incarceration for HIV crimes in Georgia cost the state $9 million
2021-06-02
--From a press release - Between 1999-2020, as many as 133 people were incarcerated in Georgia prisons for HIV-related crimes New analysis from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that as many as 133 people have been incarcerated ...


Gay News

WORLD Myanmar activist, Cyprus official, brutal crimes, UK youth
2021-05-23
In Myanmar, Equality Myanmar Executive Director Aung Myo Min broke another barrier, becoming the first LGBTQ person to become sworn in as a member of cabinet after being appointed by the National Unity Government as its ...


Gay News

President Biden signs historic hate crimes bill into law
2021-05-20
WASHINGTON — Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which included the Khalid ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.