Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Jenna Laurenzo talks 'Lez Bomb'
by Danielle Solzman

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Lez Bomb writer-director-actress Jenna Laurenzo recently spoke with the Windy City Times ahead of the release of her new film. If you're looking for a dysfunctional family comedy set during Thanksgiving with an LGBTQ twist, Lez Bomb is quite the hysterical treat. Gravitas Ventures will open Lez Bomb in the Chicago area at AMC Loews Woodridge on Nov. 9. The film will also be available the same day on VOD platforms.

Windy City Times: When did you first get the idea to make this film?

Jenna Laurenzo: I wrote the first draft of the script eight years ago, and it took me six years to get it made.

WCT: During such a dark time for many of us in the LGBTQ community—this will likely run after the midterms—I just want to say how much I appreciate this light-hearted comedy that focuses on sexuality with a mix of family dysfunction.

JL: Sometimes I want to laugh, and it was important for me to create something that has some levity to it and has a message in there, but was [also] something that could bring people together and laugh, because I think it's necessary sometimes.

WCT: Were there any specific films that influenced Lez Bomb?

JL: When I was growing up I really loved the dysfunctional family stories like The Family Stone and Little Miss Sunshine and Meet the Parents. There's something interesting about coming home and bringing any news.

WCT: What has the reception been during the film-festival screenings?

JL: It's been wonderful! We premiered it at Geena Davis' Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas. A lot of people had encouraged me to do that because they thought it would be a great place that we could have very impactful Q&As. People have been really warm and receptive, and a lot of laughter. But people have found the end moving in a way that has created a lot of interesting dialogue after the film. People are continuously sending me messages on social media or writing me emails.

WCT: I remember my first Thanksgiving after coming out as transgender—it was brutal. Is your own coming out story similar to what happens in the film?

JL: Yeah, it was a challenge for me because I never wanted to disappoint my parents. I felt like by coming out to them, it was going to disappoint them. In looking back, I felt like I wasted so much time in not telling them because I had this assumption of they were going to react. It sat there and made me angry at them for not understanding something that I never gave them permission or room to understand. By the time I did come out for them, I was angry. They were so supportive. They just needed to readjust their expectations because my future wasn't what they had imagined. They were very supportive and they just wanted me to be happy. There's a line in the movie that my mom actually said to me, which meant a lot: "A parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child."

WCT: Bobby Farrelly is one of the film's producers. How did he get involved with the project?

JL: Bobby was at a festival where my short film, Girl Night Stand, played. He really liked that short film. He asked to see the feature script and he really responded to it because he has a daughter that also came out. He thought that the way in which the story was being told with something [was something] he hadn't seen before. … He's such a comedic legend so I was so grateful that he got involved. I learned so much from him. He became an incredible mentor who's a very hands-on executive producer.

WCT: Cloris Leachman and Bruce Dern are some of our cinematic treasures. How were you able to bring them on board for your feature debut?

JL: They both very much responded to the script, and they very much liked the message within the script and the themes that were being explored. On their first day on set, they both wanted to talk to me about the script and moments in the script and they were just very excited from the start. … Even looking back, I think it's miraculous that every time I watch the movie—I see it now a lot—they talk on screen and I'm like, "Oh my God, I can't believe this happened!"

WCT: What's the big message that you want people to take away from viewing the film?

JL: I was really interested in the theme of self-acceptance. Sexuality aside, we often assume that the pressures of stepping into ourselves have had to do with the pressures from externalities. Sometimes, it's an internal thing. I am hoping the idea of self-acceptance is explored, not just with my character coming out, but with all the other family members. …People should have the permission to be who they are and not be fearful of that and not be their authentic selves. I think that in leaning into our true authenticity that's where we find the greatest gems that we're capable of offering the world. We have to give people permission to do that, or we're going to miss out on so many tremendous gifts.

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.


Gay News

PASSAGES Annie O'Dowd 2019-01-16 - Ann "Annie" O'Dowd, of The Villages, Florida, passed away Dec. 26, 2018. Annie was born on April 26, 1929 in Chicago. She was ...

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL A poem and a plant 2019-01-16 - The day was typical for the Pacific Northwest. The brightening sky had stopped sputtering its fine dewdrops for the moment, the wind had ...

Gay News

10 questions with Vic: Jan Luis Castellanos 2019-01-16 - Jan Luis Castellanos seems to have it all-former model turned actor who won the jackpot, playing "Topher" in Marvel's Runaways. But winning the ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Kristina Valada-Viars: Out actress discusses lengthy career 2019-01-16 - Out actress Kristina Valada-Viars continues to expand her life in theater. A big part of this is thanks to the Steppenwolf and ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2019-01-16 - "You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis ...

Gay News

Affinity's Burning Bowl honors former leader Kim Hunt 2019-01-15 - About a hundred people gathered for Affinity Community Services' annual kick-off event, Burning Bowl, Jan. 12 at Morgan Park United Methodist Church ( ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Deborah Cox, awards events, gay singer killed, 'Family Guy' 2019-01-15 - The Sin City Classic Sports Festival presented by Toyota—the world's largest annual LGBTQ sporting event—announced that Grammy-nominated, multi award-winning singer and LGBTQ advocate ...

Gay News

Times Square site of WorldPride Closing Ceremony, Melissa Etheridge to perform 2019-01-15 - NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 15, 2019 — NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride 2019 and Stonewall 50, is thrilled to announce further ...

Gay News

LPAC endorses Lori Lightfoot for Mayor 2019-01-15 - Washington, DC ( January 15, 2019 ) — LPAC, the only organization devoted to building the political power of LGBTQ women, announced the ...

Gay News

Gaga, 'Versace' among Critics' Choice winners 2019-01-14 - Lady Gaga and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story were among those who prevailed at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards that ...


Copyright © 2019 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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

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