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 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOVIES Director, actor take viewers to 'Spa Night'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2016-12-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the new movie Spa Night, the life of main character David revolves around his Korean family, being trapped in the closet, and a mens spa. It is set in Koreatown in Los Angeles and stars Joe Seo as David.

Director Andrew Ahn graduated from Brown University and received a masters of fine arts in film directing from the California Institute of Arts. He took that knowledge to make a short film called Andy and then one called Dol ( First Birthday ). He edited the documentaries I Am Divine, Vito and Tab Hunter Confidential. Spa Night is his first feature film, and was funded through Kickstarter and a Sundance Institute Cinereach Feature Film Fellow grant.

Actor Esteban Andres Cruz plays a spa visitor in Spa Night. He has appeared in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and Puerto Vallarta Squeeze as well as television's Chicago Fire.

The two had a screening of Spa Night at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and met with Windy City Times to talk about the project.

Windy City Times: You are from LA?

Andrew Ahn: Yes.

Esteban Andres Cruz: I am from here but moved to LA for acting. I was born in Berwyn and grew up in Cicero. I have done theater in Chicago most of my life.

WCT: Did you both meet through this movie?

AA: We knew each other before because we have mutual friends. Two of our producers are good friends with Esteban. This was a script that came to me from another producer who trusted my sensibilities. I thought it was not gay enough, so I sent it back with notes. I wrote a role for Esteban where he is naked all the time!

EAC: Naked and I get paid? That was a done deal!

WCT: You also cast David Pevsner, and he loves being naked.

AA: I met him through a photographer that had done a nude photoshoot with him. He is super comfortable with his body.

That is Korean spa culture where people are just naked.

WCT: Did you do undercover research in bathhouses?

AA: [Laughs] That is the interesting thing with Korean spas versus gay bathhouses, Korean spas are not supposed to be for gay cruising. That is what made it risky and more dangerous. That was a distinction that I wanted to play with and make clear.

WCT: Spa Night did seem more about family and Korean culture, as opposed to a gay movie.

AA: I wanted to show a complete portrait of a human being. That meant his family and cultural identity, his sexuality, all existed in one person. They often intersect and complicate things.

I wanted to show many different facets of this character.

WCT: I read you came out to your family by making a movie, Andrew.

AA: It was a whole production and I put pressure on myself to make a film good enough to come out to my family. That was not only hard as a filmmaker but as a person. It was the only way I could do it at the time. I couldn't use the words "I'm gay" so I used the film to express myself.

WCT: Have you always been out as an actor, Esteban?

EAC: I came out when I was 15. I was an anchor at my high school news at Morton East High School. I said, "In other news, I'm gay…back to you, Juanita." That was it. I didn't have much of a problem because my brothers were tough when people messed with me. I would fight sometimes and bullies would back down, Cicero!

WCT: Do you try out specifically for gay roles?

EAC: At Steppenwolf, I was playing a woman in Domesticated last Feb.. I then went to LA and played a trans woman in Charm, a Phil Dawkins play that won a Jeff Award this year. I was worried about being pigeonholed but it is good to also be type cast as something because then you have a type to play against. I liked the work and it was good to have.

I love doing work like this movie that is humanizing and creates empathy in the world. I don't shy away from the gay roles if it is an opportunity to make things better.

AA: One thing I like about gay media is that the people behind the scenes are often gay too. It a community of people that are nice to work with, much like a family.

WCT: There are probably not a lot of gay Korean filmmakers, right?

AA: There are not a lot of queer Korean stories. I am really excited to make these films.

WCT: I have met a few Korean mothers and the one in the film was portrayed well by Haerry Kim.

AA: Korean families are very patriarchal in a sense, but the women are the actual bosses.

WCT: Was making the film using Kickstarter rewarding?

AA: It was exhausting. We raised just over $60,000 and we put that much effort into it. I was drained from it. It was also awesome because we gained 592 fans of the film. You start your marketing early and it inspired me to keep going, to really follow through.

WCT: What were they drinking at that party scene?

AA: It was Soju. It is a Korean rice wine. It is like the Korean version of sake.

EAC: Do you shoot it with lime juice?

AA: You can drink it on its own. The trendy thing is there is a yogurt version.

WCT: Referring to karaoke scene, what is your favorite go-to song?

AA: I like "My Girl," by The Temptations. It's a crowd-pleaser.

EAC: "He's Mine," by The Platters.

WCT: No Justin Bieber? You are a couple of old souls.

AA: You have to sing songs that they will sing along with.

WCT: What are your future plans?

EAC: I am doing a play in Chicago in the spring in Berwyn. It has not been announced yet.

I have a film coming out in 2017 that I can talk about. Alexandra Billings is in it and the first role in film where she plays a born female character. It is about a paleontologist and meth addict called Valley of Bones. I play an assassin.

AA: With Spa Night, we are finishing up a few screenings around the country. It is available on iTunes, Vimeo and DVD just in time for the holidays.

EAC: Stuff your stocking with Spa Night!


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

MOVIES Amy Schumer, Aidy Bryant feel 'Pretty' good 2018-04-22 - I Feel Pretty is a new film about being single and the challenges that come along. ( It's currently in theaters. ) ...


Gay News

Director, screenwriter Ava DuVernay to be honored at Annual GLAAD Media Awards 2018-04-20 - New York, NY — GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced that filmmaker, director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay will be ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MOVIES Peaches Christ, worshipping at altars of John Waters, Mink Stole 2018-04-18 - Director John Waters has influenced and created many movie stars over the years with an iconic career. Known as the Dreamlanders, many of ...


Gay News

GLAAD Media Awards honors Spears, Parsons 2018-04-18 - The GLAAD Media Awards took place April 12 in Los Angeles, with comedian/actress Wanda Sykes as host. GLAAD honored Britney Spears, Jim Parsons ...


Gay News

Siskel showing 'Best of Black Harvest' 2018-04-18 - The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago announced increased funding for The Best of Black Harvest ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2018-04-18 - "You know, and I will get fired for this, but I'm never going to say that I don't. I will get fired for ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-gay law, Middle East report, serial killer 2018-04-17 - In Trinidad and Tobago, judge Devindra Rampersad said sections of the Sexual Offences Act—which prohibited "buggery" and "serious indecency" between two men—criminalized consensual ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Pose,' Beyonce, 'Days of Our Lives,' Serena Williams 2018-04-17 - Television audiences got their first glimpse of FX's hotly anticipated, history-making series Pose with the release of the show's first trailer, The Huffington ...


Gay News

May Pride Film Fest "Celebrating Who We Are" May 8 2018-04-16 - Chicago, IL - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Pride Films and Plays' eighth monthly festival of LGBTQ independent films will be screened on Tuesday, May ...


Gay News

Chicago Filmmakers Ribbon Cutting Ceremony April 28 2018-04-13 - Chicago Filmmakers invites the public to the opening of its new home, a 1928 Chicago Historic Landmark firehouse purchased from the city of ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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 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.