“Another Gay Movie,” Todd Stephens’ raucous 2006 film, has just been re-issued on DVD in a 15th Anniversary edition. This Director’s Cut adds even more raunch to this queer sex comedy about four horny gay teens on a quest to lose their anal virginity.
The film, a very gay throwback to the teenage sex comedies such as “American Pie,” brims with gay stereotypes (and a few racist ones). But it features a standout performance by out gay actor Jonah Blechman as Nico, the most effeminate teen in the group.
Blechman, who was a producer on the film, chatted about “Another Gay Movie” in a recent Zoom interview.
Can you talk about getting in the character of Nico? You make such a strong impression.
When I first read “Another Gay Movie,” I thought I would never be a part of something like this. It was way too crude and crass, and I’d never done a comedy. But it bothered me how much it bothered me. I had some judgment there. When I realized that and looked at what the film was, I thought it was brilliant and groundbreaking and something to champion. Initially I wanted to play Andy [the lead]. I was petrified of playing Nico, an archetypal queen. I had judgments and my own fear about being seen that way. Some level of queer shame — certainly in my generation — was the queen and the femme. Working with Todd, he calibrated me to bump it up to get to this place that became this incredibly free character. It opened up a space for me to get comfortable with my femininity in a way I never had and blow it out of the water. It inevitably made me more comfortable with my masculinity having gone so far out with my femininity. It was fun to play, and all the makeup and costumes helped elevate that persona.
I always saw “Another Gay Movie” as a film about shame, both in terms of the way gay culture shames bottoms, but also finding humor in humiliation. What observations do you have about these issues?
I think it’s important that humor is an inroad for processing shame. How do you talk about these subjects? Comedy really does give us access to that. The film champions stories from bottom shaming and sexuality in different ways and humanizes it. The straight community has gotten to play with it, and process it with all their teen sex comedies, why wouldn’t we have our own?
The film plays into some unfortunate stereotypes. It has been applauded and criticized for this. What were your thoughts about this?
This was made in 2006. I am surprised how much [the film] does stand the test of time in a way that still pushes the edge. Todd [Stephens] was pointing out every stereotype he could. Ashlie [Atkinson, who plays the raucous lesbian, Muffler] got backlash for being the bull dyke she was portraying. Lesbians did not want just that representation out there. If the film has four different lesbians, you could show maybe four different stereotypes of that world. We did it with four queer men, so maybe it wasn’t as offensive because there was more [gay male] representation on screen. I am sensitive to anyone who would feel offended and want to apologize for that. But yes, there are things that are absolutely dated.
What are your thoughts about your longevity in the industry?
I’ve been [performing] my entire life in one form or another. It has always been the long game for me. It wasn’t about getting famous, it was about creating great work and connecting with people and sharing humanity. That’s the real joy of all of this. I am a storyteller and have had different curiosities that have taken me on different paths, and different careers over time. Acting is now at forefront for me again, and that work means so much to me.
You reconnected with Todd Stephens for the 2008 sequel “Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!” — and were the only original cast member to do so. Likewise, you have a scene as Jennifer Coolidge’s assistant in Stephens’ new film, “Swan Song” coming out later this year. Can you talk about your working relationship with him?
I’m so grateful to work with Todd. “Swan Song” was wonderful. We did the “Another Gay Movie” sequel together. We anticipated having more of the original cast, but agents and managers in that day were really protective. But I was all in. Todd and I have gone through a lot of fires and grown together through these projects, so I’m always grateful he thinks of me to work with.