ANTEPRIMA NAZIONALE AL FESTIVAL GENDER BENDER 2014
Il regista statunitense Wade Gasque nel suo film TIGER ORANGE – anteprima nazionale – si interroga su che cosa significhi per due fratelli gay crescere nella provincia americana. Mentre Chet ha continuato a vivere nella casa di famiglia, nascondendo al mondo la sua omosessualità, Todd è scappato a Los Angeles per vivere la sua vita fino in fondo. Ma la morte del padre li spinge a un difficile riavvicinamento. (Gender Bender)
Two estranged gay brothers attempt to make amends in Wade Gasque’s charming small-town drama. Set against the sun-kissed fields of Central California, and anchored by strong performances from Mark Strano and pornstar-turned-leading man Frankie Valenti (aka Johnny Hazzard), TIGER ORANGE pits two diametric opposites against each other – the closeted introvert versus the out-and-proud hunk. The result is a blunt, playful meditation on queer sibling rivalry and the childhood bonds that force us together.
NOTE DI REGIA:
Growing up gay in a small town can be an isolating experience. I think most everyone can agree with that. But growing up gay with a gay brother or sister… what’s that like? Do you talk about it with one another? Does it make the experience less isolating? How do you disappoint Mom and Dad, twice?
I have a handful of gay sibling friends and I’ve always been fascinated by their stories. But I’ve never seen a movie about them. So when I read Mark’s script I was immediately drawn in. Here are gay brothers who not only grew up in a small town (with all the small-mindedness that goes with it) but with a single parent to boot – the Dad! I love how Chet and Todd are so wildly different, how Todd ran away to be himself while Chet quietly assumed the burden of loyal son, and how they’re never able to really connect with one another until Dad dies. It speaks volumes about the tremendous force he had (and still has) over them and the internalized shame they both carry as a result. With our pride parades and general acceptance by the mainstream, why is telling Dad still so hard?
One of the questions I’m asking with Tiger Orange is, as gay people, do we stand out or do we fit in? It’s a negotiation that I think everyone faces on some level but it’s intrinsically linked to the gay experience. When we meet someone new, there’s almost like this tiny voice inside us that wonders, is this person an ally? Should I worry about what I say? Screw that, I’m gonna say whatever I want! We crave community, of course, to fit in and just be, without anything to fight for or prove. But we also want to stand out, to be loud and proud, to show ourselves, all of ourselves. Chet and Todd are on the opposite sides of this dynamic and that’s where a lot of the film’s conflict stems from. They’ve chosen very different lives for themselves yet there’s a deep bond they share as gay brothers that keeps them tethered to one another.
I had the pleasure, last year, of directing Mark in my short film Housebroken and his ability to be open and vulnerable is absolutely captivating. And Frankie Valenti (the one and only Johnny Hazzard) as Todd could not be a more perfect foil. There’s a rawness to Frankie. He’s not afraid to take risks and it pays off in his performance.
Tiger Orange is a story about gay brothers and gay brotherhood. It’s about that drive in all of us to find a place in the world where we belong.
INTERVISTA AL PORNO-ATTORE PROTAGONISTA (queerty.com)
Frankie Valenti, leggenda del porno col nome di Johnny Hazzard.
I was pleasantly surprised by your performance in the film. I’m not gonna lie, I was worried.
Which is always the consensus. When you hear “porn star starts acting,” you think train wreck.
How did you prepare for this part?
Well, I had done other stuff before this, like on The Lair. Mark sought me out. We rehearsed and Wade talked me through some points but the role was similar to my own life. It kind of felt like I was playing myself which was a good role for my first one for sure.
Can mainstream acting and porn acting go hand in hand?
I suppose they could. I think at some point you have to choose one or the other because, they may be one in the same but they are also very different.
Have you officially retired from porn?
I’m phasing myself out. I’ve been in the industry for ten years now. Believe it or not it’s good for my taxes. I file as an entertainer, so I need projects to come stemming from that, some form of income from entertainment.
Is porn more lucrative than acting?
No. Porn is not more lucrative than acting and that’s one of the reasons why I want to get out of it. The money just went down hill. That’s purely it. I mean there are new porn stars every day, but the ones that I grew up with, and worked with we’ve all had to go on and do other things.
What is the major difference between being on a porn set vs. a movie set?
They have their similarities, I mean you’re performing in front of a camera. You have your marks you have your lines (sometimes), your lighting. On a basic level it’s the same. But ironically I am showing more by showing less in this project. It’s nice not having to worry that your angles are wrong. In porn you can’t hide behind a sweater. I mean it’s all right there. And also this [movie] took a little over two years from the moment they asked me to the last day. We had a to do a kickstarter campaign. Then we did two major shoots. So it was quite a process. I enjoyed it for the most part. I am curious to see the finished product.
You haven’t seen it yet?
I’m saving it for the big screen.
But wait, does that mean you haven’t seen your own porn?
I have not. Most guys I know, do not [watch]. Because we are all so hyper critical that seeing that would throw us in a tail spin.
Does that mean you’re nervous?
I am. But my nerves don’t stem from whether or not people are going to like it. It’s just the general experience. It’s going to be a good movie. I know that.
I have heard of a lot of porn stars, going in to hiding. Why acting?
Acting found me. It just fell in to my lap. Had I not gone in to acting I probably would have gone in to hiding. Not like totally hiding but I would just want to be in that area anymore.
What’s your next project?
Not sure. We’ll see how the masses feel about this performance and how it’s received.