Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence — the gay interview

 

df10950_rv2Take it from Chris Pratt, who recently experienced being shipped off to a new world: The future is full of promise for the queer population.

“If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community and you’re really good at plumbing, then you know, they’ll send you, I’m sure,” quips one of the hottest actors on earth regarding whether the hibernating pod people aboard the Starship Avalon in his latest action-adventure, Passengers, are of varied sexual orientations.

“Anyone who’s valuable to the homestead company and who would be worth money to the homestead company would go,” the 37-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy star continues, speaking from the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, “so that would include all people from all — the whole spectrum, anyone who could essentially provide a service that’s an old-world service.”

Imagine a world of gay plumbers who aren’t defined by their sexuality but by their ability to unclog toilets. Or one in which Chris Pratt, as Jim Preston, and his Passengers co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Aurora Lane, aren’t contemplating anyone’s sexuality. Perhaps sexuality will be but a footnote among the more important qualities that characterize persona, even as Jim prematurely wakes up 90 years ahead of schedule.

“Hopefully we’re well into the future where none of these things are even a conversation anymore, where they’ve gone from issues to conversation to hopefully being forgotten about, and everybody is treated equally,” says Lawrence, 26. “So, yes. Of course I would assume there’d be diversity.”

Chris Pratt and director Morten Tyldum on the set of ‘Passengers.’

Naturally, director Morten Tyldum shares that sentiment. Not only does he have a gay stepdaughter, the filmmaker was behind the camera for the Oscar-winning Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as gay computer scientist and famed WWII codebreaker Alan Turing.

“I think, very shortly, it will become a non-issue,” Tyldum says. “As Chris said: If he’s a good plumber, he would be on the ship. Nobody would care if he’s gay, straight, whatever.”

That, he notes, was his approach to 2014’s Imitation Game, which was controversial for its absence of gay sex scenes. In an interview with Variety in 2015, the director explained why his Turing wasn’t romantically or sexually engaged with another man: “It was not because we were afraid it would offend anybody,” he said at the time. “If I … had this thing about a straight character, I would never have a sex scene to prove that he’s heterosexual. If I have a gay character in a movie, I need to have a sex scene in it just to prove that he’s gay?”

In Passengers, Pratt and Lawrence do go at it. But Tyldum, who admits sex scenes in films are “very complicated,” explains this sexy scene is necessary for character development.

“The sex scene in Passengers is there because it’s a relationship — it’s between the two main characters – and there’s a sex moment because it’s about these two characters,” he says. “I think to have a sex scene it needs to have a story moment, going from the two strangers to becoming a couple.”

Jim (CHRIS PRATT) and Aurora (JENNIFER LAWRENCE) walk thru the Hibernation Bay on date night in Columbia Pictures' PASSENGERSThe difference, the director points out, is that “to have a sex scene in Imitation Game would be to sort of prove that Alan Turing is gay,” which, like the hypothetical gay pod people, would minimize more qualifying human attributes.

For Counterpart, an upcoming espionage-themed thriller Tyldum shot for Starz, the filmmaker reveals one of the leads is gay “for no other reason than that person is gay.”

“It’s not made an issue,” he adds. “He just happens to be gay.”

Conversations with his stepdaughter led to him underplaying the gay character’s sexuality both in Imitation Game and Counterpart. The sex in Passengers, on the other hand, builds upon Pratt and Lawrence’s chemistry. Hypothetically, could a movie this blockbuster-sized involve two queer lovers in space?

“I think that that will come sooner than we think,” he says. “But there’s always going to be the challenge that the more an audience can identify with the character — there’s a bigger group of heterosexuals than gay people, but I think we’ll be seeing more and more.”

Meanwhile, you decide if Passengers benefits from a hetero sex scene and — bonus! — two shots of Pratt’s bare bottom. Lawrence relishes the fact that “we could just keep diving in” – no, she wasn’t exactly talking about sexy time with Pratt. She was referring to the “original script.”

“It’s really rare that you get to be so intimate with filmmaking,” she says, not meaning “intimate” in the way most of us do when we refer to Chris Pratt. “It’s normally an ensemble. I’ve never worked with so few actors before. I was very excited to be stuck in space in Atlanta with them.”

Shot on a 1,000-foot-tall, four-story concourse adorned with eight miles of LED lights, Pratt likens the confined set to a stage play, and says, “It did feel more intimate than anything I’ve ever done.”

What other celebrity would they be keen on sharing such close quarters with?

“Oprah! Beyoncé!” Lawrence blurts. “No, I’d get jealous of Beyoncé after a while and, like, probably rip her hair out.”

Pratt, on the other end, wants “someone really funny.”

“Well, my wife [Anna Faris] is famous, so I’m gonna say, of course my wife. I would take my wife. But I would try to do someone really funny, maybe like George Carlin.”

Unless, of course, you know any famous gay plumbers.

— Chris Azzopardi

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

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Stanley Tucci is a po-mo Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lawrence a pouty heroine in ‘Catching Fire.’

I’m still not sure why The Hunger Games, with its heavy-handed Marxist moralizing about the inherent corruptness of the one-percenters, became the huge cultural phenomenon it did last year (yes, it was only last year), but it did. Maybe tweens were looking to glom onto another corny romance as The Twilight Saga was wrapping up, and on the lookout for a pouty heroine, found one in Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen. The audience for that movie — and now Catching Fire, its first of three sequels, due in successive years, like hurricanes or the flu virus — was a mix of sardonic historians and giddy youth, lured by the barely-out-of-puberty heroics by Katniss, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and their ilk.

I don’t see the appeal myself. Both films are garish romps that tend to keep me off-kilter about whether the actors, set designers, costumers and director (this time, Francis Lawrence, who made Constantine — as if that’s a good thing) know what they are doing. When good actors like Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks ham it up like they’re being paid by the pork lobby, you wonder: Are they just excited to know they can do anything and still be in a hit, or are they embarrassed by their idiotic hair-don’ts as the audience is for them? Sure, Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman is meant to be a post-modern Ryan Seacrest, and the flittery inconsequence of the Capital City residents who vomit up their dinners to make room for desserts is meant to mirror the fall of Rome. But c’mon, is anyone under 30 gonna get that? And isn’t everyone over 30 appalled by the Mexican-whorehouse-on-angel-dust look of it all?

Best not to think too much about it — just shrug it off, make catty comments about Katniss, and enjoy watching our own culture play itself out.

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Sam Claflin

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Logo Channel unveils winners of 2013 New Now Next Awards, airing tonight

The New Normal - Season 1

I have to confess, I’ve never quite understood the NewNowNext Awards, the Logo Channel’s celebration of pop culture from a queer perspective. They always seem very arbitrary and unformed, with categories like “Beyond Style” (what the eff does that even mean???) and fan sites that seemed culled from the depths of geekdom.

Anyway, maybe that’s the point: They seek to be the barometer of breaking trends and that entails flexibility from conventional categories.

Anyway, tonight the awards show airs on Logo (9 p.m. our time), but the network has already announced the winners. Here they are:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

REVIEW: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Ladies and gents, we give you the worst film of the year

In Silver Linings Playbook, Pat (Bradley Cooper) — a mentally unstable romantic and Philadelphia Eagles fan (as if those aren’t all the same thing) — gets out of the loony bin a skosh too soon. He went in due to his nervous condition, to-wit: He nearly murdered a man who was buggering his wife, and went to a mental hospital rather than jail. But mom wants his home for the holidays and checks him out. Bad idea. Pat delusionally believes his wife still wants him back, and goes ape-shit all over the depressing ‘burb where his parents (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver, both slumming it shamefully) to prove he’s worth having back. Problem is, every time he hears the song “My Cheri Amour,” he gets violent. (The Stevie Wonder song that should set him off, though, is “Superstition” — his dad is a bookie who blames losses on the TV remotes not being properly aligned.)

Even the thumbnail description of this execrable piece of cinematic detritus sounds banal, and I’m not exaggerating to say my write-up is 10 times better than any 30-second stretch of SLP, which defiantly sets out from the opening scene to be the unchallenged Worst Film of the Year. It wins by a landslide.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones