The Movies' Gay Magicians: Behind Every Big Summer Sequel, Superhero, or Slice of Serious Cinema Is a Gay Man or Lesbian Up to Their Elbows in Making the Magic. (Summer Movie Special)

Article excerpt

From directing to costume design, gays and lesbians are everywhere behind the scenes in Hollywood, so naturally, many had a hand in the blockbusters--and more modest movies--you'll enjoy between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Hoping to shed some light on these pink production personalities, The Advocate tracked down and spoke with 10, all of whom had revealing things to say about their set experiences, theft job descriptions, and of course, the films themselves.

Joel Schumacher Director, Bad Company

"Each film I make in my so-called repertoire is different. I've really never done this kind of movie--it's CIA, it's espionage. But more importantly, it was working with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins that was a draw. I'd been a fan of both of theirs for so long. Hopkins imitates other actors--he's a genius mimic--Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Pierce Brosnan. And Rock is one of the funnest people you'll ever meet. You just don't know what's going to come out of his mouth next. I was on the cell phone one day with my agent and we were talking about some future deal, and when I hung up the phone [Rock] was grinning. I said, `What are you grinning at?' He said, `White men and contracts--ask the Indians!'"

Christopher Oakley CGI animator, Scooby-Doo

"I was a big fan of the original Scooby-Doo series because I was really into ghosts and scary situations. But I think I was mainly a fan because I was hopelessly in love with Fred. He was older than me, blond, wore a white shirt so everyone could see he had a Chelsea body, and could any other teenager make a scarlet ascot look so good? It still blows my mind that some 30 years later I was asked to animate Scooby for the movie. I'm not allowed to reveal anything about the plot, but I do think gay and lesbian theatergoers will find that they're welcome passengers in the Mystery Machine--and keep your eye on Velma"

Jay Redd Visual effects supervisor, Stuart Little 2

"Yes, Nathan Lane is a pussy [the cat, Snowbell]. Well, in person, no. He's an amazingly funny talent, and [his voice] added a lot of energy and humor to the film. To show Nathan Lane's personality on Snowbell the Cat's face--and I think we did that--and Michael J. Fox as a mouse and Melanie Griffith as a bird was a challenge. The coolest thing about the movie was that it's all about Stuart feeling like he wasn't fitting in in the world, which is very much like I felt when I was a teen. It's corny but true."

Richard Hicks Casting director, Igby Goes Down

"There's two Culkins in it--Kieran and Rory. The Culkins just keep coming! Why Kieran [as the lead]? There was a New York upper-class feel, a punk feel, a sweetness, a damage to him. I think that casting isn't a bad job for a gay person. One time I had to audition guys who were supposed to be in a porn video, and they had to strip down to their underwear. I felt very prurient, like the casting couch cliche. I kept so looking in their faces."

Christine Vachon Producer, One Hour Photo

"Working with Robin Williams was great! He was hysterical and a real team player, and he kept the crew in stitches. I think he plays both [psychos and nice guys] very well. It depends on the movie. It's not about him. It's about the film."

3aremy Aiello Art and animatronics departments, The Country Bears

"Part of my job meant lubing up the bears' mouths and making sure they had tears in their eyes, and if they had rips, I had to repair them. …