Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Straight Man: Adrien Brody Does His Best to Let Loose for His Gay Fans

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Straight Man: Adrien Brody Does His Best to Let Loose for His Gay Fans

Article excerpt

ADRIEN BRODY IS A SERIOUS ACTOR. After all, he won an Academy Award for his portrayal in The Pianist of a Polish Jewish musician struggling to survive in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. And after lending gravitas to the Beyonce vehicle Cadillac Records, the 35-year-old stars as the more serious sibling opposite Mark Ruffalo in the seriocomic con artist caper The Brothers Bloom. Brody will, however, lighten up a bit for his gay fans--just as long as you steer clear of homo hypotheticals. Seriously.

I hope you're in a good mood today for some silly gay questions. I'm in a good mood, but let's see if I'm still in a good mood at the end.

Let's talk about 1997's The Last Time I Committed Suicide, in which you played a character patterned after gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg. You know, that's so funny, because [my publicist] sent me an e-mail about possible interview topics like gay roles, and I thought, I haven't really had the opportunity replay a gay role. But yes, I did. Let's talk about it.

How did Ginsberg's sexuality inform your performance? Obviously, the character had an intense physical attraction to the character based on Neal Cassady, but Neal didn't share the same feelings. As an actor, an emotion is an emotion regardless of who it's for.

At 13 you made your acting debut in the off-Broadway play Family Pride in the Fifties as a working-class kid who wants to be a ballet dancer. Did you think that character was gay? Oh, good, you did some research! A part of the conflict there was that the father struggles with his son's sensitivity. I was very young, so I guess I didn't give it enough thought, but perhaps he was a gay character as well. We're racking 'em up. [Laughs]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

What conversations did you have with director Spike Lee about your character Richie's sexuality in Summer of Sam?

[Laughs] Spike doesn't like to discuss those things. I think Spike would probably have a different point of view from mine. Spike didn't have a ton of direction with that, but I think Richie's homosexual encounters were purely based on monetary gain.

Did you go to any seedy gay clubs to prepare for the role? I did hang out in that world. …

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