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

The Truth in L.I.E

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

The Truth in L.I.E

Article excerpt

The teen stars of L.I.E. hope their controversial film might open a few minds

When the film L.I.E. earned sustained applause from an overflow crowd at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festal in January, its two 16-year-old stars wee there to soak it up. Paul Franklin Dano, who plays 15-year-old Home, sat and smiled broadly as costar Bily Kay--who plays coquettish Gary--stood and hooted with pride in support of the film and its makers. Maybe others in the audience were silently wincing over the film's exploration of two teenage boys' mutual (but unrequited) sexual attraction and their interactions with an unrepentant pedophile called Big John, but for Dano and Kay it was simply a job well done.

The next day the boys appear for an interview, eager yet serious two seasoned pros. Kay, who graduated early from his Long Island, N.Y., high school (and who turned 17 in April), is a regular on the soap Guiding Light He didn't hesitate to play omnisexually delinquent and underage hustler Gary: "When I read the script, I said, `Wow, this is such an out-there character. This role is definitely going to be cool.'"

Dano, a high school senior who's been acting since age 10, says what drew him to the lead role of Howie, who is just coming into sexual awareness, was that Howie "was a lot more intimate with the [other] characters, such as Gary and Big John"--something he hadn't played before.

Clearly these are not your squeanish up-and-coming actors of the past.

THE ADVOCATE: You guys have a lot of sexually charged moments together that you both seem comfortable with.

KAY: It definitely helped out the chemistry with me and Paul because we've been such good friends for a long time.

DANO: I've been at his house. I've slept over there, met all his friends.

What did you each think when you first read the script?

KAY: Gary originally was supposed to be black. I went up for [Howie], and [director] Michael [Cuesta] said. "Will you read Gary for me? I see you in Gary's role." I loved it! I got to have such cool tattoos and everything--it was great.

DANO: Howie's very innocent--in the beginning of the movie he's really lost and not grown up yet. Then he meets Gary, who becomes one of his best friends. And I think he grows a lot because of the person Gary is--streetwise, a lot more out there. …

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