Hollywood movies would be more dynamic --or at least more surprising --if there were more diversity in the faces, voices, genders and sexual orientations of the people in front of and behind the camera. We could use more people of color, women and GLBT talent willing to bring their own unique perspective to the movies. So today on National Coming Out Day we celebrate one of the underrepresented brave minorities of Hollywood.
Out Writers, Directors
[Links take you to to official sites or IMDB pages]
Pedro Almodovar -Spain's greatest living filmmaker and the man behind the kissable Volver, the Oscar winning Talk To Her the "fag noir" Bad Education and many other amazing films. I like him... a lot. OK, I lurve him
Jane Anderson Writer/director of The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio and the TV movies Normal and When Billie Beat Bobby
Gregg Araki -His most recent critical triumph was Mysterious Skin but he's got the Anna Faris stoner comedy Smiley Face awaiting release. Previous credits include The Doom Generation and The Living End
Alan Ball The creator of TV classic Six Feet Under. His current projects are Nothing is Private (awaiting release) and HBO's True Blood (a vampire series)
Clive Barker Horror novelist who also writes and directs his own adaptations including the famous Hellraiser which is getting a remake
Greg Berlanti He directed the popular gay film Broken Hearts Club but his real contribution is executive producing major television series including Everwood, Dirty Sexy Money and current favorite Brothers & Sisters (related B&S post)
Bill Condon The director of Dreamgirls and Kinsey. Oscar winning screenwriter of Gods and Monsters.
Lisa Cholodenko Director of Cavedweller, Laurel Canyon and the terrific, leztastic High Art with Oscar worthy performances from Ally Sheedy and Patty Clarkson (neither were nominated. grrrr)
Stephen Daldry Oscar friendly director of The Hours and Billy Elliott. He's got two promising films in the works: The Reader with Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes and the ambitious adaptation of Michael Chabon mammoth bestseller The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Er... good luck with that Stephen.
Marleen Gorris Dutch director of Antonia's Line, Mrs Dalloway and the upcoming Heaven and Earth
John Greyson Director of gay indies like Proteus and Lilies (please do see the latter --good stuff). Anyone know where he's gone to since Proteus?
Todd Haynes One of the greatest filmmakers in the world. He'll be expanding his fame and gathering more acclaim when I'm Not There, his Bob Dylan picture opens next month. He's already made at least two masterpieces: Far From Heaven and [safe]. Haynes posts
Nicholas Hytner Theater director who occassionally dabbles in the movies: History Boys, Center Stage, The Crucible among them
Dan Ireland Director of Passionada, Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont and Jolene
Miranda July The performance art charmer from Me and You and Everyone We Know is dating Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) but has been characterized as openly bisexual and "a queer woman" in many a profile
Tom Kalin He disappeared after Swoon his Leopold and Loeb queer indie but he's finally made another film: Savage Grace with Julianne Moore --coming soon.
Joe Mantello Broadway mover and shaker but no movies since Love! Valour! Compassion!
Rob Marshall Director of Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and the upcoming musical Nine with Javier Bardem and Catherine Zeta-Jones
John Maybury Director of The Jacket and Love is the Devil... so you have him to thank for that shot of Daniel Craig naked in the bathtub (pre-Bond)
John Cameron Mitchell The multi-hyphenate artistic force behind neo classics Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch
François Ozon French auteur. He brought you the fabulous gallic divas of 8 Women. Past credits include Swimming Pool and Under the Sand. His new film starring Romola Garai is called Angel
Kimberly Peirce Director of Boys Don't Cry and the 2008 Iraq war soldier drama Stop Loss starring a who's who of young Hollywood including Ryan Phillipe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Victor Rasuk and Channing Tatum
Angela Robinson Director of Debs and Herbie: Fully Loaded
Don Roos Writer director of the highly watchable Happy Endings and The Opposite of Sex. His new project is called Love and Other Impossible Pursuits --JLo is currently set to star
Paul Rudnick Also known as columnist "Libby Gelman-Waxner" from Premier Magazine. His screenwriting credits include the brilliant Addams Family Values and the not so brilliant Stepford Wives remake. He's also a popular playwright
Adam Shankman This director had quite the summer with Hairspray. Previously directed other things best not mentioned now that he's made a really good film.
Joel Schumacher Oft-maligned director of The Number 23, Phantom of the Opera, Batman and Robin, and many more. But he'll always have bragging rights on Colin Farrell's Tigerland breakthrough
Bryan Singer Fanboy favorite director behind Superman Returns the two X-Men movies that are worth anything and The Usual Suspects. Next projects include Valkyrie with Tom Cruise and the mouthwatering possible greatness of The Mayor of Castro Street, a biopic on gay legend Harvey Milk. Please cast well Bryan. Please cast well
Rose Troche(Go Fish, Hung, The L Word)
Guinevere Turner This beautiful brunette acts in Go Fish, American Psycho, The L Word and she writes too. Screenwriting credits include Go Fish, American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page
Christine Vachon The legendary producing force behind Killer Films. She's shepherded dozens of the most influential and important American indies of the past two decades onto the screen. She'll be in the history books. Past triumphs include Far From Heaven and Boys Don't Cry and the book A Killer Life.
Gus Van Sant Indie director (My Own Private Idaho) turned Hollywood Oscar force (Good Will Hunting) turned curiousity (Psycho) turned artfilm auteur (Gerry, Elephant, Last Days, and the new film Paranoid Park)
Kevin Williamson Writer of the Scream films. Director of Teaching Mrs Tingle. Recently created the "Hidden Palms" TV series
John Waters American treasure. Credits include: A Dirty Shame, Hairspray, Cry Baby, Pink Flamingos and many more
Out Actors and Performers
Chad Allen Credits include Save Me, End of the Spear, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and the recurring Donald Strachey Mystery movies on Here! television
John Barrowman Charismatic star of "Torchwood", abundant musical theater goodness, and the wonderful "Night and Day" sequence within De-Lovely
Jackie Beat Drag superstar. Films credits include: Adam & Steve, Flawless, and Grief
Simon Callow Beloved British stage star. Frequent film and television work including Phantom of the Opera, "Angels in America", "Rome", No Man's Land, Shakespeare in Love and of course A Room with a View
Craig Chester Indie film actor and best friend of Parker Posey. Starring roles include: Adam & Steve and Swoon
Allan Corduner Fine character actor. He was Sullivan to Broadbent's Gilbert in the fine Topsy Turvy and his many other credits include Vera Drake
Alan Cumming <--click away. His website is fun. Broadway superstar, cologne hawking cheeky celebrity, X2's Nightcrawler and frequent supporting player in films and television
Wilson Cruz TV supporting player. Seen most famously on My So Called Life. Recently: Noah's Arc and Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in all the World
Ben Daniels British theater actor. Film credits: Beautiful Thing, Passion in the Desert
Rupert Everett Enduring celebrity. His beloved supporting role in My Best Friends Wedding didn't bring the expected mainstream lead roles but he's a fine actor and can still get media tongues wagging. Most recently seen in Stardust. Also writes books (More Rupert scribblings)
Harvey Fierstein American treasure. Broadway legend and lifetime activist. Most famous film credits include Mrs Doubtfire and Torch Song Trilogy. Recent Broadway activity includes the smashing revival of Fiddler on the Roof and a TONY win for originated the Edna Turnblad role for the stage version of Hairspray (and yes, he runs rings around John Travolta)
Peter Frechette Theater actor with film and TV credits including Inside Man, Grease 2, and an Emmy win way back when for thirtysomething
Stephen Fry Most famous to movie awards fanatics as the frequent host of the BAFTAs. Also writes hilarious books and acts in films from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to Wilde
Robert Gant -From Showtime's Queer as Folk. He'll next be seen in Kiss Me Deadly with Shannen Doherty
Malcolm Gets Recently starred in the romantic comedy Adam & Steve, most famous for several seasons of TVs Caroline in the City
Jason Gould Son of Barbra Streisand. There's gotta be a movie in that, right?
Neil Patrick Harris "Doogie Howser" finally came out. Currently starring in How I Met Your Mother. And for my money the best part of the Broadway revival of Sondheim's Assassins (great singing voice) though he wasn't the one that got TONY attention.
Cheyenne Jackson United 93 ensemble player and Broadway über hunk: the star of All Shook Up and the colead of the current camp hit Xanadu (More on Cheyenne)
Derek Jacobi Highly acclaimed stage star and frequent film actor. Recent appearances include Underworld: Evolution, Nanny McPhee, Hamlet and Gosford Park. He was also Daniel Craig's keeper (the painter Francis Bacon) in Love is the Devil
T.R. Knight Series regular on Grey's Anatomy
Nathan Lane Broadway megastar. Most famous film roles: The Producers and The Birdcage
Eric Millegan Series regular on TV's Bones and lots of theater
Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf. Magneto. Superstar. Activist. Hero.
Denis O'Hare Broadway star. Recent film credits include Michael Clayton (now playing) and that cynical journalist in A Mighty Heart. Let's not talk about that hideous TV movie version of "Once Upon a Mattress"
Peter Paige Most famous for his series regular role on Queer as Folk but he's kept himself busy since with TV, stage, and indie film
David Hyde Pierce "Niles" on Frasier finally came out. It was about freaking time.
Anthony Rapp An original cast member of Rent. Other films include A Beautiful Mind and 80s guilty pleasure Adventures in Babysitting
Christopher Sieber Star of TV's shortlived gay themed comedy It's all Relative. And you have to give him credit for playing straight man to the Olsen Twins in another one season TV flop Two of a Kind. Will be in next year's romantic ensemble drama See You in September
George Takei "Sulu" of TV's legendary Star Trek . Just got killed off on Heroes but not many people stay dead on that show. We'll see.
Rufus Wainwright this folkrock god has been paying homage to Judy Garland for so long now he's starting to feel like a real actress. Plus he's actually acting in films now including Heights and this year's Canadian Oscar submission L'age Des Tenebres (Rufus! Rufus! Rufus!)
Gedde Watanabe Still most famous for playing "Long Duk Dong" in Sixteen Candles but he's done lots of TV work including a few seasons of E.R.
BD Wong Eternally busy thespian and activist. Lots of Broadway (M Butterfly, Pacific Overtures), voice work, and TV under his belt including major lengthy stints on Oz and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Simon Woods Shy cutie Mr. Bingley in Pride & Prejudice and Octavian on HBO's Rome
Out Actresses and Performers
Alexis Arquette Sister of Patricia and Rosanna. America witnessed her journey towards the big snip on The Surreal Life. Past film credits include: Pulp Fiction, The Trip, Wigstock, and Threesome
Sandra Bernhard Legend. Without her you're nothing. Former comic superstardom
Saffron Burrows Eric Bana's delicious lady love in Troy also loves the ladies. Recurring character work on Boston Legal. Other credits include: Reign Over Me, Frida and Miss Julie. Dated her director Mike Figgis and also Alan Cumming (in the list of men above) but is now partnered with Fiona Shaw (The Black Dahlia) --scroll down for her
Ellen Degeneres Talk show megastar. Former leading sitcom lady
Sara Gilbert "Darlene" from Roseanne. Riding in Cars with Boys, 24, Twins
Jane Lynch Awesome comic supporting player: You'll remember her from For Your Consideration, Best in Show and seductively singing to The 40 Year Old Virgin
Cherry Jones Broadway goddess. Longtime activist. Sarah Paulson's girlfriend. Sometime film actor including: The Village and Cradle Will Rock. Meryl Streep snagged Jones's TONY winning Doubt role for the film version
Miriam Margoyles Wonderful character actress who you delighted in (even if you don't know her name in The Age of Innocence, Magnolia and Being Julia among many others
Heather Matarazzo Treated rather gruesomely in this year's Hostel Part 2. Previously seen in The Princess Diaries and abused in Welcome to the Dollhouse
Tammy Lynn Michaels Melissa Etheridge's partner. Television actress most famous for her role on the defunct series Popular. Recent credits include stints on Committed and The L Word
Cynthia Nixon Sex & the City's Miranda. Currently reprising the role for the film version. Also busy on the boards
Rosie O'Donnell Talk show troublemaker. Former comedic superstardom
Sarah Paulson Fresh off of a leading TV role in the cancelled Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Previously rocked stylized period pieces like Down With Love and The Notorious Bettie Page whilst rocking Cherry Jones' world. Her next gig: joining the starry cast of The Spirit directed by Frank Miller
Portia de Rossi From the dearly departed Arrested Development. Formerly of Ally McBeal. Currently on Ellen DeGeneres' arm
Fiona Shaw Stole the show in last year's DePalma oddity The Black Dahlia. Terrorizes Harry Potter every couple of years for a few minutes as Aunt Petunia. Receives endless kudos for brilliant stage work. Next movie is The Other Side with Angelica Huston, Jim Broadbent, Jason Lee, Lili Taylor and many other famous faces. Dating Saffron Burrows
Lily Tomlin Legend. Recently of I Heart Huckabees. Eternally in Nashville. Came out officially in 2000. She's been living with her girlfriend and writing partner Jane Wagner (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe) since the 1970s
For every A list actor/actress who repeatedly lies about it... For every gay casting director who refuses to consider gay actors for straight or gay roles (grrr and for shame) ... there are a ton of hardworking admirable professionals like these above who aren't afraid to speak their personal truth. They can say the G word with pride ...or at least a minimum of fuss or angst. More power to these brave and awesome entertainers.
Buy tickets to their movies. Watch their TV shows
If you're here for the first time: please check out the most recent postings. There's daily movie-loving hijinx here at the film experience.
Further Reading? If you want to see more complete lists there's also the Wikipedia pages for a MUCH longer list of famous GLBT people . You'll notice that the list you've just read above has more than its share of Brits: they tend to come out in greater numbers over the pond. Here's the pink list --a list of influential gay Britons published last year in The Independent
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Written by NATHANIEL R @ 8:33 AM
Labels: Adam Shankman, Alan Cumming, Almodóvar, Cherry Jones, Fiona Shaw, GLBT, Gregg Araki, Gus Van Sant, Jane Lynch, John Barrowman, John Cameron Mitchell, John Waters, Kimberly Peirce, Lily Tomlin, lists, politics, Rufus Wainwright, Rupert Everett, Sir Ian McKellen, Todd Haynes