Sunday, 6 January 2013

Alan Cumming: favourite charity, and 'Any Day Now' interview


Alan Cumming's Favourite Charity
Actor Alan Cumming appeared on today's "Anderson Live" and talked about his favorite charity, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The charity mobilizes the unique abilities within the entertainment industry to mitigate the suffering of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, and increases public awareness and understanding of the disease through the creation and dissemination of educational materials. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Check out what Alan had to say about this organization backstage at "Anderson Live," and to find out more about Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit BroadwayCares.org.
Source: Anderson Live

Alan Cumming Has Never Been Better
The story of Any Day Now may take place in the past, but the discrimination against same-sex families it depicts is unfortunately still all too real.


Cumming (right) and Dillahunt prepare for battle.

George Arthur Bloom lived in Brooklyn in the late 1970s, back when it was a rough-and-tumble area. He was inspired by a larger-than-life character everyone seemed to know, Rudy, who developed a fatherly relationship with, as filmmaker Travis Fine puts it, a “kid who was terribly handicapped, both mentally and physically” and whose mother was a drug addict. Bloom turned Rudy’s real-life experience into a screenplay, which almost got filmed several times during the ensuing years (at one point Tommy Lee Jones and Sylvester Stallone were attached to it). Then it went nowhere, Bloom gave up, and it sat in a drawer until his son, an old high school friend of Fine’s, showed the director the script.

The movie that came of it, Any Day Now, which hit theaters this winter and garnered awards on the festival circuit, follows The Good Wife’s Alan Cumming as Rudy, Raising Hope’s Garret Dillahunt as Paul, the closeted attorney who becomes his partner, and Isaac Leyva as Marco, a teen with Down syndrome who’s abandoned by his mother and taken in by the men. They all must fight a biased legal system so the couple can adopt Isaac, a heart-wrenching storyline that will resonate with many of the 2 to 6 million LGBT people who say they’d like to adopt.

“The story of Any Day Now may take place in the past, but the discrimination against same-sex families it depicts is unfortunately still all too real in some parts of our country,” says GLAAD president Herndon Graddick.

It’s real too for kids like Marco. As of 2011 there were 104,236 children in foster care awaiting adoption, many of them considered special-needs children because they are black or Latino, are older than infants, or have some form of mental or physical disability. “What the film’s remarkable performances and eloquent script reveal, though, is how unjust and hurtful to same-sex couples and children that discrimination really is,” Graddick adds.

Cumming, whose performance is riveting and one of his most inspired, talks about making the film.

I found Any Day Now just completely absorbing and really moving. And I notice people just seem to really have a gut reaction to the film. Why do you think it reaches people that way?
I think that we see the story of people who are damaged and devastated by bigotry and prejudice and ignorance. And we understand how wrong that is because we’ve invested in these characters and we want them to be together. And then I think in a larger way, we know that the reason that happened is because that bigotry and that prejudice still exist in our society. And I think we are so moved by it because we know that we are complicit in that because we are all members of that society.

This is a story about many things — about family, the foster care system, and coming out, but at the heart of it, it’s a love story between your free-spirited Rudy and Garret’s buttoned-down, closeted Paul. How did you develop the sort of chemistry that viewers see between you and Garret on-screen?
We just had to fake it, because we didn’t know each other. It was very well-written. and obviously Garret is a really brilliant actor and we luckily felt very comfortable with each other and got on. And I think that’s half of it. Once you feel comfortable with someone you can just dive in. But you’d imagine we’d have lots of time to talk and get comfortable with each other. No, we were practically in bed on the first day.

One of the other parts of the film that we don’t see a lot of — but is so true — is that there’s so much difficulty over same-sex couples trying to adopt. But the reality is there are a ton of children and teenagers, especially with physical or mental disabilities, that will just languish in the system.
Absolutely right. And that to me is the biggest idea—because everyone falls in love with Isaac. Garret says at one point, “I’m just hoping that this child doesn’t slip through the cracks in the system,” and sadly he does.

Tell me about working with Isaac.
Oh, it was great. I loved it. I mean people think…you’re going to make a movie with someone who has a learning disability, what’s that going to mean? I had no idea. But I just went into it…with an open heart. And he was just an absolute darling and so lovely.… He’s got kind of openness to him and…he’s not at all jaded. Everything there’s pure, and it kind of reminded me of what acting should be like. Everything’s really on the surface and completely authentic.

What’s the most critical thing for you to get across with this film?  What do you want people to take away from it?
I want people to…have a real emotional experience and an emotional connection. But really…I want people to go away and think, Wow, look at the effect of prejudice and ignorance and bigotry, and look at how much our society is still engendering and encouraging that.  

Speaking of, you and your husband, Grant, got married earlier this year in New York. What are your thoughts on the recent marriage equality successes?
I think it’s great that we have a president who is very vocal in his support of equality and gay rights. I think the last election is really exciting in that it showed that the country was rejecting all that sort of prejudice and fear-based prejudice. We’re still the second-class citizens. And people still can be fired for being gay and people are gay-bashed.… So, you know, I don’t mean to be ungrateful but I don’t see why I should be so grateful for my rights. I think that’s what we should all remember.
Source (including image, and extended interviews): Advocate

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