Craig Johnson On Why ‘Alex Strangelove’ Isn’t Like Other Coming Out Movies [Podcast]

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We’ve already waxed about how there’s been a monumental resurgence in gay-themed films over the past 18 months.  It’s mostly been contained to the prestige circuit (hello “Moonlight” and “Call Me By Your Name”), but “Love Simon” had a solid outing as a commercial release for 20th Century Fox earlier this year.  Now, the streaming services are getting into the game with Netflix‘s “launch” (not “drop”) of “Alex Strangelove” at midnight tonight.

Written and directed by Craig Johnson (“The Skeleton Twins”), “Strangelove” tells the story of Alex (newcomer Daniel Doheny), a high school senior who doesn’t really realize he’s gay.  Everyone’s coming out story is different and Alex is one of those guys who is genuinely confused partially due to his romantic relationship with his BFF Claire (future star Madeline Weinstein best known for“Beach Rats”).  A random meeting with college student Elliott (Antonio Marziale of the best web series you’ve likely never seen, “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo”) makes him start to question what side of the coin he’s really down for.  The story is somewhat familiar if you’ve seen enough gay films (it won’t be if you’re a teenager and it comes up in your Netflix cue) but Johnson’s dialogue is funny and realistic (something you couldn’t necessarily say about “Love Simon”).  It also features a number of outstanding supporting performances including Daniel Zolghadri (“Eighth Grade”) as Dell, one of Alex’s close friends.

Joining me for a new episode of the Four Quadrant podcast, Johnson talks about how personal the story is for him, how he intentionally wanted to make an R-rated gay coming out story, the open casting call process of finding the right Alex and why it’s different from other coming out movies.  You can listen to this episode in the Soundcloud embed below or on iTunes. If you do listen on iTunes please rate, subscribe and share it with your friends!

Check out previous episodes with “Counterpart” creator Justin Marks, “The Disaster Artist” screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, “Darkest Hour” screenwriter Anthony McCarten, two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz,  Ben Mendelsohn,Blade Runner: 2049‘s” Denis Villeneuve, “Thor: Ragnarok‘s” Taika Waititi,  “The Florida Project‘s” Sean Baker,  John Boyega, get behind the scenes with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producers and more on Soundcloud or on iTunes.

Comments, questions, suggestions? E-mail the podcast at [email protected]

For more movie and Oscar insight follow me on Twitter @TheGregoryE

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