EMERGING INDIE STAR GREG WALLOCH (part 3)

A good deal of the film focuses on your living in Harlem. Why do you feel it was important to make your neighborhood an integral part of your filmed story? ^ I don’t feel it is integral in a real sense, other than the fact that I tell some stories about where I live in my show. The reality is that the rent is cheap and Harlem is a beautiful place to live. When it is portrayed as only rough and drug-laden, well that’s what they call a little “Hollywood Spit Shine.” When people don’t say “I saw a film about a gay, disabled, white guy in Harlem.” and simply say, “I saw Greg Walloch’s new film”…that will be success.
The film crew literally followed you all over the place in shooting this movie. How did it feel to live with a camera fixed on you all of the time? ^ What you see on stage is the most authentic expression of myself, a lot of artists feel that way. I didn’t enjoy being filmed offstage. It’s weird that we call it “reality” or “documentary” because it was like being in this hyper-unreal state for three months. When there’s a big crew filming you taking a piss or waking up, it’s feels like the most surreal and unnatural thing in the world.
Many filmmakers who create specifically gay-oriented works often grouse about the inability to expand their audiences beyond the so-called gay ghetto. Do you feel your film can make it beyond the gay ghetto into the hearts and smiles of straight audiences? ^ That’s not an issue. All the work I do comes from my heart and is for everybody.
As a New Yorker and a comic, how have the recent tragic events affected your life and your work? ^ I am still so shocked. I worked at World Trade Center at one point and I feel a very personal relationship to those buildings. I have stories to tell, people have stories…complex, some sad, some happy. Our stories will help us heal.
There has been a recent brouhaha over a news photo of a sailor on a U.S. Navy battleship who wrote “High Jack This, Fags” on an Afghanistan-bound bomb. What bothers you most about this incident…the intolerance or the illiteracy? ^ I have a T-shirt that says “Hi, Jack This, Fags” with an arrow pointing south…I get a lot of dates!
For your next film, would you consider a disabled-friendly remake of “Jules and Jim” with you and Christopher Reeve vying for Marlee Matlin? ^ Um, no.
Get more information at Greg Walloch’s official site.
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Posted on October 15, 2001 in Interviews by
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