AE: You have a long history of being an ally to the LGBT community. How do you feel about this film as a political film?
JM: I’ve said this a lot, but films don’t influence culture as much as they reflect it. I think the reason we can have a film like this is because these are the kind of families we’re seeing right now; this is not shocking. That said, there was an article on the front page of the New York Times about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and they were saying that repealing that act is a major, major thing because what does change opinion is proximity. That if your next door neighbor is gay, if the person in the unit with you is gay, and suddenly you’re like, “Oh my gosh, they’ve been here the whole time and I didn’t know they were gay, they’re just like me!”
That’s what changes, that’s what makes people think that this is not other, this is not different. That being said, the fact that the movie presents everything that way is ultimately very helpful. But it’s also generational. My kids are growing up in a world where people have two moms or two dads or two moms or two dads who have split up and re-partnered just like a lot of heterosexual couples. They’re living in a world where all of it is happening. It is not different.
I read a script 15 years ago that was about a lesbian cop and she was in the closet. I asked to re-read it — it’s with Christine Vachon — and I said, “Why don’t you send it to me again and we’ll look at it.” I read it and e-mailed her that it’s really dated. I don’t think we can do it. We’d literally have to make it a period piece. And that’s great.
AE: There’s nothing mentioned about the kids having any problems in school — it’s refreshing that having two gay parents is a non-issue in the film.
JM: The was also an article about an AMA study of same-sex parents over the past 24 years and now the kids have come of age, and they’re able to talk to these children and they found that the kids are very well-adjusted socially, have done well academically, etc. These are very well-loved, cared-for, cherished and smart kids. Very well-parented children with no problems at all. That’s just not an issue, which is great.
AE: Did you feel you picked up any of Lisa’s mannerisms?
JM: Totally! Did you hear my voice? I was doing Lisa! Lisa was like, “I like that! You’re doing this sort of surfer-lesbian thing.” And I was like, “Really, Lisa!” [Laughs] It was really funny.
AE: Was that something you did subconsciously?
JM: It was conscious! Of course! [Laughs] It was completely deliberate. I love her voice, I’m really into it! That’s my choice.
"The Kids Are All Right" opens July 9.