Next to swing by my sliver of territory is Adam Shankman: choreographic savant, So You Think You Can Dance judge, and the host of tonight’s fundraiser.
AE: How did you get involved with the Go Campaign?
Adam Shankman: I’m friends with Scott Fifer [GO Campaign Founder and Executive Director] and when he sent me a link to the Landfill Harmonic Documentary, I was so moved I knew I had to get involved.
Adam is referring to an upcoming documentary about the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay. The Recycled Orchestra is a testament to artistic innovation in a place of destitution and disarray: a compassionate local man named Favio Chavez created makeshift children’s instruments from landfill garbage. The Recycled Orchestra became a surprise triumph, garnering international attention with a YouTube clip and later partnering with the Go Campaign to continue transforming the lives of impoverished Paraguayan children with music.
AE: How do you transfer and apply your experiences as a choreographer and dancer to being a director?
Adam Shankman: It literally couldn’t be easier! As a choreographer, I tell people where to go, what to do, and how to do it. As a director, I tell people where to go, how to do it, and what they should be feeling. I see scripts and texts as music, I see people moving around as choreography; it’s all the same to me.
AE: How much do you think things in Hollywood have changed for gay people? Are we going to see a lesbian action starlette or gay rom-com hero anytime soon?
Adam Shankman: In terms of independent films, we are absolutely ready to see those character; in the major studios, we are not. Right now the middle of the industry has been squeezed out. You have either $30 million and under indies or $150 million and above mainstream movies. I don’t think the big movies are ready for a gay lead, but certainly in the independent world all bets are off. I think there’s room for anything.
AE: Why don’t you think the big studios are ready for a gay lead?
Adam Shankman: Because it’s not guaranteed to turn a profit. The overall feeling in the business is all about risk aversion. People just aren’t taking risks.
Shankman’s honesty about Hollywood realities is refreshing in a space where insiders and celebrities are more likely to tell you what they think you want to hear rather than make time for thoughtful industry analysis. Shankman moves along, eventually saying hello to artist Shepard Fairey, who designed Obama’s notorious “Hope” election image and politely but firmly declines all interviews.
Other notables who escape my prying journalistic clutches include Dermot Mulroney, Cheryl Hines, Embeth Davidtz, Harry Shum, Romy Rosemont, Anastasia Roark, Sheila Shah, Craig Gillespie, the founders of Juicy Couture, and whole gang o’ Kennedys. Luckily, 2 Broke Girls star Beth Behrs moseys up to my tomato-tinted homestead to answer questions and beam sunnily. At her most glum, Beth Behrs is probably still perkier than I’ve been or ever will be.
AE: 2 Broke Girls is set in Williamsburg. How do you think the Williamsburg of your show matches up to real life Williamsburg?
Beth Behrs: Well I’ve only been there once, so I can’t speak to what Williamsburg is really like other than it’s AWESOME! 2 Broke Girls is heightened comedy, so I know we’re not dead on, but I’d like to think it’s close!
AE: Are we every going to see any lesbian characters on Two Broke Girls? I hear Williamsburg is full of gays!
Beth Behrs: We do have Luis, a gay character played by Federico Dordei, but we don’t have any lesbians… yet! A lesbian character would be awesome, especially since half of our writing staff is lesbians.
I’m intrigued by this new information about a homosexual hotbed, but before I can interrogate Behrs further the blonde starlet is torn away by her many waiting admirers. Behrs is probably referring partially to Liz Feldman, a producer/writer on 2 Broke Girls and venerated AE vlog alumnus. Who are these other lesbians toiling for 2 Broke Girls? Why have they not written a lesbian character? What is the meaning of life? Please answer all these questions and more in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.