By Stephfon Guidry
If you haven’t heard about the SKINNY then you must have been living under the ballroom floor, kiddies! Phenomenal director Patrick-Ian Polk, the man who gave you PUNKS (2000), Noah’s Arc the series and movies is back with another amazing project that is taking over the indie film houses around the nation. HomoCouture had to do a feature on this cinematic treasure about 4 friends reuniting and all the joy, heartache and scandals that ensue. HomoCouture.com, received an exclusive interview with the creative genius himself online– the miracle of technology–and here is the tea on The SKINNY, so let’s spill it! Check Out SKINNYtheMovie.Com to See or Request the SKINNY in your city!
The SKINNY Exclusive with Patrick- Ian Polk
Polk: [LOL] Well, we had a higher per-screen-average than TITANIC, and that felt really good. It’s just another piece of proof that there’s an audience for these kinds of black gay-themed movies. But this self-distributed release is a new venture for me. I’m really learning and making it up as I go, LOL. I just hope the fans support us and help spread the word. We’re counting on word of mouth for this grass roots effort.
HC: While the SKINNY is on tour will you eventually bring the movie to DVD or digital download for wider distribution?
Polk: THE SKINNY will be released on DVD and Video On Demand/Online Streaming in June. The film will premiere on the Logo channel in late summer. And then it’s on to THE SKINNY 2, shooting in Atlanta in September!
HC: The Skinny hits some relevant issues (date rape, infidelity, and HIV/AIDS awareness) what made you want to bring these real life lessons to light on screen? How have audiences received the message in the crowd Q N A you have done so far?
Polk: I set out to make a film about a younger group of gay characters, early 20′s. Fresh out of college. I think these young people are dealing with serious issues in their lives on a daily basis, so it felt natural to throw some of these topics into the storyline. The fans are really connecting with the characters. I think everyone sees a bit of themselves in at least one of the main characters from THE SKINNY.
HC: With authors like Lee Daniels, praising your work have you ever thought of working with him or other black gay authors on turning their literature to film?
Polk: Well Lee is a filmmaker- and an amazing one at that. He’s a huge inspiration as well as a dear friend. I’d love to adapt some novels into films. I have a few that I’m high on at the moment. These things take time. It would be nice to see E. Lynn’s work finally make it to the big screen, so…fingers crossed.
HC: Your talent seems limitless! With such a truth-telling in your films have you ever considered writing a novel or a series of books?
Polk: I only HOPE my talent is limitless- I like to think it is, LOL. Seriously, I think I have a healthy sense of what I can do and what I absolutely cannot. Doing THE SKINNY soundtrack as my debut solo album was a big stretch artistically-speaking, so I’m always looking for ways to stretch as an artist…within reason, LOL. You won’t find me trying out for the Lakers anytime soon, but I am actually working on my first book- a collection of short stories. I hope to have it out this fall. It’s my first stab at writing something that’s not a screenplay, so I’m taking my time with it. But it’s very exciting. And it’s got a killer title…which I won’t share just yet.
HC: With a cult-classic series under your belt like Noah’s Arc, and 3 films, will you consider going back to producing a show on a major network like Logo?
Polk: Absolutely. I’ve loved working with Logo and would love to in the future. They’re actually involved with THE SKINNY- having already licensed the film for airing on the channel starting this summer. They’ve been a great partner and I’m always open to doing more with them. At the same time, I’m hoping to work with other networks as well. I’m pitching a new show to HBO- that would be my dream job.
HC: What do you look for in your actors when you are casting those beautiful and talented men and women in your filmed work?
Polk: I’m primarily looking for talent. People think it’s enough to simply look good. If that were the case, there’d be a LOT more people doing this kind of performing. It takes actual acting ability, training, schooling. Acting is a skill like being a doctor. I respect actors who have done the work, honed their craft, those who take their work seriously. Good looks definitely help, but you’ve got to have something to back that up. And fearlessness is a must. I like working with actors who are fearless and willing to do whatever is required of a character. Skittishness over same-sex kisses or love scenes is the fastest way to NOT get hired by me, LOL.