What message does your film have for queer audiences?
Everyone is in the closet in high school about something. The queer kids in G.B.F. ultimately are no different than any of the other characters in the film. They all feel like outsiders, whether it’s about religion, race, or looking too perfect. Queerness can coexist in a mainstream teen movie without having that label attached. The towering acronym of the title is put to rest by the end of the movie. I like leveling the playing field of what it means to be different.
There’s been a lot of controversy about the MPAA hitting the film with an R rating. It’s such a teen-friendly film and I can’t think of any content in it that wouldn’t be seen on TV. Is there a double standard at work here?
There’s definitely a double standard. Films with gay content get harsher ratings. I was never interested in making a film that was exclusionary to anybody. It’s disappointing that the R will make the film somehow taboo when really the only taboo thing about it – to the MPAA at least — is that a gay character is taking his place in the teen movie pantheon.
How will this impact a big segment of its target audience being able to see it?
The film is opening in select cities so theatrically the window is small to begin with. It would have been nice if kids in cities could go to the see the film in a theater together and have that communal movie-going experience. Most kids will probably watch the film on VOD or buy it on DVD. There’s so many ways to take in content these days. I’m just glad kids will have access to it, even if they’re hovering over an iphone together.