AB: And when did your parents get divorced?
AC: When I was one. My mom basically raised me by herself. She was a great single mother and was successful in the 80s when it was hard to be as a woman.
AB: What about your relationship with your father?
AC: It’s getting better. The father in the movie dies away, which is kind of how I felt like my relationship with my father did in real life. I just wrote him out as quickly as possible. It is getting better as I get older. I think I’m maturing and learning not to – just to try to make peace. You know, when they’re so hardcore in their beliefs and so am I, it’s better just not to talk about them.
AB: Do you think your father thinks you’re going to hell?
AC: Probably. If he’s true in his beliefs, yes. I had a conversation with my father when I was in Texas a few weeks ago, saying, “The Bible also says not to eat shrimp and wear wool, so are you going to hell?” These are things that Christians believe and if everything’s equal, then I guess I’ll see everyone in hell.
AB: So you believe in hell?
AC: I believe in hell.
AB: You believe in God?
AC: I believe in God, yeah.
AB: It’s probably best to believe in God, because if you believe in God, you’re safe. If there is a God, it’s like, “Okay, I believe in you.” If there isn’t, you haven’t really lost anything.
AC: Exactly. That’s kind of how I feel, but I believe there’s something. I believe in energy and positive thinking.
AB: Is your mom religious? Did you have to go to church when you were a kid?
AC: Um, yeah. I was forced to go to church as a kid. My mom isn’t particularly religious. She believes in God and she’s Christian, but everyone is in Texas. If you’re not, you’re totally a social outcast.
AB: Do you think that making a gay movie is a political statement?
AC: I’d like to think it is – I mean, I didn’t make this movie for political reasons. Looking at the gay community in a positive light is a political statement. I think Fat Girls has a crossover appeal that some gay movies don’t have, because there are not a lot of hot boys fucking in bathhouses, so it doesn’t scare straight people away. We have a pretty big straight fan base. I think that’s great – I think it advances people’s views of gay people in cinema.
AB: Let’s talk about your next flick.
AC: It’s called Mangus! It’s another small town Texas comedy. It’s kind of like Waiting for Guffman about a small town production of Jesus Christ Spectacular. The movie’s produced by Holly Wiersma who produced Factory Girl, Bobby and Happy Endings. We’re shooting in February and March. It’s a much bigger budget. It’s the gayest ungay movie ever.
AB: What makes it so gay?
AC: The community theater aspect and a lot of the supporting characters are gay and lesbian, but the lead character happens to be straight, but really ambiguous. It’s funny, because everyone’s comment was “Well, you need to do a straight movie next”.
AB: Because they’re afraid you’re going to get pigeonholed.
AC: Yeah, so here I am doing the gayest straight movie ever made.
AB: You also have another movie that you’re writing, correct?
AC: Yeah, and I just got the financing. It’s called Petunia and it’s kind of like Annie Hall, but with two guys. I’m trying to make gay movies that aren’t all about – I mean, I love sex, I think it’s awesome, and I love hot guys, but I think there’s an audience for actual gay movies without all that. I hope there is.
AB: When you were younger, you always wanted to be a performer?
AC: Yeah. It was always my dream to be on Broadway from age six or something.
AB: You’ve done stageâ€¦
AC: Not Broadway stage, but growing up until I was 18 I was doing professional theater. It was cool. I enjoyed it, but I really fell in love with film – it’s around forever. It’s a moment captured in time. Nobody can do anything about it. When I’m dead, I’ll still be around – at least my stories will be.
AB: With theater, you go and if you mess up you just keep going and you have that two and half hour window that you’re doing it and it’s exhilarating. I imagine doing a movie can be a little frustrating because you have to stop and go –
AC: There are so many battles. I like to fight for what I want to do, so it’s the perfect match for me. But it’s a fight the whole way.