“Trick” Actors Reveal They Were Offered Only Gay Roles After Film’s Release

J.P. Pitoc, Christian Campbell, February 23, 2014

A full house and very enthusiastic audience welcomed Trick director Jim Fall and stars Christian Campbell, J.P. Pitoc and Kevin Chamberlin to the stage of UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theatre to discuss their film following a 15th anniversary screening of the 1999 rom-com Saturday night in Los Angeles. Fall and his cast shared anecdotes about the making of the queer classic.

Campbell and Pitoc, both of whom are straight, were asked by an audience member if making their film debuts as gay characters had an impact on their careers.

“After Trick came out a lot of the scripts I was getting were for gay roles,” Campbell revealed. “I had a lot of resentment about that because as an actor you want to be seen for all the other things you can do.” He added that he eventually got over it and that he’s testing for a gay character on an ABC series later this week.

trick cast
Chamberlin, Pitoc, Campbell, Jim Fall

Pitoc noted he had a similar experience being offered numerous gay scripts after Trick was released. “There are some I wish I’d taken,” he said, with a laugh. “If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have done Six Feet Under because Alan Ball wouldn’t know who I was. I wouldn’t have a career.”

“The gay mafia is very powerful,” Campbell joked. “They’ve taken very good care of me.”

Both lead actors made it clear they are grateful for the experience and “immensely proud” of the film that’s become a gay viewing rite-of-passage.

Pitoc disclosed that people have told him he was brave to make the film. “I don’t think we should get any special credit for playing gay,” he mused. “It’s just a fucking role.”

Campbell noted that the film was made in an era that held a different viewpoint. “We also played gay roles at a time when it might have been considered a killer for your career,” he offered.

111044__trick_lFall added that when casting the film he didn’t care whether the actors were straight or gay. “At that time the list of out gay actors was just Harvey Fierstein and he wasn’t right for anything [in the film],” he cracked to laughter from the audience.

Seeing the comedy again in a crowded theater proved to be a nostalgic experience for many in attendance, who shared personal recollections of when they first watched the film and how it reflected their lives at the time. Some mentioned how refreshing it was in 1999, following a spate of films about AIDS or gay guys infatuated with heterosexual men, to see a romantic comedy about two gay men that contained no agenda besides entertaining an audience.

maxresdefaultYet there was a subversive element to Trick being one of the first to deviate from portraying a drag queen as a caricature and making her a sexualized character. Miss Coco Peru, who appears in the comedy as a more vicious version of herself, delivers a devastatingly funny monologue about her one-night-stand with Pitoc’s character Marc. Fall said this was intentional. “It just made sense to me. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about whether Coco should be sexualized.”

Fall revealed that he wanted to film the video of the one-night-stand that Peru refers to in her monologue that ends with Marc shooting cum in her eye (“It burns!”) and have it play over end credits. The director joked that maybe it will be in the proposed sequel.

tumblr_mivvfimlBG1r7b601o1_1280Talk of a potential Trick follow-up was greeted with applause from the audience. Pitoc shared his pitch, which would have Mark and Gabriel having fallen in love and settled down but still trying to find a time and place to have sex due to constant interruptions from their children. Fall dismissed this idea, sticking to what he told Queerty last week about the two men running into each other a decade and a half after their first real date didn’t go well and getting to know each other all over again. The audience was definitely on board and both actors said they’d eagerly sign on.

Pitoc, who sported some seriously sexy facial scruff, joked that he’s willing to get another full body wax to reprise his role. At least we hope he’s joking.

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  • Richard

    Christian 15 years later looks like what would happen if Austin Scarlett and Rick Astley had a baby.

  • Mdterp01

    Christian looks basically the same as he did in the movie. J.P. on the other hand looks a bit haggard.

  • middleagespread

    I had the biggest crush on J.P. This photo of him is not the best. :-(

  • Cam

    Rather than being upset at being offered gay roles after the movie came out, they could have looked at it a different way. None of them were being offered ANY movie or TV roles prior to Trick, so they should be grateful that they were offered anything after it, gay or straight. :)

  • hephaestion

    Such a great movie. It’s as fun to watch it today as it was 15 years ago. I admire Pitoc & Campbell very much.

  • hephaestion

    I hope Tori Spelling, Steve Hayes and the ENTIRE cast can be in the sequel!

  • ppp111

    Wow, Campbell still looks great but Pitoc looks older than he really is. I guess I liked him when he was clean cut. Ah well, we can’t all stay 19 and beautiful forever.
    I agree. It would be wonderful for Hayes and Spelling to be back. I loved the film.

  • windblown27

    I had the biggest crush on JP now he looks like a clone of my father. Daddy issues? Me?

  • Franco C.

    What does how they look like have to do with anyhing? Are people surprised that after 15 years they would shockingly be older!? I’m consistently surprised with the shallow comments made by individuals in our community. Rise above, and see what’s more important: Character.

  • Respect4all

    @Cam: I think that’s essentially what they said.

  • KingEidilleg

    Hmm, I always had a crush on Jim Fall… Still have actually

  • Charlie in Charge

    Would love to see the sequel happen – gay film is in need of better sequels (I’m looking at you Eating Out).

  • Mr. E. Jones

    “At that time the list of out gay actors was just Harvey Fierstein and he wasn’t right for anything,” he cracked to laughter from the audience.

    Hmmm…Comparing their two resumes’, I think Harvey isn’t hurting for work. I guess Jim Fall just feels superior after directing “The Lizzy McGuire Movie”.

  • Stache1

    @ppp111: Try 25. I agree with the rest of it though.

  • LeNair Xavier

    I was an extra in the scene where they’re walking down the street with the older guy. If you see a pair of eyes in a purple polo shirt and denim pants walking behind them with a girl, that would be me. Lol

    When I did that movie, I STILL had not come out to myself yet. Looking back, although I didn’t come out to myself until February 2002, I think seeing the finished product did give me those little nudges to finally be true to myself. Because that movie was always in my mind when I was thinking to finally throw myself to the wolves and find out once and for all who I really was.

  • eshcetera

    @Mr. E. Jones: I was in attendance at this screening and Q&A. I think this article headline is a little bit misleading as is the quoted comment about Harvey Fierstein. Jim Fall said that Fierstein wasn’t right for the role of one of the leads, not “anything” in the film TRICK.

    It was a great turnout and definitely exciting to see the film on the big screen again. Everyone still looks great and should the right script be written, I would surely love to see the sequel!

  • johnny

    Christian Campbell is straight? I honestly had no idea. Guess I’ve been living under a rock but after seeing “Trick” and the musical version of “Reefer Madness,” there was no question in my mind that he was anything but a really nice, very talented gay kid. I’ll have to look up some of his newer stuff. He’s not a kid any more but I’m sure he’s just as talented.

  • Coventrydude

    I’m up with a sequel with both actors, I only hope that it can make money. Sure, the actors are older now, but they still look fine. I know John Paul Pitoc is fine with getting his body waxed again, but who says he needs to look like a go-go boy 15 years later, is he still working the clubs? He’s no longer the Gio Black Peter of the late 1990’s. I say let Jim Fall, Christian, and John Paul get together and figure out where these two guys are in life, 15 years later. Surprise us.

  • michaelmt1009

    I like the idea of a sequel where they run into each other 15 years later. Its a common occurrence for a lot of us. I think it would make an interesting story line.

  • phallictomato

    I only just found out about this Trick movie last night, and saw a scene on YouTube of John Paul Pitoc dancing. OH MY GOD. He’s so hot. I think I’ll have to watch this movie now :)

  • gary69mike

    I loved that movie!!! If I had been Christian’s character (I know it wasn’t in the script :)), in one of the first scenes when JP was laying on his bed, I would have jumped on him and ripped his cloths off, he wouldn’t have known what hit him. I might have even jumped his bones on the subway! JP just had it all going on! Damn he was hot!!!

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