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Trick: Director Jim Fall Remembers The Classic Gay Rom-Com 15 Years Later


[Editor’s note: Tonight the Los Angeles LGBT Center will host a screening of the 1999 film Trick. During the screening director Jim Fall will provide audio commentary and share anecdotes about making the beloved rom-com. The interview below was originally published Feb. 19, 2014.]

Do you remember your one-night stands from 1999? Neither do we, but who can forget Trick? Director Jim Fall‘s clever rom-com, which followed an aspiring Broadway composer (Christian Campbell) and a go-go boy (J.P. Pitoc) who get acquainted as they search for a place to hook up, struck a chord with moviegoers when it was released 15 years ago. To mark this anniversary the film, which also features memorable supporting turns by Miss Coco Peru and Tori Spelling, will be shown at UCLA February 22 as part of the Outfest-UCLA Legacy Project Screening Series (for tickets to the screening with Fall, Campbell and Pitoc in attendance, go here.) Fall chatted with Queerty about the making of the movie, the impact it had on viewers at the time and what the hopeful characters might be doing today.

How did you come to direct Trick?

I found the script written by Jason Schafer while I was directing a play. The early version of Trick, which was then called Gay Boy, was really funny and good but was maybe 70-some pages long. What I wanted to do was not make a movie that was about two gay guys coming out or AIDS or anything I felt a lot of gay movies were dealing with or a gay guy falling for a straight guy. There were a lot of gay guy falling for a straight guy movies that I found vaguely homophobic, actually. [Laughs] Even back then I was tired of what was fast becoming cliché. What I thought was subversive about the movie was that it was really about two guys trying to find a place to have sex and then they end up falling for each other.

In 1999 some people still considered it “brave” for straight actors to play gay characters. Did J.P. and Christian have any such concerns?

It wasn’t really an issue. The only issue is was when we were casting some actors turned us down. I don’t remember names, but back then it was a lot harder to cast a gay movie. You can’t ask an actor if he’s gay because it’s inappropriate. When Christian auditioned I didn’t ask, but I assumed that maybe J.P. was gay because I’d seen him in what was essentially a gay play and jumped to a conclusion.  It turns out that neither of them are.

imagesWhen they saw the film a lot of guys I know hoped J.P. was gay.

[Laughs] I know. He’s not, though. He’s married with two kids now. It wasn’t that big of an issue ultimately when the right actors came about. J.P.’s role was the hardest to cast. His character had one of the biggest arcs in the story. It was tough to find someone to play a go-go boy, who had that body and could act. [Laughs] I saw a picture of J.P. in his underwear in a gay magazine in New York. I went to see his play and he did a monologue in his underwear and I thought, That’s my go-go boy!

How did you find Christian?

Christian just auditioned. I came to L.A. to broaden the casting net and he was one of the people on the list. What’s funny is his first audition didn’t go so well and I kind of wrote him off. Luckily he came back to the call backs and he’d completely rethought the character and made him much more vulnerable. I thought, Oh, you’re the guy. Auditioning is very tough. It was my first movie. You never know if you’re saying the right thing to get an actor to show you what they can do. Thank God he came back. He ended up being perfect.

On:           Jul 25, 2014
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    • Ron Jackson

      Trick is one of my all time favorite films. I still drag it off the shelf to watch a couple times a year. Thanks to Mr. Fall and the cast and crew for making it.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38

      I love this movie! “You ever have cum in your eye? It burns!”

      Feb 19, 2014 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201

      Still one of the best gay films ever. Looking is trying to be Trick set 10 years later.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MudgeBoy

      I liked trick but I didn’t really love it. The Go Go boy is hot as hell and there are some great lines. But there is something frustrating about the fact that they spend the night trying to hook up and finally have that one adorable kiss. In a sense, the fact that they only kiss gives hope for the relationship but I guess I am always looking for more.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Toby Ross

      As far as I am concerned Trick is the only gay themed movie that can be enjoyed by straights as well, the rest of gay cinema films are too in house, inbred plot and “you’ll get over it” humor designed for gays only. It is also the best gay themed movie ever produced. Genius!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • darkorient

      A long, long time ago, Trick always came up whenever I went browsing at local DVD stores. I always gave it a miss because of the colorful and seemingly camp cover. You see, I am never a fan of Queer as Folk and I suspected Trick to be the same bore. But how wrong I was! Just recently, I decided to give it a try and I found it to be very sweet! I do feel like I still want more, so a sequel will be very much welcomed!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JennyFromdabloc

      All time classic movie. “It buuuuuuurns!”

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • krystalkleer

      by far thee best non heterosexual flick ever made that wasn’t about gett’n laid!http://getoffmydress.blogspot.com/2014/02/hail-mary-fer-defense.html

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mdterp01

      Love this movie. “Como te gusta mi pinga en mis pantalones”

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queertyreader

      Never understood the popularity of this film.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meowzer

      I absolutely love this film. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it, but it’s still one of my “go to” movies when I’m in the mood for a romantic comedy. I had always secretly hoped Christian was gay because he was just so adorable.
      Even after 15 years I still think the film holds up well.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      The scripts are obviously out there and yet hardly any gay movies of this quality come out.

      Brokeback Mountain can make more money than a movie like say Scream and yet studios will still claim that gay movies are bad business why they make 3 sequels and a ton of knock off’s to Scream and never doing another gay movie.

      Movies like Trick, Beautiful Thing, The Wedding Banquet etc… are too few and far between.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron Jackson

      The reason we go back to films like TRICK is because even though it isn’t perfect; it’s better than 90% of the low budget crap that passes for “gay cinema”.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie in Charge

      A classic. Love that it kept it light.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sportyguy1983

      Definitely one of the better gay movies made regardless of the fact that so many gay movies are just stinkers.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skcord

      I remember getting so excited every time this came on IFC back when I was in my early teens.(back when that channel was worth having) It was the only movie to which I had access that had gay characters… and hot scenes lol

      Feb 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff

      LOVED Trick! Please tell me Tori will come back for the sequel!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lane103

      This movie was so sweet…and as has been mentioned before there are so few gay themed movies you can enjoy….the only other film from that era I liked as much was Edge of Seventeen….another sweet funny movie…

      Feb 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1

      @Toby Ross: Trick was great. If were talking about a gay themed indie kind of movie my vote goes for Priscilla Queen of the desert though. That movie was loved by everyone.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1

      @Cam: Sequels are generally easy money for the studios so I can’t blame them for preferring that.

      I think the last good one was Milk. Of coarse it only took decades for them to finally make it.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      @Stache1, yes, Priscilla was the better movie, but Trick was great too. So much more watchable than the usual dour gay tragedies.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hillers

      Such a great, funny flick. But Christian straight in real life? C’mon now.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveDenver

      Someone actually compared TRICK with PRISCILLA? Is that just plain stupid or a reason to whine? I guess it’s both.

      While my friends were drooling for JP, I was falling for Christian, soon to discover he is Neve Campbell’s brother.

      What a sweet film, I think it’s time to give it another go!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cooldudesea

      Feb 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1

      @SteveDenver: I’m glad that you liked it but I was replying to another commenter about it being the most popular with straights. Not whether one was better then then the other. Try improving your reading comprehension.

      I happened to see both in a theater. I saw Priscilla twice and it was sold out and Trick while being good was pretty much limited to the LGBT community.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1

      “In 1999 some people still considered it “brave” for straight actors to play gay characters.”

      That’s BS. First these guys were not even known. At that point work was work for them. They’ll take whatever comes their way. Take Priscilla for example That came out in 1994. These were A-list actors and it didn’t hurt them one bit.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      @Stache1: said… “@Cam: Sequels are generally easy money for the studios so I can’t blame them for preferring that.


      Yes, but they also made multiple knock-off’s of Scream even though Brokeback made more.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan down in Florida

      @Stache1 – in 2014 it may not be “brave” for straight actors to play gay characters in both mainstream and indie films. What is now “brave” is for gay actors to play gay in gay cinema. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve enjoyed an actor’s performance in a gay film and checked them out on imdb.com only to find they’ve never done anything of consequence again in film although many work in theater or go behind the camera.

      Feb 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lkeels

      Now wait a minute. He says that the sequel is them running into each other 15 years later after nothing happened between them? I’ve lived the last 15 years believing that the kiss meant that they started a relationship, and I’m not ready to have that shot down. He needs to rethink this. Let’s see a sequel where they’ve been TOGETHER for 15 years!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      @lkeels, so you want a romantic comedy about a couple who have been married for 15 years? I think maybe you need to rethink that. :)

      Feb 19, 2014 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • babybabybaby

      I liked the movie it was cute I even liked the part Tori Spelling played the movie is timeless…

      Feb 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL

      Oooh, sweet memories… I loved ’90s BritQ films too, like “Beautiful Thing” and “Get Real.”

      Feb 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The7thDoctor

      Loved the lads on-screen. Who knew there was a hottie BEHIND the camera! Jim Fall is beautiful!

      Feb 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robsjcfll

      What I loved about the film was the fact that both guys were so “normal” and genuinely sweet. The film still remains a personal favorite.

      Feb 20, 2014 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebizzar

      @darkorient: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, or a DVD! ;)

      I actually have never finished watching this film (I was watching it online some time ago and the damn connection gave out) so yeah I better get to finishing it!

      Feb 20, 2014 at 3:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarthKitsune

      This is one of the first gay themed movies I ever saw, and as such, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

      Feb 20, 2014 at 3:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas

      Gabriel looks about 15 to me now.

      Feb 20, 2014 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Crunchysocks

      Is there any chance that Trick will be released on Blu-Ray for its 15th Anniversary?????

      Feb 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michaelroy

      I loved Trick! Great flick. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already. #damn! and Tori Spelling is terrific. Glad they’re doing a sequel. I’m interested in seeing the characters 15 years later. They can do flashbacks to the original flick in the sequel. They should do a special 15 year anniversary release of Trick with never before seen footage and interviews with the main actors.

      Feb 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamal49

      A top-notch film from start to finish! Ironically, no sex but one of the sexiest kisses ever. The final shot of the film has now become its most poignant. The two leads are excellent with a believable chemistry and Tori Spelling is hilarious (at that time, much to my surprise!). I watch this film at least twice a year. I never get tired of it. I always recommend this film to others when they ask me “what’s a good “gay” film to watch”.

      Mar 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Loved this movie, and was surprised about Tori Spelling. Some friends who had never met those type of girls thought she over acted, but my friends and I all thought she nailed the F-Hag role perfectly.

      Jul 25, 2014 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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