Monday, February 25, 2013
I'm so excited about Nigel Baker's film about activist (and pal) David Mixner that I can almost forgive him for that god-forsaken show of his on Oxygen(!), "The Face." Paper asked Baker about the Mixner biopic, which I certainly hope covers the time David had sex in the locker room at Arizona State with a fellow football player ...:
You're working on a film about David Mixner who's obviously had an unbelievable life. The man publicly and loudly called out Bill Clinton on not repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell." He arranged an Anti-Vietnam protest that was so large that it wound up on the covers of Life, TIME and Newsweek. He has an entire collection in Yale's library devoted to his writings and documentaries! Is his life story just so juicy that you had to make a movie of it? What about his story attracted you?
First of all I always loved a great, true story. Whenever [David and I] meet I ask him questions about his life. He's an incredible raconteur. I basically sit like a child and get whacked into this story, transformed and taken there. All of a sudden I'm in another era and another moment, and I can feel for the people. And he has a very visual way of describing. I realized [his stories] had the ability to become a film. I asked for consent for a screenplay and eventually a film of his life. He said he'd been approached in the past but never felt there was the right person. Then he said to me, "I would love you to do it."
When did you first meet David?
I first met him at an Alan Cumming salon event. Alan Cumming has these salons where he does interesting things with about 30 people. That time Susan Sarandon was talking. I knew of David Mixner but I didn't know what he looked like. When I was introduced to him he said "Hello, I'm David" and was sitting in a wheelchair. I asked him if I could get him a drink, and he said that he didn't drink. He didn't know many people in this group and we just started talking. Later I realized, "My god, this is David Mixner. I know his story."
How far along in the film-making process are you?
We questioned him for ages and wrote down the stories. He also produced this one-man show called "From the Front Porch" which we recorded and made transcripts of. The screenplay's like a hundred pages over what people like screenplays to be. We're trying to write, get control of it and bring it down. We're hoping to have our screenplay in a good state by the next month or so and really start the process of making the film.
Is it going to span all of David's life, or just the past?
The film will cover his childhood, who he was as a young man, where he comes from in New Jersey -- which seems like it was akin to the Deep South at the time. Then you see his sensibilities grow, his fights for human rights for everybody and anybody he came across -- he dedicated himself to Martin Luther King, the Vietnam War, and Peace. The AIDS epidemic hits and is really the change point where many of his friends start to die and be blamed at the same time. He thought that was an outrage.Then of course the rise of the gay movement and him really being in the forefront of it and being a gay rights activist.
Do you have any actors in mind that you'd like to play David?
I tell you what -- I do, but I don't think it's a good idea to name them. But why don't you ask your readers to get to tell me who they think it should be!
Read the full article HERE.