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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



David Moretti talks Scrooge & Marley
by Jorjet Harper

This article shared 3601 times since Tue Nov 27, 2012
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I spoke with actor David Moretti while he was in Chicago shooting the independent film Scrooge & Marley, a contemporary retelling of Charles Dicken's classic story A Christmas Carol "with a gay twist." The film will premiere during this year's holiday season.

How does Scrooge & Marley differ from Dickens' original tale? "Well, Scrooge is gay," said Moretti. "So that's kind of the big difference from the original Dickens version of A Christmas Carol. We're exploring different topics for a more relevant, modern perspective. Most of the themes from the original still hold true, and that's exactly what we want to do with this. The story of redemption, getting lost and finding yourself again through the help of others."

Moretti plays the part of Bob Cratchit. "He's kind of the eternal optimist, even though he lives a hard life, you could say. But he's a really good guy with a really good soul." Working for miserly, mean Ebenezer Scrooge is not exactly the most pleasant experience, but Moretti's Cratchit, like his Dickensian predecessor, does it because has lots of mouths to feed, "and he would do anything for his children and his family." Cratchit has a husband in this version rather than a wife. "So there are a few differences scattered through that you will notice," Moretti observed, smiling.

"I really like this character because he definitely promotes a positive relationship, a positive gay relationship onscreen, and they have a very functional, well-rounded family, which is a very important image for me to show."

Moretti has largely built his acting career on gay roles. "If it's gay, they call me. That's pretty much the way my career trajectory has gone so far," he mused. Moretti first came to the attention of the gay community in his three-season-long role in here!TV's "gay vampire soap opera," The Lair. "From there I crossed over onto their sister show, Dante's Cove. I've done a couple of feature films so far, most recently Finding Mr. Wright, which is a gay romantic comedy. And here I am in my first gay Christmas movie. Maybe next up will be a gay war film or something" he said, laughing.

Moretti's career success flies in the face of the still prevalent Hollywood 'wisdom' regarding gay actors. "I was definitely told not to come out, explicitly, from numerous people in the industry, when I was first beginning to gain success. And I definitely weighed my options in the beginning, I didn't come out the first second I landed on TV—it was something I wanted to think about. But then it basically came down to, you know, people would start to ask you who you're dating, and the press, everyone, wants to know." Moretti wasn't comfortable lying and trying to dodge the issue, he said. "Straight people talk about who they're dating all the time, why shouldn't I be able to? Why should I have to hide who I'm dating? I don't want to make it the cornerstone of what I'm about, but it came up, and so I was honest about it, and I came out, and I'm fortunate enough to have found this niche that I keep working in."

Moretti has no regrets about his decision to come out, especially with the tremendous competition for jobs in Hollywood. "It's a rat race out there. There are so many actors for so few roles. But I get to play all these beautiful roles in beautiful films and I get to dive into many different characters. Granted they're all gay, but so what? I'm working, and I get to do what I want to do, and travel and see beautiful cities like Chicago. I couldn't have made a better choice for myself."

Moretti said he hopes audiences who see Scrooge & Marley leave the theater feeling "warm from the spirit of the holiday in them. And happy to be seeing functional gay people onscreen" rather than media-created stereotypes. "We're just normal people involved in our normal lives, and we screw up, we do well, and at the end of the day we learn from our mistakes."

The film's characters "happen to be gay, as opposed to everything being about being gay," he said. "That's really not the point of this movie. It's still the same story of redemption, but just with a little twist in the characters. But it's definitely not thrown in your face. I think it's a story that people of any age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality can really watch and enjoy."

Moretti was also very impressed by the film's quality, as he observed it during the film shoot. "For what we're doing, with the budget we have, with the time we have, with the locations we have, this work is nothing short of a miracle." He credits everyone involved behind the scenes. "We have an amazing crew, and I was very, very, very pleased with what I was seeing as things were going along.

"I really think audiences are going to enjoy this movie a lot," Moretti said. "This is a story that's been told a million times—but it's never been told quite like this. The feeling, the production values, the crew—there must have been 50 people working on set at any given time. I haven't seen that in a lot of gay films. There's a lot of heart, soul, and dedication in a lot of people working on this project, and I really believe the end result is going to be something very special."

David Moretti will be appearing in person, along with other cast members, at the Scrooge & Marley gala red-carpet premiere at Chicago's Music Box Theater on November 29.

This article shared 3601 times since Tue Nov 27, 2012
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