Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer actor plays gay character in teen comedy 'Booksmart'
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-05-23

This article shared 9322 times since Thu May 23, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Most students take their finals in classrooms. Austin Crute took his in a life-size clamshell.

The queer actor was preparing to graduate from NYU while filming his first movie Booksmart, which follows two best friends ( played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever ) through their final day and night of high school.

"I was doing my real graduation and then my fake graduation," Crute said via phone before Booksmart's New York premiere. "During the time I was in the clamshell, I was doing essays and take-home exams for finals week. Then I had to go to commencement in New York, and fly back [to Los Angeles] to film the graduation scene."

Crute describes his character, Alan, as "the musical theater firecracker of Crockett High School." ( Alan also performs in drag, hence the clamshell. ) According to Crute, Alan and his pal George ( Noah Galvin ) have an energy similar to Sharpay and Ryan Evans, the drama-geek duo from Disney's High School Musical trilogy, but with a twist.

"That dynamic isn't between a boy and a girl here," Crute explained. "It's between two gay boys who are running a drama department together. I haven't seen that in a film before."

Though Crute has appeared on the hit shows Orange is the New Black and Atlanta, Alan is his first gay role. "I feel like the landscape is changing in favor of queer stories and POC [person of color] stories, especially POC queer stories," said Crute. Alan and George aren't the only queer characters in Booksmart—so is Dever's protagonist, Amy. But unlike many films about young queer people, Booksmart isn't a coming-out story.

"Amy hasn't kissed a girl, and she's been out for two years," Crute said. "Just because you come out and have reclaimed your narrative, [it] doesn't mean everything's all figured out. Dating in the queer world is not dating in the straight world—it's a different ballgame. I think Booksmart highlights that phenomenon in an academic environment really well and captures that adolescent development of hormones and feelings in a new, queer light."

He added, "Usually in movies, coming out and having that familial-moral conflict is a huge thing. Booksmart didn't make a huge deal about coming out. I think nowadays, the paradigm of coming out is changing. Now it's more about transitioning into a personal lifestyle. I can't remember when I've seen a story like this, where I can really relate."

Crute thinks films like Booksmart bode well for queer representation as well as solidarity with those who feel different.

"I grew up with no gaydar, no sense of community," he said. "In terms of what I was going through, I thought I was alone.

"I think the stories we're seeing today, like Booksmart, are linking to the world we live in, rather than trying for some kind of forced demographic," he continued. "[Pop culture] is starting to become about genuine representation, which is way better than a quota for how many people you need to be 'diverse.'"

Crute's next character is also gay, though very different from Alan. In Daybreak, a Netflix original series out later this year, he plays Wesley Fists, a football player turned postapocalyptic samurai. "

Crute explained, "Alan is more the femme, eccentric, over-the-top, reclaiming his time queer person, and [Wesley] is more the laid-back, chill, less into gay culture but still knows who he is type."

He attributes career success to security in his sexuality and presentation: "Once I started to really explore making choices in queerness and developing that mindset, I started to book [roles]."

Growing up in Georgia, Crute primarily focused on music until his mother encouraged him to sign up for drama class in sixth grade. Leading roles in high school plays followed, as well as a stint on the reality show Majors & Minors, where "I got a taste of cameras and sets, and met my first celebrities like Jennifer Hudson." At NYU, Crute signed with an agent who saw him in a school production of Hairspray—that qualified as off-Broadway "because of the number of seats in the theater"—and his life as a working actor began.

Even before taking finals in a clamshell, blending performance with academics was nothing new for Crute; he would periodically return to Georgia to record music while taking classes in New York. A couple of years ago, "I had an audition for the show Atlanta that I forgot about after it was over," he said. "Then in the middle of my Morality and Childhood psychology class I got a call that I had to fly home because I got the job."

Daybreak marks Crute's first post-college employment, a step up from most recent graduates. "It's been a ride," he said. "After I finished Booksmart and NYU, I got enrolled in the School of Netflix."

Booksmart opens nationwide May 24.


This article shared 9322 times since Thu May 23, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Trans women arrested, death threats, Russian film, leader apologizes 2021-04-11
- Two transgender women facing charges of "attempted homosexuality" (as well as public indecency and not carrying identification) in a high-profile case in Cameroon will spend more than two months behind bars without a trial after a ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Trans singer, 'Pose,' Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Broadway 2021-04-11
- Trans femme indie-punk artist Evan Greer (she/her) released a dystopian new music video for the song "Surveillance Capitalism," a press release noted. She is using it to launch StopSpotifySurveillance.org with Fight for the Future, where she ...


Gay News

Movie about art sensation born into slavery to premiere April 16 2021-04-08
- Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts—a film about a man who was born into slavery, and whose works became sensations in the art world—will premiere Friday, April 16, in local virtual cinemas of Music Box Theatre and Facets. ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart hosts 'Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars' screening, discussion 2021-04-06
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) hosted a virtual screening of Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars, a short-film documentary that Jacob Pieczynski directed. A panel discussion followed the screening. The 2017 ...


Gay News

'Ma Rainey,' 'Schitt's Creek' win during diverse SAG Awards 2021-04-05
- On April 4, a one-hour, pre-taped 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards aired on TNT and TBS, celebrating the best achievements in film and TV performances for 2020. According to Entertainment Weekly, it was a historic night, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Special,' Bonnaroo, Broadway items, Rita Moreno, Bridgerton 2021-04-04
- The second season of the Netflix comedy series Special will premiere May 20, a press release noted. The series revolves around Ryan O'Connell, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, and is based on his memoir ...


Gay News

LGBTQ critics group holding awards event April 18 2021-04-02
- GALECA, The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association, along with Karel Media, will present the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Sunday, April 18, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on digital cable TV network Revry. The ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'The Sound of Identity,' about trans opera star, out June 1 2021-04-02
- Winner of the 2020 Outshine Film Festival's prestigious Programmers Award of Excellence, The Sound of Identity is a feature documentary that Shout! Studios will present on digital and on demand June 1. Profiling international opera star ...


Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility 2021-03-31
- The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Mommie Dearest' to come out on Blu-ray on June 1 2021-03-30
- The cult-classic drama Mommie Dearest celebrates its 40th anniversary with a brand-new Blu-ray in the Paramount Presents line, debuting June 1, from Paramount Home Entertainment. Based on Christina Crawford's controversial ...


Gay News

Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars party to be virtual on April 25 2021-03-22
- The 29th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Academy Awards Pre-Party will be hosted by Emmy- and Tony-winning actor and New York Times best-selling author Neil Patrick Harris alongside Sir Elton John and David Furnish, with ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2021-03-22
- "I always knew Frank would end up in bed with a boy."—Ava Gardner, when told Frank Sinatra had married Mia Farrow. Is this a rerun? A headline this week: "Grammy Ratings Hit All-Time Lows in Viewership ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tamron Hall, 'Killing Eve,' speedskater, DJ dies, 'Pariah' 2021-03-21
- On the March 16 episode of Tamron Hall, Hall highlighted groundbreaking transgender trailblazers in Hollywood, a press release noted. Pose/American Horror Story actress and tech CEO Angelica Ross opened up about her difficult coming-out experience in ...


Gay News

National Museum of Mexican Art to show unity-themed short 2021-03-19
- The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) is inviting the public to a virtual screening of the unity-themed, award-winning animated short "Color of Tomorrow" as part of its Storytellers 4 Unity Film Forum. The virtual screening ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Museum of Science & Industry offers 'Marvel,' 'Zephyr,' 'Michael Jordan' 2021-03-18
- The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., recently reopened to the public—and has some impressive exhibits to offer. They include: —Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes: Kids of all ages (and those ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.