JOSHUA L. WEINSTEIN
to be bitter about
Hollywood. They encourage him,
in fact, to badmouth the place.
the otherwise accommodating 31-year-old does not oblige, they act
surprised. After all, didn't
Hollywood turn on him four years ago,
when he came out of the closet?
a presenter at GLAAD Media Awards in
and one of the few successful openly gay leading men in the industry,
acknowledges that there have been difficulties.
his six-year run as Matthew Cooper on TV's "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman,"
the offers didn't exactly flow in. "I couldn't get an audition for a
network series," he says.
grew up in Hollywood -- began his acting career with a McDonald's
commercial at age 4 -- and went on to roles in "St. Elsewhere," "Webster,"
"Our House," "My Two Dads" and "Dr. Quinn." He believes so deeply in
Hollywood that he and business
partners Christopher Racster and Robert Gant have started a production
company. Called Mythgarden, it focuses exclusively on film and television
projects that have gay or lesbian themes -- but with a difference.
been watching the same stories over and over," Allen says of gay fare. "We
are ready to make better movies. We're finding the right stories that we
can make well, with good enough scripts that we will attract a broad
says many gay- and lesbian- themed films have been overwrought efforts of
little interest even to people at gay film festivals.
mission is essentially to turn the page on gay and lesbian entertainment,"
Mythgarden is working on two television shows and four movies, including
"Save Me," about an ex-gay ministry and featuring Allen, Gant ("Queer
Light. Another film is about
two elderly gay men.
Allen, producing represents the long haul compared with the relatively
of being in front of the camera. "It has made me realize how easy I've had
it as an actor," says Allen, who hasn't given up on his first profession.
newest film, in fact, "End of the Spear," generated controversy -- and a
live appearance on CNN -- after a group of conservative pastors complained
it was inappropriate for a gay man to play the role of a Christian
South America. The independent film
earned about $11.7 million from Jan. 20 to March 3.
March, Allen was in
Vancouver, B.C., filming
"Shock to the System," the second of a series of programs for Here TV,
about gay detective Donald Stratchey.
Allen feels a responsibility to what he calls the "civil rights struggle,"
he calls himself "an actor, not an activist. People love to call me an
activist because I answer questions honestly."
Date in print: Fri., Apr. 7, 2006,