Willett thinks it's in to be out.
I've already twisted your ear about how hard I fell for the gay rom-com G.B.F., but now here's our opportunity to fall for its adorable male lead, actor/singer Michael J. Willett. He's the G.B.F. (and the B.F.) many of us wish we'd had in high school...
Boy Culture: How did you hear about G.B.F., and was "Tanner" the role you always wanted?
Michael J. Willett: The writer George Northy saw me in United States of Tara and thought I would be good for the role. I did several readings for the scripts for L.A. Outfest, and once I read the script, I felt like the character was mine from the beginning.
I knew I had to play this part because it was what I would want to watch in high school. I wanted to play Tanner. It was important to play a character I had never seen or done before—he was a kid first and not just a GAY kid.
BC: What was the audition process like?
MJW: I had already done a reading a year prior, and when the film's casting was coming to fruition, they called me in. I had to fight for the role. Apparently I was not the first choice.
BC: When did you come out personally, and did you make a conscious decision to be out professionally, too?
MJW: I guess I never really had to come out. In the words of Rufus Wainwright, “I was born in the living room." There was no decision to be “OUT” professionally. I feel like my generation is the first where it doesn’t REALLY matter.
BC: Was your own high school experience similar in any way to "Tanner" and "Brent"'s?
MJW: NO. I didn’t really have “gay” friends. I was friends with all kinds of people, went from clique to clique, but did always feel like I was a party of one. I never really knew who the popular kids were. I was superpopular in my own head.
BC: Did you and Paul have a B.F.F.-like relationship while filming? You have such amazing friends- and friends-but-maybe-more chemistry.
MJW: When we were both cast, we instantly connected and knew this would be an important film. Our passion for showing a new generation’s reality bonded us, and we had a great time.
BC: With so many funny people in such a funny setting, was filming often interrupted by cracking up?
MJW: We laughed non-stop!
BC: Was anything improvised, or was it strictly by the script?
MJW: My character HAD to stick to the script, whereas everyone else was a Looney Tune!
BC: Did you become friendly with any of your co-stars, enough that you think you'll continue to be in touch?
MJW: ABSOLUTELY. It was a project we all really cared about, and in turn we became really good friends. It was a ton of fun.
BC: What are some of your favorite teen movies, and did you have any of them in mind when making G.B.F.?
MJW: I’ve always loved Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and this [performance] is my "Ferris Bueller"-meets-"Ducky" from Pretty in Pink.
BC: You have an amazing voice! Are you looking to be a recording artist or an actor...or both?
MJW: Both. I am an ARTIST above all.
BC: What has it been like attending screenings at various gay and general film festivals, what's the reception been like?
MJW: Everyone seems to enjoy the film and they are surprised by how fun and sweet it is.
BC: What's next for you (maybe, as seen briefly in G.B.F., Mean Girls: The Musical?), and how can fans see more of you?
I just booked a series regular role for MTV on Faking It
, so you will be able to see me there. I'll also be releasing music next year, and you can find me on Twitter @misterwillett
G.B.F.is avaiable now on DIRECTV in advance of a theatrical release in early 2014.