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Dec 06 2013
Q&A With G.B.F. V.I.P. Michael J. Willett Comments (0)

Michael+J+Willett+Tribeca+Film+Festival+Portrait+WJwx6_-B8u4lWillett 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, Michael+J+Willett+Tribeca+Film+Festival+Portrait+cb_17Y34l2PlI 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?
 
MJW: 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.

   

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