Aug 7, 2021
Dennis is joined via Zoom by Todd Stephens, the writer director of the new film Swan Song, which is about retired hairdresser named Mr. Pat played by Udo Kier who busts out of his nursing home to do one last job, styling the hair of the dead society matron for her funeral. Todd talks about the real-life Mr. Pat who inspired the movie, collecting stories from people who knew the real Pat, and how the character of Mr. Pat was supposed to be in Todd's first film Edge of 17 but got cut. Todd talks about the inspired casting of Udo Kier as Pat, meeting Udo--and his dog Liza Minelli--at his home in Palm Springs, and becoming friends with Udo over a year before shooting. He also talks about why it was important to him for the queer characters in his film to be played by queer actors. He also talks about how meaningful it's been to shoot multiple movies in his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, the theme of redemption after being counted out and why it was important to him to play gay film festivals with the film. Other topics include: the Variety review that did a number on him, tracking down More cigarettes, including Mr. Pat's favorite songs on the soundtrack, being helped out by the town witch, why he loves teaching film to young people and snagging the Linda Evans portrait from the prop department for his apartment after the shoot.