Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Groovy Reader of the Month: Bruce Hart
As a way to thank my readers for their support, I feature a new groovy guy or gal each month - and the winner of this prestigious title for January is Bruce Hart of Long Beach, California, who co-wrote, produced and starred in the 2009 gay film, Homewrecker. His other film credits include the 2007 award-winning short, The Reckoning, and the 2008 feature, Coupled with Love, and he has appeared in numerous stage shows in Los Angeles. Bruce's latest acting role is in the gay web series, Old Dogs & New Tricks, in which he plays a snarky talent agent named Nelson Van Eddy.
I am delighted to have the fabulous Mr. Hart here on the Dish to answer a few questions about his life and, of course, pop culture.
How did you get cast in the role of Nelson Van Eddy on Old Dogs & New Tricks?
I had read about the show in a news release and then I saw the pilot, which was wonderful. So I contacted the producers to congratulate them on such a brave concept for a show (gay men of a certain age and their challenges in youth-obsessed Hollywood). Leon Acord (the creator and star) and I ended up meeting for coffee and swapping stories about the whole business of growing older as a gay man and the entertainment biz. We immediately clicked. He and his partner, Laurence Whiting, are awesome. They later told me they wanted to create a villain role for me in the series and asked if I was interested. I was VERY interested. I never get offered nasty roles - so, of course, I replied with a resounding "Yes!" And Nelson Van Eddy was born.
Did you always want to be an actor?
I started acting in kindergarten in a musical called Cowboy on the Moon because my friend Pam Nyman was auditioning. I was originally cast as a Native American child but was later re-assigned to play a "Moonster" (a child alien) because I was so short. All I remember about the show is that the director screamed "Remember to do your funny walk, Bruce!" when I came onstage for the first performance. For the longest time I wanted to do cartoon voices - not act in person - I think I have a rather odd-sounding voice. However opportunities were limited when I came to Los Angeles and the only voice work I could get was working on a gay 1-900 number. That didn't last long - I hated it. So many sad lonely people calling those adult phone lines. Eventually I did a brief role on a 1980's sitcom and realized how much I loved performing, and then I started pursuing in-person acting work instead of voice work.
Five movies that I think everyone should be required to watch are:
Oh my god, you are going to laugh at some of my suggestions. I am a big fan of camp.
John Waters' Serial Mom: Kathleen Turner and Mike Stole are brilliant. This pre-dates cell phones and caller ID so it's really funny.
The Wizard of Oz: Margaret Hamilton as the witch stills scares the hell outta me.
Outrageous!: A brilliant early gay-themed film from Canada produced in 1977. It started the dialogue about what actually makes a real family.
The Stepford Wives: The original with Katherine Ross and Paula Prentiss. This film still gives me the creeps. When Katherine stabs Paula and finds out she is robot, it is terrifying. A dark social commentary on the women's movement in the mid-1970s.
The Help: I saw this one several times. Beautifully filmed and incredible performances. I hope this wins a ton of Academy Awards.
My five favorite TV shows of all time are:
Bewitched: At least the first four seasons. Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery have such incredible chemistry. And the supporting actors are all brilliant - especially Marion Lorne as Aunt Clara and David White as Larry Tate.
Man Men: I am mesmerized by this show. They capture the time period and the social upheaval brilliantly. I am waiting impatiently for the fifth season.
American Dad: I love this adult cartoon. Seth McFarland does such a great job with the social satire and the voices. He does a ton of the voices himself.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: I miss this show. Such a great ensemble cast with loveable Mary at the helm. My personal favorite was Georgette played by Georgia Engel.
The Love Boat: Campy, cheesy and with tons of famous vintage Hollywood and not-so-famous TV stars popping up. You have to love a show that casts Maureen McCormick as a concert pianist with Bobby Sherman as her husband.
Can I have three? Not in any specific order: I think Greg Louganis, Randy Jones and Tyler Perry are all incredibly sexy men. All three of them got where they are today based on their own talent, hard work, and intelligence - and they rock! All of these men are generous about giving back to the community through public appearances and charitable donations. Truly sexy men!
If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
That would be tough but my three choices would be President Barack Obama, Miss Joan Crawford and Steven Spielberg. I can just imagine the conversation! I have a feeling they would all get along but have strong opinions. I would ask our president what he thinks of the governor of Arizona. I would ask Miss Crawford what it was like to work at MGM (no Christina questions), and I would ask Steven Spielberg how many hours of sleep he gets at night. I suspect he never sleeps since he keeps producing such accomplished work.
What's next for Bruce Hart?
I am very excited that the producers of Old Dogs & New Tricks want me to return next season for some more villainy. You haven't seen the last of Nelson Van Eddy! My brother and I also have a new feature film in development called Rule # 7 - written by Patrick Tobin (No Easy Way) - about a happily married gay couple who decide to explore having an open relationship. It's a comedy with some serious dramatic elements. It would reunite me with Peter Szeliga who played my husband in Homewrecker and hopefully the brilliantly funny Rebekah Kochan. And we are also working on an untitled as of yet thriller about stand-up comics. Hopefully lots of work in 2012!
Thank you, Bruce, for being one of my grooviest readers!