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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Groovy Guy of the Month: Dudley Beene

This month's Groovy Guy is actor Dudley Beene, who is the executive producer and one of the stars of the new film, First Period, an 80s homage comedy about high school. I like this amusing description from the movie's website: "If John Waters had directed a John Hughes movie using the cast of Strangers with Candy, you'd get First Period." Dudley plays a school outcast named Maggie, who - along with new girl Cassie - decides the way to win the hearts of cute boys and popular girls is to win the annual Talent Show. First Period will receive its world premiere screening at L.A.'s QuirkFest on March 8, and you can check out its teaser trailer below.

Dudley also has a role in the upcoming and long-awaited Girls Will Be Girls sequel - and he is Vice President of Creative at Studio City, a marketing agency in L.A., where he is the "go to" promo and joke writer. I am delighted to have the fabulous Mr. Beene here on the Dish to answer a few questions about his life and, of course, pop culture.

How did you become involved with First Period?
Charlie Vaughn, my roommate and the director of First Period, was shooting another project in our home, and I said to him, “When are we going to make a movie?” He smartly said, “Pick a date.” I did and we worked backwards. My friend, Brandon Alexander, had written a sketch where he and I played two very awkward high school girls, and I asked him if he would be interested in turning it into a feature. Add in a whole lotta planning, money and stress, and suddenly I was an executive producer on a feature.

Tell me about your character Maggie in First Period - and did you enjoy being a girl?
“When I have a brand new hairdo with my eyelashes all in curls!” Sorry, I had to sing it.

This is not the first time I have played a girl in something, but usually it was a glamorous caricature with over-the-top wigs and dresses. Maggie is a very simple girl: all of her outfits came from a thrift store, her wig is unkempt, and my makeup was focused on covering my heavy five o'clock shadow in the summer heat instead of trying to make me pretty. I think most drag gives you a feeling of invincibility where you can do anything because you aren’t you - you’re some far-out fabulous character. For Maggie, I got to enjoy some of that broad drag fun, but have real moments at the same time. Diane Salinger gave me the greatest compliment on set when she looked at me and said, “I know this girl!” She’s shy, curious, she wants to help people and she wants to be appreciated in return. True, the way she goes about getting these things is batshit crazy, but I think she’s relatable in a way a lot of drag characters aren’t. Hopefully the audience will remember a time when they felt like a Maggie.

Did you enjoy being in the new Girls Will Be Girls?
It was great! I am a huge fan of the first Girls movie. They created a world where three men were playing real women in Hollywood, and we took a page from that in First Period. I am certainly not a 16-year-old girl but no one questions it, and oddly enough in that environment, it works. In the Girls sequel, I play a news reporter and get to do an upper-crust British accent. I think it took 10 takes to get me to say “hurtling” clearly (you try saying that in a Brit accent). The real fun was watching Jack Plotnick get into the Evie makeup - surprisingly it doesn’t take that much. Jack’s an incredibly creative actor - he plays a teacher in First Period and brought so much to the role. I can’t wait to watch the final cut of the Girls Will Be Girls sequel and see what wonderfully disgusting things Evie does on the big screen!

As Studio City's Vice President of Creative, what have you made people want to watch?
Mostly daytime shows - Live! with Kelly and Michael, Judge Judy, Ellen, The Talk - but I first started writing promos for South Park. I prefer doing comedies. Every day I get to write jokes for some very funny people, and when I see someone laugh at the commercial, it feels great. I have also made people watch some shows that are truly horrible which I am sure I will pay for in the next life.

My favorite TV shows of all time are:
Strangers with Candy, 30 Rock, The Carol Burnett Show. Each of these shows taught me something new about being funny - and Stephen Colbert is a god.

Five of my favorite movies are:
I feel like I am filling out a profile - “I’m a Virgo but I’m not too serious about it.” I like Clue, Serial Mom, Psycho, Election and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Damn it is hard just choosing five, so I will sneak in a sixth and say that Young Adult was my favorite movie of last year.

If I were asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
Okay, here things are going to get weird. There is this big Russian DJ, named Pavel Petel, who I think is pure liquid sex. If you’ve seen a picture of him, he was probably naked in go-go boots and a wig strutting down the street on someone’s “OMG freak” page - and although I don’t find him sexy when he’s doing that, I find it sexy that he has the balls to do it. When he’s dressed normally, he’s a hulking tanned bearded hottie of non-discernible descent and I like it. That being said, I am single and anyone reading this could be my Sexiest Man Alive if you play your cards right.

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:
DEAR GOD, NOT THIS!!! There is no way to win at this question - I can’t even decide who I should invite over to watch Project Runway with. I will say I was very sad to see Madeline Kahn go, so if I could bring her back for a dinner party. I’d love to. I suppose Jesus would be fun - he could settle a few things and, boy, would it make Teapartiers jealous. But JC is a cop-out. So I’ll say Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey for the other two. I know I am repeating my favorite shows but who cares?

What's next for Dudley Beene?
Depending on how this movie does, hopefully a lot more movie making. I would love to make some mainstream movies with gay sensibilities - or maybe a gay movie with mainstream sensibilities - anything but a romantic comedy. I am currently toying around with a meta gay horror comedy called, Abomination. I also have gotten back into painting. I did three paintings of the women of Clue that I am really proud of, and now I want to try painting some large-scale art. Oh, and I recorded a song about sexy guys with beards that I may make a video for. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next month, but by God I will make it creative. If you see me out and have an idea what I should do, tell me.

Thank you, Dudley, for being such a groovy guy! For more information about First Period, visit

1 comment:

Lance said...

I'm not entirely sure I know what the definition of "pure liquid sex" is... but I'm pretty sure it LOOKS very much like Dudley!!

CONGRATULATIONS on being Marc's Groovy Guy of the Month Dudley! =)