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James LearyJames Leary - "Stunt C*cks" Movie - Sequentialtart.com Interview
Tuesday 7 February 2006, by Webmaster
Superheroes of the Porn Industry
I met James Leary (wrinkly demon Clem on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in passing back in 2003, at Dragon*Con. Besides being there to mingle with Buffy fans, he also premiered Stunt C*cks, a short film parody of the porn industry that he co-wrote with Kirk Pynchon and Michael Meredith, and that Tom Hodges directed.
Leary and Pynchon star as Bill and Earl, two men whose problems with premature ejaculation put them in high demand as "stunt cocks." Far from being perverts or chauvinists, Bill and Earl are a couple of sweethearts who single-handedly change the face of the porn industry into a loving one. The film also features cameos by big-screen star Lou Diamond Phillips and porn vet Ron Jeremy.
The film is hysterical!!
About a month ago, I received an email from Hodges, telling me about his latest project, an animated series sequel to the short film ....
Sequential Tart: How did you come up with the (no pun intended) concept for Stunt C*cks?
James Leary: We were working on another script at the time and we had a serious case of writer’s block - and Mike Meredith had the title and the beginnings of the concept and we just started riffing - two days later we had the script.
ST: How did Hodges come on board as the director?
Tom Hodges: My friend Robert Munic (who actually appears in the short) was originally supposed to direct it. He let me read the script and I thought it was incredibly funny. Turned out that just before he was going to start on preproduction, he got a paying gig so I threw my name in the hat and the guys agreed to let me direct.
ST: How did you happen to meet actor Lou Diamond Phillips and porn veteran Ron Jeremy? How much strong-arming did it take to convince either of them to get involved with the film?
JL: Two words - Tom Hodges. He’s the man.
TH: I had been playing poker with Lou for years. I didn’t think he’d be willing to do the short because, well, he IS a rather big star and this IS a short of rather questionable taste. But he totally got the humor and immediately said yes. We had so much fun with him. He did lots of improvising, a lot of which is on the DVD in deleted scenes (buy it at Stunt Cocks The Movie!). We had a hard time (no pun intended) not laughing during his takes. And get this - when I showed him the final cut, he thanked me for asking him to be in it. Wow! I have to say, he is most often singled out by fans as their favorite part of the film. Ron Jeremy on the other hand, has done several mainstream movies for my high school pal, Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, The Dark Backward). The boys had written a part for Ron, so I called Adam and got Ron’s number. Ron will do anything legit. And he is really a terrific actor. I just worked with him on a movie Adam wrote and directed titled Homo Erectus: A Caveman Comedy. I have some stories from that ....
ST: What kind of reactions did you get from friends and family when they heard about the story you were making?
JL: My wife was thrilled ... not .... No, everyone thought the idea was very funny. My mother is oh-so proud.
TH: We were rather overwhelmed by the success of Stunt C*cks. I mean we thought it was funny, but it’s totally satisfying that others have enjoyed it so much. And although we thought our audience would mainly consist of frat boys, it turns out our fans are mainly women and gay men. Go figure!
ST: I remember you guys telling a funny little anecdote at Dragon*Con about the "cum" used in the film; care to repeat it here?
TH: I was trying to figure out what to use for the fake cum in the final porn scene. Every now and then I would mention this to a friend. One day, Valerie Breiman (writer/director of Love & Sex) and I were playing Scrabble and I mentioned my dilemma. She immediately suggested using Cetaphil. She had some in the bathroom and squirted it on my hand and I was blown away by the realistic quality. Problem solved!
ST: Tell us a little about your new project, the animated series Titans of Justice. How did you make the leap from a live-action porn-industry parody to a cartoon about superheroes?
TH: We were trying to figure out a way to continue working together as a foursome and to use Bill and Earl again, maybe in a sequel. The guys came up with an idea for a feature where the Stunt Cocks save the president from an assassination attempt. I loved the idea, but when we started talking more, we realized the cost of making a feature would be prohibitive, so we started talking about an animated short or series with Bill and Earl as superheroes. Based on that, the guys created three female porn superheroes and threw in Ron Jeremy as their loyal sidekick.
ST: You’ve told me Ron Jeremy and Tamlyn Tomita have done voices for the first episode. What other guest voices might we look forward to in the series?
TH: Ron and Tamlyn didn’t just do cameos, they will be regulars! Ron plays himself, and Tamlyn (another friend I play poker with) plays "Madam Tata." I am sure Lou will do a voice eventually and as the show catches on, we should easily get celebs to voice a character. I would love to work with Megan Mullaly and Carla Gugino (who was originally supposed to voice "Goldenshower").
ST: Will the series be web-based, or are you looking to air it on a channel like HBO, Comedy Central, maybe the Playboy channel ...?
JL: Yes and yes.
TH: I think the series will start as a web-based show at Atom Films. They have been very good to us and the original Stunt C*cks. Of course, we would love to find a cable channel willing to take a chance on it. We hope it catches on like South Park and they come looking for us. Believe me, we’ll make it so we are easy to find!
ST: In Stunt C*cks, nudity was implied - is the cartoon being handled similarly, or is it more ... revealing?
TH: The tone of the cartoon is very similar to the original short. All the nudity will be implied as the goal is not to titillate but to satirize - though in the series, we are not only satirizing the porn industry, but superheroes as well. In our first meeting prior to working on the short, I discussed my desire to avoid showing any nudity and the boys readily agreed. The humor, to me, is that Bill and Earl are talking about double penetrations and gay porn, but the whole time the tone is the same as a conversation about good wine. It’s that juxtaposition that makes the comedy work.
ST: Tell us a bit about your previous works ....
TH: This short was quite a departure for me from my first two. Shoot the Moon is a southern comedy about a girl in Atlanta who gets suspended for shooting a moon. It takes place in 1976, so you can imagine how fun the hair and costumes are. It did quite well on the fest circuit winning seven awards and getting me notice by Filmmaker Magazine as one of their "25 Faces to Watch." My second short, Last Request, is a very dark comedy about a hitman and his victim and stars Michael Chiklis from The Shield. It won 13 fest awards and was one of the ten semi-finalists for the Academy Awards. (So close!) It was executive produced by David Allen who went on to make Dog Soldiers. Before all that started, I was an actor for many years.
ST: I see on IMBD that Hodges was on an episode of The Wizard, the television series about Simon McKay, the little person who was a toymaker-inventor. I loved that series!! Please tell us a bit about the episode you were in!
TH: Good Lord! I can hardly remember back that far! I think my episode revolved around me as a teenage father. Maybe I had kidnapped my baby? All I know is I had a climactic chase scene with Bruce Boxleitner at the Griffith Park Train museum. Talk about dumb .... LOL
ST: Many Buffy fans have lamented the fact that Clem never followed Spike to Angel. Amber Benson and James Marsters have both written stories for the franchise. Mr. Leary, if you were given a chance to write a story about Clem, what kind of story would you do?
JL: Clem would have his own series. Sort of like Sex in the City, but with demons.
ST: Seeing as you’re doing an animated spoof of superheroes, is it safe to assume that you’re all at least moderately interested in comics? Any particular titles and characters that you’re fond of?
JL: I was a comic freak as a kid. All the Marvel titles. Wolverine kicks ass.
TH: I have never read a comic book in full, but I do love features based on comics!
ST: What superhero-based movies have you enjoyed? What have you hated?
TH: I loved Spider-Man and especially the sequel. I couldn’t even sit through more than twenty minutes of The Hulk. Why do studios think CG monsters are better than real people? Look at Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter movies. Both do a great job of taking real people and making them look much bigger. Granted, Gollum was CG, but ....
ST: In keeping with this month’s theme at Tart, do you have any porn/erotica/romance recommendations?
JL: Anything by Seymour Butts. Shock. And the movie Sex and Lucia.
TH: If I answered this, all my deepest darkest secrets would be revealed. So I respectfully pass! :>)
ST: Before we go, are there any other projects any of you are working on besides Titans of Justice that you’d like to mention?
JL: I’m doing a low budget feature called Unemployed with Godfrey (the comedian) that is a twist on Half Baked without the weed. And I work all the time with Furious Theatre.
TH: We are currently looking for financing on an indie feature that Kirk, Mike and James wrote and I will direct titled Free Skate. It takes place on the last day of summer in 1982 in and around a roller rink. Think Dazed and Confused in the ’80s. Quite a great script. Very funny, but real at the same time. I’m really looking forward to making this one as my first feature. Can any of your readers help us raise the cash?? :>) In the meantime, we are trying to complete Titans of Justice as quickly as possible. If people would like to get updates and find out more about the project, they can go to Titans of Justice and sign up to be a member of the Titans Buddy Club. It’s free!
ST: Can we find any of you at any conventions in the coming year?
TH: That’s one for James again. Although you can be sure that when we finish Titans we will make the convention rounds.
JL: Right now I’m going to be at Moonlight Rising 4 and AggieCon in March.