At the risk of dating myself, ( which I always find to be a funny expression!), I remember when Deep Throat was originally released. It created a huge uproar by being the first porno flick to try and go mainstream. It came out in 1972 and was banned in 22 states.
Linda Lovelace was the star of the movie and had a very unusual talent which led to an “artform” named after the movie. It wasn’t until many years later, when Linda finally went public with her experience, that we learned that she had been forced to do that movie and others like it by her abuser of a husband Chuck Traynor.
Academy Award-winning Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, ( Howl, The Celluloid Closet) assembled an all-star cast including Sharon Stone, Amanda Seyfried, James Franco, Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria, Debi Mazar, Adam Brody, Wes Bentley, Chris Noth, Robert Patrick, Eric Roberts, Chloe Sevigny, Juno Temple, and Bobby Cannavale to tell this story in a very sensitive, compassionate way, with many of the sex scenes left to the imagination.
In the screenplay written by Andy Bellin, Amanda Seyfried plays the part of Linda Lovelace, and she does it in a way that makes you really care about Linda. Linda was a big part of the sexual revolution of the 1970′s as well as a forerunner in the rise of feminism!
Amanda said that this was the first time that she completely stepped out of her comfort zone, which is probably the goal of any good actor, because as people we tend to create a box that we function out of and the box represents our comfort zone.
Challenging that comfort zone and expanding the box is key to rising to higher levels of consciousness and being real in a difficult part. Playing someone who actually existed makes it even more difficult and Amanda was incredible in the role.
At the press conference for the film last week I complimented her on her range of acting from “Les Miz” to ” Lay Everyone”, which got a big laugh from the crowd and the assembled stars including Amanda, Sharon Stone, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, Debi Mazar and Chris Noth. ( See video at the end for proof! LOL)
She got her big break in Lorne Michaels/Tina Fey’s 2004 film “Mean Girls” with Lindsay Lohan, and Rachel McAdams. They won the Best On-Screen Team Award at the MTV Movie Awards.
Peter Sarsgaard plays the role of her abusive husband, and he was almost reluctant to take the part until his pregnant wife encouraged him to do so. He said it was a very cathartic role, and he and Amanda had great chemistry onscreen even though they only had one week of rehearsal together.
Four time Emmy Award-winner Hank Azaria played Gerry Damiano the director of Deep Throat and was committed enough to wear one of the worst toupees in movie history, which he joked about at the press conference. He said they didn’t have enough money in the budget for a good hairpiece so they made it themselves.
My good friend Bobby Cannavale one of the most talented actors around was not there, but he played the part of Butchie Peraino, the guy who financed the original Deep Throat, by taking a loan from some questionable people for $22,500. He returned an enormous profit.
Chris Noth played Anthony Romano who was Butchie’s partner in financing the film, but I was most excited about Sharon Stone who played Dorothy Boreman, Linda’s mother, who came from a very religious, conservative background. Sharon is a true movie star of the old kind, and I mean that in the best way. She is such an elegant woman and I was excited to meet her and be able to tell her that at the press conference. She seemed very humble and genuinely appreciated my remarks.
The great Debi Mazar played Dolly Sharp a friend of Linda’s and a co-star in Deep Throat.
Everyone loves Debi from so many projects especially her long reign as PR queen Shauna Roberts, on HBO’s Entourage. Debbie recalled our previous meeting at the premiere of MTV’s “Good Times” an animated series for television where she gave me some hair tips!
And I was very happy to see that my old friend Hollywood powerhouse Jason Weinberg of Untitled Entertainment was one of the producers!
You can see some of the highlights of the press conference right here: