|5-25-2020: Michael T Weiss and rest of NBC's "The Pretender" Cast almost 25 Years after the Series Premiere|
Michael T. Weiss and other former cast members of NBC's "The Pretender" took different paths after the show, which premiered series almost 25 years ago.
The show, which started in 1996, had a mixed genre of crime, drama, and mystery, according to IMDb. The series was about a man with an ability to master any skill instantly.
He escaped a secret testing facility and traveled the country, taking different jobs, and helping strangers while avoiding his kidnappers. The show, which has more than 80 episodes, ended in 2000.
— Picture of Michael T. Weiss
The show may have ended, but the former actors are presently thriving in the entertainment industry. Weiss, now 58, busied himself voicing the heroes of animated shows, including the "Justice League", as reported by Closer Weekly on 5/17/2020. Aside from lending his voice for animated shows, Weiss is also a visual artist in Los Angeles. He is also a playwright and theater director, according to IMDb. The actor is also known for being an environmental activist. He served as one of the board of directors for the Earth Communications Office.
— Picture of Andrea Parker
Andrea Parker, 50, landed several acting roles for herself. She starred in the "Less Than Perfect," "Pretty Little Liars," and recurring roles in the "Desperate Housewives" and "Red Band Society," The actress, who was once a ballerina, loves to ride horses. She also loves to spend time with family and friends, as revealed by IMDb. Aside from horseback riding, she also has interests in driving hot wheels. For her love of cars, she attended a stunt driving course in San Bernardino, California.
— Picture of Patrick Bauchau
Patrick Bauchau took supporting roles in movies, which he enjoyed all along. He appeared in "The Cell," "Secretary," "Panic Room," as well as in TV shows such as the "Carnivàle" and "The Affair," as reported by Closer Weekly. In 2022, the 81-year-old actor will be celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife, Majinou Bardot. She is the younger sister of actress Brigitte Bardot.
— Picture of Jon Gries
Jon Gries, on the other hand, appeared on TV shows, such as "24," "Lost to The Bridge," and "Dream Corp." The 62-year-old actor also starred in over 50 films, including the "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Taken."
Like in the article from Closer Weekly, other cast members are not mentioned. 😢 But the pictures are different.
Source: AmoMama, May 25, 2020 - with cast pictures
|5-17-2020: Whatever Happened to the Cast From NBC’s "The Pretender"?|
Here’s What They’re Up to Now ...
The Pretender was an action drama television series created by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle. It aired on NBC from 1996 to 2000 as part of the network’s action programming block, Thrillogy.
The series was about Jarod, a man who is on the run as a “Pretender,” which is an impostor who is able to master any skill necessary to impersonate a member of any profession including a doctor or a lawyer. “Pretenders” live at The Centre, a think tank that kidnapped Jarod when he was younger to exploit his abilities. The character was played by actor Michael T. Weiss.
After the show was canceled, TNT aired two TV movies that continued the storyline: The Pretender 2001 and The Pretender: Island of the Haunted, which were both released in 2001. In 2013, Mitchell and Sickle continued the storyline with a series of books and graphic novels.
— Michael T. Weiss: While Jarod became a hero by impersonating a member of any profession he chose, Michael, 58, made an impression as an actor by choosing to split time between theater and voicing heroes in a slew of animated shows including "Justice League" and "The Legend of Tarzan", where he got to portray the King of the Jungle. His most recent movie is "Sunset Park". Picture
— Andrea Parker: Though Miss Parker was determined to track down an escaped Jarod for the Centre, Andrea, 50, captured a number of roles for herself. Along with two TNT Pretender movies, she’s starred on TV’s "Less Than Perfect" and "Pretty Little Liars" and had recurring roles on "Desperate Housewives" and "Red Band Society". Picture
— Patrick Bauchau: Following his days as the Centre’s lead psychiatrist Sydney, Patrick, 81, didn’t mind taking supporting roles in movies such as "The Cell", "Secretary", "Panic Room" and "Ray", as well as TV’s "Carnivàle" and "The Affair". In 2022, he’ll be celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary with wife Mijanou Bardot, Brigitte Bardot’s younger sister. Picture
— Jon Gries: After playing the Centre’s resident computer genius Broots, Jon, 62, showed he could hack just about any role that came his way. He’s appeared on TV shows from "24" and "Lost to The Bridge" and "Dream Corp LLC", as well as in over 50 films - most notably, as Uncle Rico in "Napoleon Dynamite" and Casey in the "Taken" films. Picture
Other cast members are not mentioned in the article. 😢
Source: Closer Weekly, May 17, 2020 - with cast pictures
|3-23-2020: "Bones" on Blu-ray|
Blu-ray Review: "Bones"
Scream Factory presents ‘Bones’. Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. Screenplay by Adam Simon & Tim Metcalfe. Starring: Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Khalil Kain, Clifton Powell, Bianca Lawson & Michael T. Weiss. Rated: R. Running Time: 96 minutes. Blu-ray to be released: March 31, 2020.
The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The Blu-ray transfer brings out the darkness of the haunted Brownstone. The audio DTS-HD MA 5.1 so you can be scared from all corners of the room. The original mix can be found on the DTS-HD MA 2.0. The movie is subtitled.
Content: 4.0 Extras: 4.0 Replay: 4.0 Overall: 4.0
Back in 1979 Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) was the sweetest pimp in the neighborhood. He really wasn’t much of a pimp since he merely ran the local numbers game. He didn’t hustle drug or put ladies on the street as his whores. Only woman he has by his side is his girlfriend Pearl (Foxy Brown‘s Pam Grier). He looked out for the people around him. He was a local legend for being so upstanding. But some people weren’t having it. Those people happened to be crooked cop Lupovich (Jeffrey‘s Michael T. Weiss) and local drug kingpin Eddie Mack (Everybody Hates Chris‘s Ricky Harris). They want Bones to start dealing a narcotic to the children that play on the sidewalk. When Bones refuses the cop and the dealer shoot him. But they aren’t done. They force Bones’ two associates and Pearl to stab his body. Instead of burying, Bones’ bones are left to rot in the basement and the Brownstone home locked up. The neighborhood changes, but Bones’ place remains on the block. In 2001, four kids buy the Brownstone with the desire to turn it into the hottest nightclub in the city. They have no idea how hot things get although they do seem to make friends with the dog that lives in the house that has red eyes. Little do they know that the hairy four legged beast contains the damned soul of Bones. He’s ready to get revenge on those who killed him and dumped him in the basement to rot. Even Pearl has to fear for her life since Jimmy isn’t as sweet of a pimp in his undead state.
Snoop Dogg is a rather nightmarish figure in the film. Over the last few decades, Snoop has been able to strike himself as a cartoonish character who can sell cars and other products. He comes off as a friendly guy who just likes to smoke a little weed and watch little kids play football. People forget that Snoop had to hire Johnnie Cochran to get acquitted from a murder charge. Anyone who saw his recent video giving a warning to Gayle King got to see the not so warm and fuzzy side of Snoop. So he’s a bit horrific on the screen when he’s getting a piece of those that put him down. He really doesn’t ham it up in the scenes although part of that might be because he was stoned for most of the production. Which works out perfect for undead kinda pimp.
Director Ernest Dickerson and his visual effects crew bring out the scares in the Brownstone. There’s some bloody moments that earn the film an R-rating. The weird piece of art with people trapped inside is still a glory to behold. He also brings out the scares for Pam Grier. This film links up well with her other major horror film: Scream Blacula Scream. During the flashback to 1979 scenes, Pam looks like she had just wrapped making Coffy. Her performance helps make Snoop Dogg look better on the screen. Grier makes Bones an enjoyable experience so you’re eager to see what’s going on in the Brownstone.
- Audio Commentary with Snoop Dogg, director Ernest Dickerson and screenwriter Adam Simon in the same room. Snoop sounds like he’s smoked up.
- Interview with Director Ernest Dickerson (20:21) has him talk about the one day he had to ask Snoop Dogg to not get high on the set. He speaks of his being thrilled to work with the eternal Pam Grier.
- Interview with Screenwriter Adam Simon (17:18) has him talk about the inspiration to a haunted house in the inner city. He speaks of working on Brain Dead and Carnosaur. He went to Corman University.
- Interview with Director of Photography Flavio Labiano (11:42) has him talk about how he likes horror movies since he gets to play with the light more to bring out the fear.
- Interview with Special Effects Artist Tony Gardner (15:19) gets into the fun they had with the pimptastic scares. There’s video of the wall of bodies. He enjoyed working with Dickerson who was into visual effects on the set.
- Digging Up Bones (23:48) appears to be the original making of featurette with Pam Grier and Snoop Dogg talking about scaring things up in the city. Snoop Dogg wanted to make a horror film and he didn’t want to be the good guy.
- Urban Gothic – Bones and It’s Influences (18:57) has talk of how the film wanted to be a throwback to the classic horror films. Ernest Dickerson scores big points by talking up the genius of Mario Bava. A lot of the Bava films referenced have been upgraded on Blu-ray.
- Deleted Scenes (24:35) includes a director’s commentary so Ernest Dickerson can tell you why he had to snip it. There’s an alternate opening that was shot Super 8mm anamorphic. There’s a flashback scene where Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier check out the melons at the market.
- Dogg Names Snoop Music Videos (7:24) features the Bishop Magic Don Juan from Pimps Up, Hoes Down. True story, I almost ran over the Bishop in a parking lot, but I hit my breaks just in time because of his super bright lime pimp suit.
- Theatrical Press Kit with Behind-The-Scenes Footage (10:45) has Snoop describe his Jimmy Bones character as just into the numbers scene and not into drugs or other things. They show off a few of the special effects with footage taken on the set.
- Theatrical Trailer (2:08) lets us know that kids shouldn’t go to discos in houses that have the body of dead pimps in the basement.
- Teaser Trailer (0:31) promises Bones will be the next franchise in horror like Freddie Kruger and Jason.
Source: Joe Corey, Inside Puls, March 23, 2020
|2-20-2020: "Bones" on Blu-ray|
Scream Factory’s Blu-ray Release of Ernest R. Dickerson’s "Bones" Will Include Four New Interviews
Announced this past December, Ernest Dickerson‘s 2001 horror film Bones is headed to Scream Factory Blu-ray, and we’ve been provided with full release details today.
Scream Factory will release ‘Bones’ on March 31st, 2020.
The time is 1979. Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) is respected and loved as the neighborhood protector. When he is betrayed and brutally murdered by a corrupt cop (Michael T. Weiss), Bones’ elegant brownstone becomes his tomb. Twenty-two years later, the neighborhood has become a ghetto and his home a gothic ruin. Four teens renovate it as an after-hours nightclub, unknowingly releasing Jimmy’s tortured spirit. It’s thrills and chills when Jimmy’s ghost sets out to get his revenge.
- NEW 4K scan from the negative
- NEW Building Bones – an interview with director Ernest Dickerson
- NEW Bringing Out the Dead – an interview with co-screenwriter Adam Simon
- NEW Urban Underworld – an interview with director of photography Flavio Labiano
- NEW Blood N Bones – an interview with special makeup effects artist Tony Gardner
- Audio Commentary with actor Snoop Dogg, Ernest Dickerson and Adam Simon
- Digging Up Bones
- Urban Gothic: Bones and it’s influences
- Deleted Scenes with optional director’s commentary
- Dogg Named Snoop Music Video
- Theatrical Press Kit with behind the scenes footage
- Teaser Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
Source: John Squires, Bloody Disgusting, Feb 20, 2020
|2-14-2020: Happy Valentine's Day!|
I only recently rediscovered these two BTS pictures from Jason Sarrey’s film „Sunset Park“, taken by set photographer Chris Sorelle in May 2015: Pictures
Pictured with Michael T. Weiss is fellow actor John Bianco.
Apparently, the film is still only available on US amazon prime. Unfortunately I haven’t found other sources for other countries.
|2-3-2020: The Pretender guys at lunch|
Craig W. Van Sickle (l.), Steven Long Mitchell (m.) AND 😍 Michael T. Weiss 😍 at lunch a few days ago: "We talked about personal stories viewers shared about our series and how blessed we are that our work positively changed people's lives. To writers and performers: what you create matters more than you can ever know! A great day, gents!"
Source: Craig W. Van Sickle on Twitter, Jan 26, 2020
|2-2-2020: Happy Birthday!|
|1-28-2020: Birthday greetings|
Mike's - hard to believe - 58th birthday is coming up this Sunday, Feb 2nd.
If you want to send him greetings and best wishes, this is the address for it, as I haven't heard any different since we last asked back in fall:
Michael T. Weiss
|1-20-2020: The Pornographer's Daughter|
From Liberty B. Mitchell about her play "The Pornographer's Daughter":
6 years ago this weekend "The Pornographer's Daughter" opened its 6-week run in San Francisco at Z Space in the Mission. Looking back it seems like a crazy dream that I can’t believe was indeed forced into real life.
Endless gratitude goes to my closest teammates: Skye Borgman (video director), Mathea Webb (producer), Michael T. Weiss (director), Sean Molloy (Producer), Kathy Smith (Office Mgr.), Kevin Harding (Musical Director), The Fluffers (Keith Stater, Kevin Swartz, Geoff Knoop), Chuck Sperry (Poster Artist ), the many friends & family who loaned or donated funds and those who volunteered time, and James Kennedy (Executive Producer) the angel investor who not only made it possible by paying the bills (and shaking down those who deserved it), but whose patience, protection & good humor kept me sane & thriving throughout the run and afterward. THANK YOU.
Since 2014, there have been a couple film options that fell apart (O! You fickle bitch, Hollywood), writer’s block and of course just plain LIFE as a divorced, then remarried, mother of two. As I approach 50 this summer, embark on grad school to pursue an MA in psychology, and heed the call to anchor into my professional role as a yogic guide & healer, The PD still beckons for its final realization (plus, my kids want a chance to see it!😉).
Whether it manifests as a play or podcast or book or doc or film shall be revealed sooner than later. Thank you to all who’ve encourage this piece to continue to develop. 💗🗽
Source: "The Pornographer's Daughter" on Facebook, Jan 19, 2020
|Dec 2019: Seasons Greetings|
We wish you a happy holiday season! All the best for the new year and the new decade.
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, a blessed Eid, a bibulous Yule, a peaceful Solstice, a delirious Kwanzaa, and a wonderful New Year!
And enjoy whatever else you'll celebrate these coming days.
A heartfelt 'Thank You' to all those named and un-named who again helped me this year to keep this site the way it is.
Oh - and special thanks to Michael T. Weiss!
|12-25-2019: Ginger Coyote: The Rock Documentary|
In this video bit, Liberty B. Mitchell is talking about (amongst others) the early stages of her One-Woman-Play „The Pornographer's Daughter“, premiering in San Francisco in Jan-Feb 2014, then directed by Michael T. Weiss...: Video
Capturing the story of the legendary Ginger Coyote is a fascinating trip through the mercurial time/space dimensions of the punk rock world. From her groundbreaking 'Punk Globe Magazine' to her notorious band the 'White Trash Debutantes', Ginger's irrepressible will and larger-than-life personality have been the indomitable force at the center of it all. Since the first day we embarked on this journey, the flood gates busted open with so many truly ground breaking pioneers from the music, art, and film worlds stepping forth to pay tribute to Ginger, and to also open up about their own powerful experiences - often risking everything to challenge the ideals and preconceived notions of the times... While we're in production, we want to share some of the fascinating, compelling, and intimate moments of insight and wisdom that can only come from the people who were truly 'there'. We have amassed hundreds of hours of interviews, television appearances, and rare live footage from all over the world.
"Ginger Coyote: The Rock Documentary" is currently in production, with still more interviews underway to be a part of this rare collection of punk rock history. Shot, directed, edited and produced by Ms. Ligaya & The Floydian Device.
|11-19-2019: No news :(|
I would really love to give you news about Michael T. Weiss as much as I would like to get them – but since he apparently prefers to stay out of the lime light for the time being (with the exception of his visit to the watch presentation in Malibu in July) – there are none. 😢
Not even the paparazzi are interested in him any longer. So we can only hope he has a happy fulfilled life where ever he roams and whatever he does.
He still has two agencies that take care of his business and legal affairs, and the one listed below also of his fan mail. Our West Coast Office has checked with both back in fall, so you could send your Seasons Greetings to Progressive Artists Agency – and ask if they perhaps would be willing to pass on any news about Mr Weiss.
Progressive Artists Agency, 9696 Culver Blvd. #110, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
~ EFi, admin ~
|9-13-2019: "Days of our Lives" - Wayback: Remember Dr. Robin Jacobs|
"Days of our Lives" - Wayback: Remember Dr. Robin Jacobs?
Mike Horton (1986-1987 portrayed by none other than our Michael T. Weiss) fought a hard-won battle to have incompetent Dr. Edward Curry fired from University Hospital. But Mike’s reward for his due diligence came in the form Dr. Robin Jacobs (Derya Ruggles), the new hard-nosed and straight-laced Chief of Surgery. The two locked horns almost immediately over Mike’s refusal to adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the hospital.
Mike and Robin’s relationship began to deepen when they worked to close the town’s local mine after a number of its workers became ill. When Robin was tending to one of the sick miners on the eve of a hospital gala, a fire accidentally broke out.
It was Mike who braved the flames to rescue her. All though it was painfully clear that they both wanted to take their relationship to the next level, Robin refused to do so on the grounds of religious differences.
She was an Orthodox Jew and Mike was a Christian, so Robin refused to initiate a romantic liaison between them and instead turned to Jewish pharmacist Mitch Kaufman. (In a bit of soap irony, Mike’s portrayer, Michael T. Weiss, was Jewish and Robin’s portrayer, Derya Ruggles, was not.)
Robin’s father Eli approved of her new beau but her uncle, Robert LeClair, had more pressing matters to worry about than who his niece was dating. In his heart of hearts, Robert was sure that Robin’s new colleague, Dr. Fred Miller, was in all actuality a former Nazi physician who had orchestrated the deaths of many Jewish persons imprisoned in concentation camps including Robin’s grandmother.
Mike and Robin worked together to uncover the truth about Miller, whom their research proved didn’t really exist. And thanks to an assist by Steve Johnson, they learned that he bore a scar in the exact same place where a distinct birthmark belonging to German-born Friedrich Kluger should have been.
After the truth was outed – and Robert was shot – Mike and Robin lobbied the state department to ensure that Kluger would be tried for war crimes and punished appropriately.
Although the investigation had brought them even closer, the difference in their religion proved an insurmountable barrier and Robin accepted Mitch’s proposal. And even though she and Mike made love – after being trapped in a shed by a torrential downpour – Robin went through with her wedding. Mike, meanwhile, pursued Ivy Jannings.
Mitch – finally realizing that his wife’s heart belonged to another man – had the marriage dissolved but warned his love rival that Robin would still never consent to marry him because of his faith. After considering Mitch’s sentiment carefully, Mike concluded there was only one thing to do: convert to Judaism.
Mike made the pronouncement to his lady love – and even proposed marriage to her inside an operating room. Despite some misgivings, Robin was thrilled and Mike began the arduous task of converting. However, it would all be for naught.
Mike and Robin became involved with a mysterious floppy disk that was coveted by a multitude of interested parties – including government officials and criminals – and someone attempted to murder Robin while she made a copy of the disk. Mike prayed for Robin’s recovery, but his Christian prayers were overheard by his intended – who realized that he could never really turn his back on his religious upbringing.
Robin made a hasty exit from Salem but she returned a year later with some stunning news for Mike. In the interim, she had given birth to his son, whom she named Jeremy. The exes tried to make a relationship work – for their child’s sake – but the problem of religious differences soon interfered.
Mike believed Jeremy should be raised Christian while Robin was adamant he practice the Jewish faith. In the end, Robin decided to relocate to Israel with Jeremy but extended an open-ended invitation to Mike for visitation.
Source: Garren Waldo, SoapHub, Sep 13, 2019
"Days of Our Lives" (DOOL) still airs weekdays on NBC.
|8-15-2019: "Days of our Lives" - Wayback: Remember Dr. Mike Horton|
"Days of our Lives" - Wayback: Remember Dr. Mike Horton?
He was a child whose true origin nearly destroyed an entire family in the 1960s. He reigned as a teen heartthrob in the 70’s, who matured into a strong heroic lead character in the 80s and 90s. But just how much do you really remember about Days of our Lives‘ Mike Horton (played by several popular actors, including Michael T. Weiss)?
Full story in Soap Hub. See below.
Source: Garren Waldo, SoapHub, Aug 14, 2019
BTW: The name of this fan page "Ask Dr. Mike" is based on Dr. Mike Horton!
|8-1-2019: Michael at the Breguet Marine Collection Launch in Malibu, CA|
Three weeks ago, on July 11 Michael T. Weiss was finally seen in public again
He attended the official US unveiling of the latest refresh for the Breguet Marine line. These three watches were first revealed at Baselworld 2018 before receiving the update at the Swatch Group’s Time to Move event in May 2019, but this was the first time that the brand had officially exhibited them in the United States to the invited guests and assembled press.
|6-21-2019: "Jeffrey" - When Romance Met Comedy|
#PrideMonth #LGBTQ #Jeffrey
"Jeffrey" — Queer resilience thrives in this rom-com about love in the time of the AIDS crisis
1995 marked a turning point in the AIDS epidemic in the United States. It was the year the FDA approved an antiretroviral treatment that would soon bring about a massive decline in AIDS-related deaths and illnesses. Yet 1995 was also the year in which AIDS-related deaths — then the leading cause of death among all Americans ages 25 to 44 — reached their peak. Roughly 50,000 Americans died of AIDS complications in 1995. It was against that backdrop that the gay romantic comedy Jeffrey debuted. The experimental indie comedy is a cinematic tribute to the heart, humor, sadness, romance, and, most importantly, resilience of gay men living in New York City on the heels of a decade and a half of crisis. As one character sums it up towards the end of the film: “Just think of AIDS as the guest that won’t leave. The one we all hate. But you have to remember: Hey! It’s still our party.”
Those words are delivered to Jeffrey (Steven Weber), an aspiring actor and cater waiter who serves as the movie’s protagonist — a sort of tentative Hamlet for the mid ’90s. Frustrated by the paranoia around sex and the logistics of doing it safely (the film’s comedic opening montage sees him handing over three separate blood tests to a potential hookup), Jeffrey decides to simply swear off sex entirely. Naturally, that’s exactly when he meets Steve (Michael T. Weiss), a hunky bartender who’s instantly smitten with him. Jeffrey’s biting interior designer friend Sterling (Patrick Stewart) suggests this could be the perfect solution to Jeffrey’s sexual woes. If he starts a monogamous relationship with Steve, they can set the rules once and stop worrying. It’s worked for Sterling, who is happily coupled up with a ditzy Cats chorus boy named Darius (Bryan Batt). But just as Jeffrey comes to terms with the idea of dating, the other shoe drops: Steve is HIV positive.
Jeffrey insists that Steve’s HIV status doesn’t matter to him, yet comes up with a last-minute excuse to cancel their first date. He’s afraid of getting sick himself, but he’s even more afraid of loving someone and watching them die. It’s a future he sees echoed in Sterling and Darius’ relationship. Darius is also HIV positive, and his health is often a seesaw. One day he’s patrolling the neighborhood as part of a campily dressed anti-gay-bashing organization called “the Pink Panthers,” the next week he’s fainting from dehydration brought on by his new medication. Despite Darius’ condition, he and Sterling approach life with confidence, zest, and a flair for bon mots. Jeffrey, however, is fixated on the fact that he lives in a world where godlike men deteriorate before his eyes and memorial services are a regular part of the social calendar.
Jeffrey first began life as a successful 1993 Off-Broadway play. While the initial pitch of a comedy about AIDS raised some eyebrows, the witty play was soon heartily embraced. New York Times theater critic Stephen Holden described Jeffrey as “just the sort of play that Oscar Wilde might have written had he lived in 1990’s Manhattan and taken aim at an epidemic that was decimating his circle of friends.” The show’s success helped launch the careers of playwright Paul Rudnick (who would later go on to write the more mainstream gay rom-com "In & Out") and future Tony-winning director Christopher Ashley. They soon re-teamed to adapt the material into a film, keeping all its fantastical and fourth wall breaking conventions in tact—from cameo appearances from Mother Teresa to a conversation that suddenly turns into a game show.
The film adaptation of Jeffrey was met with a more mixed response, with many noting that the material didn’t work quite as well onscreen as it did onstage. The film’s budgetary limitations often show, as does Ashley’s seeming uncertainty as to how to translate his theatrical directing skills to a cinematic setting. Yet considering just how benign and familiar the romantic comedy genre can often feel, it’s still exhilarating to watch Jeffrey swing for the fences in such a big, unique way—even if it sometimes misses the mark.
In the nearly 25 years since its debut, Jeffrey has only become more interesting as it’s crystalized into a time capsule of a specific slice of the gay community in a specific time in LGBT history. Jeffrey and Steve’s relationship provides a loose narrative through line for the film, but Jeffrey is mostly a series of vignettes about affluent gay male culture in the 1990s. The stage play starred eight actors doubling up on parts, but the film adaptation enlists a bunch of big name actors for one-scene roles. Sigourney Weaver pops up as a self-important self-help guru. Olympia Dukakis plays a mom attending Pride with her daughter, who recently came out as trans. Nathan Lane is a closeted Catholic priest who finds God in musical theater. Debra Monk and Peter Maloney portray Jeffrey’s suburban parents in a fantasy sequence where he imagines what it would be like if he could talk to his parents about his sexual woes. (While frosting a cake, his mom cheerfully asks whether he’s ever considered joining a jerk-off club.)
Best of all is Christine Baranski as a gaudy socialite throwing a rather tasteless country western themed “Hoe-Down For AIDS” fundraiser. It’s a second meet cute for Jeffrey and Steve, who previously had a sexually charged interaction at the gym. Jeffrey is working the event as a waiter while Steve is there as a bartender, and their flirtation transforms into a fantasy sequence where a bunch of strapping male cater waiters take the floor for a sexy shirtless hoe-down homage to Busby Berkeley. That’s certainly not the kind of thing you’ll get from your average studio rom-com. (Give or take Mamma Mia!, of course.)
Clip "Square Dance":
Jeffrey starts to feel a little repetitive and aimless in its middle third, as the vignettes fail to cohere into something greater. It doesn’t help that Steven Weber and Michael T. Weiss only intermittently find the palpable romantic and sexual charge that should be fueling Jeffrey and Steve’s will they/won’t they dynamic. In general, Weber struggles to bring a sense of three-dimensionality to a character who’s very, very passive. For all the time we spend following Jeffrey’s life, we don’t really get to know him all that well.
The film’s strongest performance comes from Patrick Stewart, in his first project after wrapping his seven-season run on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Stewart sinks his teeth into the layers of a character who wears his catty confidence like a suit of armor. He’s equally funny whether Sterling is learning into his campier impulses or subverting them. (Asked which group he’s marching with at Pride, the normally chipper Sterling deadpans, “Gay men who need a cigarette.”) Stewart also emerges as the dramatic heart of the film, particularly when Darius’s health begins to waver.
Since its Off-Broadway debut, there have been questions about whether some of Jeffrey’s characters, particularly Sterling, are too stereotypical. Edward Hibbert, who originated the role onstage, argued that the very fact that Sterling is a central character, rather than one-note comic relief, elevates him above stereotype. It certainly helps that Jeffrey is the rare rom-com in which nearly every main character is a gay man (at least a few of them played by openly gay actors), which alleviates the sense that any one of them alone is standing in for an entire community. It was also written and directed by gay men speaking to their own experiences. Still, there’s unsurprisingly plenty about Jeffrey’s sensibility that feels dated today, and potentially already felt dated at the time of its release.
In many ways, Jeffrey demonstrates just how much things have changed for the LGBT community in the decades since it premiered—from the outlook for those living with HIV to the language we use to discuss gender, sexuality, and identity. In other ways, however, Jeffrey is a lovely reminder of the continuity of queer history. The film’s third act features a big sequence at New York City’s Pride Parade, where Ashley showcases footage from the actual event. Jeffrey may center on a group of white cis gay men, but the parade footage captures the exuberant intersectionality of the real-life celebration. In fact, much of the footage looks like it could’ve been filmed at a Pride event today.
Pride Clips... strung together...:
Both textually and metatextually, Jeffrey is a celebration of the resilience and longevity of the queer community. The film’s thesis boils down to the idea that it’s collective communal kindness that creates spiritual meaning in life, even in the darkest and scariest of times. “Hate AIDS, Jeffrey. Not life,” Darius advises. Or, as a little old church lady reminds him, “The only real blasphemy is the refusal of joy.”
Jeffrey may be an imperfect romantic comedy, but it’s a beautifully joyful one.
Source: Caroline Siede, AV Club, June 21, 2019
|6-19-2019: "Jeffrey" (1995) now out on Blu-ray|
#PrideMonth #LGBTQ #Jeffrey
"Jeffrey" (Shout! Factory): Director Christopher Ashley’s award-winning 1995 debut feature, adapted from co-producer Paul Rudnick’s off-Broadway hit (scripted by the author and directed by Ashley) stars Steven Weber in the title role of a struggling gay actor in New York City who swears off sex during the AIDS epidemic – only to encounter hunky Michael T. Weiss, who makes him rethink his decision. Splashy and sympathetic, but essentially a big-screen sitcom, although the cast is very appealing, including Patrick Stewart (first-rate), Sigourney Weaver, Olympia Dukakis, Christine Baranski, Robert Klein, Kevin Nealon, Victor Garber, Camryn Manheim, Kathy Najimy, Bryan Batt, and Nathan Lane.
The “Shout Select” Blu-ray ($29.99 retail) includes audio commentary, retrospective interviews, original trailer, and more. Rated R. **½
Source: Yes Weekly, June 19, 2019
Blu-ray Review: "Jeffrey"
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out a bright and cheerful view of New York City in the mid-90s. The city hadn’t quite out priced a creative class. The audio is 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo. The levels bring out the fourth wall busting moments. The movie is subtitled.
Content: 4.0 ; Extras 4.0 ; Replay 4.0 ; Overall: 4.0
- Audio Commentary with Steven Weber and film critic Alonso Duralde. He admits to having never seen the stage play. He was offered the script because of his work on the hit Wings. He speaks about taking the role.
- An Interview with Steven Weber (26:20) has him talk about making an AIDS related comedy. He talks about how the role impacted him.
- An Interview with Mark Balsam (11:47) meets up with the producer. He talks about how the film is how a man must figure out how he fits into the world.
- Theatrical Trailer (2:26) shows the film is going to be about sex.
- Still Gallery (10:46) has plenty of shots from the gym.
Shout! Factory presents "Jeffrey". Directed by Christopher Ashley. Screenplay by: Paul Rudnick. Starring: Steven Weber, Patrick Stewart, Michael T. Weiss, Bryan Batt & Sigourney Weaver. Rated: R. Running Time: 93 minutes. Released: June 11, 2019.
Source: Inside Pulse, June 17, 2019
"Jeffrey", the 1995 gay romantic comedy starring Steven Weber and Michael T. Weiss, and featuring Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Ghostbusters), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory), Victor Garber, Bryan Batt, Camryn Manheim, Kathy Najimy, Olympia Dukakis and Nathan Lane. Screenplay by Paul Rudnick, based on his play of the same name. Directed by Christopher Ashley. New extras include audio commentary by Weber and film critic Alonso Duralde, plus interviews with Weber and producer Mark Balsam, was finally released on Blu-ray on June 11th through Shout! Factory.
|4-20-2019: Happy Easter Days!|
|4-19-2019: Announcing "Jeffrey" on Blu-ray|
Shout! Factory is preparing to release the Blu-ray debuts of "Boom!", "Jeffrey", "Can't Stop the Music" and "To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar" for Pride Month in June.
|2-2-2019: Happy Birthday, Michael!|
Wishing you all the best for your special day, lots of presents and fun with friends and family, and success with your endeavors.
Understandable that you enjoy your time out of the limelight, but please return to acting and the public - you are most missed!
Cheers to many happy years more! EFi, on behalf of "Ask Dr. Mike"
|1-25-2019: NEW fanmail address|
For birthday greetings and other fanmail:
As of January 2019, Michael T. Weiss has a new agency, that also handles his fanmail.
From now on you should use this address:
Michael T. Weiss