Openly gay actor, comedian and advocate JASON STUART will receive the 2015 Jose Julio Sarria International Civil Rights Award on September 24th.
So, what’s that mean? Well, it looks like all of Jason’s hard work is finally paying off.
Since coming ‘out’ in show business 22 years ago, Jason has worked non-stop to push the boundaries towards equality for all in the entertainment industry, including co-creating the SAG-AFTRA LGBT Actors Committee.
Jason continues to be a working actor with several notable projects on the way and has just finished headlining in Las Vegas his newest stand-up comedy show, “I’m Only Gay on the Weekends.”
Jason Stuart opens up about his comedy, his acting career and what it means to be honored in this recent interview.
Give us an overview of your new stand-up show “I’m Only Gay on the Weekends.”
JASON STUART: It comes from all that is expected of gay men. As I always say “It’s just too much to be gay every day!” kidding of course, LOL. You know with dressing well, the quick retorts and all the social obligations! What I really mean, seriously… being a gay advocate is a full time job and I am proud to be an ‘out’ actor and comedian. It has been a long road. I have often asked: What’s it like to be a ground breaker? So if you break the ground do you get to walk on it? I say yes!
Fans can listen to my comedy on my new mini CD, I’M THE DADDY AND I HAVE CANDY available on my website: JasonStuart.com. Shameless plug, sorry!
What inspired you to create this set?
JS: New idea, new material and a new way of looking at life. I see this as a time for gay people to have more opportunity. I have been cast in several films of late, playing roles I would not of got in the 90’s or early 2000’s. Specifically, as a plantation owner in 1831 in the upcoming THE BIRTH OF A NATION starring Nate Parker and Armie Hammer; in HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE as a British Jornalist and several more. The times are a changin’ and I am going along with them in a big way!
What do you hope audiences take away from your show?
JS: Laughter, a night away from all the craziness of our daily lives. Time to come out and watch live comedy in person! Put the remote and cell down for a few hours and laugh your head off. Also, I hope to meet some great gay men — I’m looking for a great husband! We just got gay marriage. I used to be a hot single gay man. Now I’m an old maid! Oy, I gotta get catch up!
You’re being recognized with the Jose Julio Sarria International Civil Rights Award for your work as a leader in the LGBT community; how does that feel?
JS: This was quite a surprise. I feel so honored and proud. I have been working with SAG-AFTRA for the last 9 years to support out gay members and to set in place safer employment for them. But, the main reason is to create more job opportunities for openly gay union members. We are artists and want to work at our craft. I know I do. My goal is for this committee to become unnecessary. I am so grateful to be thought of by the International Imperial Court System and LGBTs In The News panel. I will be receiving the Award on Thursday, September 24th in San Francisco.
Some people might not realize you’re also a very busy actor with several films coming up, right?
JS: Yes, I have several films coming out. I was just in TANGERINE, the film that was shot entirely on an iPhone. I play “Joe the Doorman” and it comes from the brilliant director Sean Baker and is executive produced by the Duplass Bros. It is a major indie hit from the Sundance Film Festival.
Also this year, I am in the parody comedy HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE with Varla Jean Merman, Matthew Martin, Mink Stole, David Millbern and Jeffrey Patrick Olsen. I play this funny dandy who is obsessed with Charlotte.
And in 2016, I will appear in a supporting role as ‘Joseph Randall’ in THE BIRTH OF A NATION, by filmmaker Nate Parker who is also starring in the film as ‘Nat Turner’. The story follows a former slave in America, who leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virgina resulting in a violent retaliation from whites. The film stars Armie Hammer, Gabrielle Union, Jackie Earle Haley and Penelope Ann Miller. The idea I get to be in such an important film is what I have worked for my entire career. It means so much to me as a Jew and a gay man who has fought for the equal rights for most of my career. The idea that Nat Turner risked his life for his brothers and sisters stuck in slavery in 1831 moves me in such a big way. It’s still going on in so many levels with “Black Lives Matter” now. My hope is that this film sheds light on that subject and that people take notice. We need to move on in this country. All men and women are created equal. That very simple sentence is what a lot of my life is about and being able to show it through my work as an actor is the greatest gift. I thank the filmmaker Nate Parker for that.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
JS: Last year I completed my directorial debut with MENTOR. I starred, co-wrote and produced this web series with newcomer PAUL ELIA. Its LOUIE meets CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. The show also stars my best friend and sister from another mother, ALEXANDRA PAUL. (http://www.jasonstuart.com/mentor/)
Also, I just finished the virtual reality film series, GONE, as ‘Security Agent Francis’. This suspense thriller comes from Skybound Entertainment and Samsung, and the director J.T. Petty is best known for the video game “The Walking Dead.” It’s pretty cool as you watch the film with these special googles. It’s the future and I am part of it in more ways than one!
Thanks, Jason — and keep on pushing all of us forward!