I had the opportunity to speak with 4th Man Out star Evan Todd who plays Adam, a mechanic in his 20s who faces the ultimate struggle when he must come out to his friends and family. Though most of Evan’s experience is in theater, his performance in this film is both heartwarming and hilarious. Check out a few highlights of what he had to say:
How did you get involved with 4th Man Out?
I was doing a musical in New York and was called in for the audition, and I believe I was the last person they cast. It all went so fast that I started filming in upstate New York, went back down to the city to do four more performances and then went back to keep shooting. (laughs). It was three weeks from when I auditioned to when we started.
What drew you to the role?
A friend of mine had a son who was 24 and had just come out and had struggled with it. He read the script and it resonated with him and his family, so I actually came on as a producer and his family helped finance it. It’s an honest comedy, very fun and not campy or clichéd.
How did you prepare to play someone going through something so difficult?
A lot of it was in the writing. The character was great from the start. It also helped that everyone on set got along so well that we had this great onscreen dynamic. We hung out together at the hotel and that got us all on the same page to make it comfortable. The casting was excellent and that made a big difference…I can’t say enough about what a great, diverse group of actors this was. Our casting department did an amazing job.
How fun was it having Kate Flannery playing your mom?
She’s the best! I love her. It was so fun to have her new energy on set. She was so down to play and have fun and make it better. I wish everyone was as professional, fun and classy as she is.
What was the most memorable part of the shoot for you?
The cast all shared a trailer because it was a smaller movie, so we’d have a lot of candid conversations about what it means to be gay. We realized that being straight actually sucks, and it’s a lot more fun to be gay! (laughs). These felt like conversations that could have been in the movie.
Was everything scripted or was there room to improvise?
It was definitely a learning curve for me because I come from theater where you don’t get to improvise or tweak the writing because often the playwright is dead, so this was fun. It was great to see Jon Gabrus work because he comes from an improv background. He would riff and do three or four different versions of a line because he knew how it would all cut together.
I’ve been in similar situations where I’m thinking it’s going very badly and the person is a creep, and yet I’ve stayed…I think because it’s like watching a train wreck and you just have to see what happens next. (laughs).
What kind of message do you hope the film sends to audiences?
We played at a festival in Israel and I met a guy there who was struggling with this and he said that the film gave him hope, which was great. He’d come out to his mom and it hadn’t gone well and this made him realize that things could be different, and certainly better. It doesn’t have to be a tragic story. We’ve come so far when it comes to this and I think the film shows that nothing has to change. Your friendships and family relationships can stay the same. People just have to adjust, but that’s not a bad thing.
4th Man Out will be released on February 5th. Don’t miss it!