Acclaimed director Sidney Lumet once said in his book Making Movies, “I don’t know how to choose work that illuminates what my life is about. I don’t know what my life is about and don’t examine it. My life will define itself as I live it.”
In the upcoming film As Long as I’m Famous director-screenwriter Bruce Reisman creates a deeply moving, romantic, and witty homage to classic Broadway and Hollywood legends. Inspired by real events that took place during the summer of 1948, the film intertwines the lives of several show-business and celebrity luminaries who mingled with Broadway’s elite.
Now in its final phases of post-production with a 2019 release date, As Long as I’m Famous is told through the eyes of a then very unknown writer-director-actor, 26-year old Sidney Lumet (played by Aaron Fors). The character leads audiences through the journey of his youthful past, in particular the summer of 1948, when his path crossed the then-screen legend Montgomery Clift (played by newcomer Gavin Adams) at the Actors Studio. And so, begins Sid’s very discreet and deeply emotional relationship with the then 28-year-old Clift. Although Clift’s bisexuality was one of the worse kept secrets in Hollywood, his “bromance-plus” with Lumet was unknown to everyone except the characters in this movie.
As a typist for Joshua Logan (played by Nicholas Luna), Sid becomes both an observer and a player in the glamorous goings-on of the Pulitzer Prize playwright-director of South Pacific, Mr. Roberts, Picnic, Annie Get Your Gun, and Logan’s colorful circle of friends in what was soon to be seen as the Golden Age of Broadway. As Josh Logan fights manic-depression, in and out of Bellevue in 1948, his estranged wife Nedda Logan (played by Camille Montgomery) hooks up with a family friend, 1926 boxing champ Gene Tunney (played by David Chokachi). For Chokachi, this career-defining change-of-pace performance is as far away from Baywatch as the actor could get.
Reisman’s screenplay was inspired by and based on his own mentorship and conversations with Joshua Logan from 1979 until 1987. The film’s theme is a now-lost integrity of privacy: Reisman shows how “behind the curtain” of show-business, actors, writers, and directors not only kept secrets but did so very easily. In 1948 these taboo dalliances were not made public because, as Logan related to Reisman, “Nobody cared in those days. It was about the work of these artists, and not what they did in their bedrooms, that mattered to the public and the press.”
Be sure to stay tuned to Baltimore OUTloud for upcoming exclusive interviews with the cast and creative team for As Long as I’m Famous. For more info on the upcoming film, visit Broadwoodmedia.com
- Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.