Actress Clea DuVall has opened up about the freedom of playing characters that align with her own sexual identity, at a panel hosted by the Writers Guild of America's LGBT committee in Los Angeles.
The Advocate reports that while promoting her new film The Intervention, which she wrote, directed, and starred in, DuVall says she was partially inspired to write the film by a desire to portray her sexuality in a way that felt authentic to her own.
Known for playing Graham in iconic lesbian film But I'm A Cheerleader, and more recently, Marjorie in Veep, DuVall says that although she's "played a lot of gay characters," none of them felt like her.
"I haven’t really played a gay character that is gay in a way that I feel like I am, if that makes sense,” she revealed.
Originally, DuVall says she only intended to write and star in the film, but found that she had such a clear view of what the finished product should look like that she ended up taking on the project as her directorial debut, also.
"I didn’t intend to direct the movie. I wrote it for someone else to direct,” she said.“But then when I tried to find someone to direct it, it just didn’t feel like anybody would be able to tell that story the way I wanted it told, and if I wanted to have that much control over it, I should just do it myself.”
Fans of But I'm A Cheerleader will be happy to hear that The Intervention reunites DuVall with her co-star Natasha Lyonne as one of three on-screen couples that the dramedy follows.
Of casting Lyonne, who is currently starring in Orange Is The New Black, DuVall says that she sought her out for the role.
“I wanted her to play that role because I wanted it to be a believable person, that we were in a relationship together. It’s really hard to have chemistry with someone, and Natasha and I have so much history and we’re so comfortable with each other physically that I don’t feel weird putting my arm around her even though she’s straight,” DuVall revealed, adding that “it’s really fun being in a movie with her and getting to play girlfriends again.”
Speaking about what she looks for when selecting acting roles, DuVall said that it's all about portraying interesting women and examining the relationships between females.
"I always look for women who are not the kind of stereotypical women, because generally in TV or film, the woman is there because of the man or for the man, and there is a real gender role thing at play there that in my life is not interesting to me, obviously," she said.
"I don’t think I’m the best person to represent that on-screen," DuVall added. "I really identify with the feeling of being 'other.' And those are the characters that I’m really drawn towards, because I just think they’re more complicated and they’re more interesting."