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The story of a Weekend, starring Actor Chris New
Weekend, A Sundance Select Gay Film Is Coming To Denver
by Nick Mangiapane

Many of you are familiar with Denver’s Cinema Q. This film series features monthly LGBTQ films at the Denver Film Center//Colfax. This month, the Sundance Select film, Weekend, will be showing. The premise of the film is the interaction between two gay men on the first weekend they meet. Director and writer, Andrew Haigh, did a fantastic job in capturing the essence of fresh, curious infatuation between the characters of Glen (Chris New) and Russell (Tom Cullen). I think the thing that makes this film so intriguing is that it is very relatable to gay men everywhere. Almost everyone has experienced that initial high from meeting the special someone you really connect with.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of the actors, Chris New, over the phone about his new movie as well as some other interesting topics.

Chris New

What kind of message would you say the movie gives?
Both of the characters are living in a world where they don’t really know what to believe in. They’re a bit lost... isolated, I suppose. They both find in the relationship that they have in the film that there’s something more in the world than they currently see. Their perspective isn’t the begin all and end all. I think the message is don’t believe everything that’s in front of you.

What was it like having to do the sex scenes and showing nudity? Awkward or Natural?
It’s a bit awkward. We were quite professional about the whole thing. We’d get on with it and not really talk about it again. Andrew made a deal where he’d try and film it as quickly as possible so we could get on to more relaxing things.

The chemistry seemed real in the movie... So you would say there wasn’t really any real chemistry between you Tom Cullen? It was more professional?
There was a friendship chemistry, but there wasn’t really the... uhhh... I don’t know what it’s called. Andrew, Tom, and I were very relaxed with each other on the set. Andrew set an atmosphere from day one where we could talk about anything, discuss anything, raise any ideas. Weirdly, the chemistry that build up during the film was the chemistry between the three of us. I don’t know if you can tell that when you watch it, but there is a chemistry between Andrew, Tom, and I constantly.
Chris New 2
Can you relate at all to the character you played?
Yeah, I think I can. Obviously, when you go and play a character, you try and find as many bridging points as you can to your own personality. I think there are certain elements that I can definitely relate to, a kind of defensiveness, but I think it’s probably elements of me that are now gone. If I were still that person, I don’t think that I could have played Glen that well because I wouldn’t have any awareness of that and it would have been more of a documentary performance than an acting performance.

Are you currently working on any other acting jobs?
Yeah, I’m literally now walking back from the theatre. I’m playing Edward II in Manchester in England. I’ve just done a performance at that. I’m putting my foot in the theatre world as well as the film world.

What is one of your favorite things about the movie Weekend?
My favorite thing is (haha) having made a film... literally.
Chris New 3

Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I’m originally from a place called Swindon which is in the west country of England near Bristol. I have a lot of friends from Ohio and it sounds like a very similar place. Now I live in London.

Do you think that gay culture in England is different than America?
I think in America, gay culture’s a little bit more outspoken. In England, we’ve got civil partnerships which is a kind of compromise of rights and marriage. In America, people are fighting very hard for absolute equality to be able to say that you are married, to be able to use that word. Over here it’s harder because we don’t have the separation of church and state that America thankfully has. We can’t really ever get gay marriage because it’s not what the church wants. I think politically in America, people are much more active than they are in Britain. I think that reflects itself in the works of the gay movement, but in America you’ve got a much more ferocious anti-gay movement than we do in this country. So it seems just a little bit more extreme over there.

Weekend is playing as this month’s Cinema Q movie starting October 14th at the Denver FilmCenter//Colfax. Be sure to check out the official Weekend release party at X Bar for ticket giveaways on Oct 14th as well.

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