By Jeff Walsh
Chad Allen has a lot on his plate.
His latest entries to the Donald Strachey gay detective movies, "On The Other Hand, Death" and "Ice Blues," the third and fourth installments, are being released soon.
"Save Me," the movie he produced with Robert Gant and Judith Light, comes to theaters in September.
And, at present, he's finishing up a successful run of a play with Valerie Harper as Talullah Bankhead. But he's no stranger to theater, recently doing Douglas Carter Beane's "Little Dog Laughed," which required him to get naked onstage.
But what's most surprising is that for how long he's been out and doing good work as an actor, activist, and role model, this is his first interview in Oasis. This oversight is officially corrected.
I first remember Chad from his role on "Our House" in 1986 (yeah, yeah, you weren't born yet, I get it) when he was only 12 (and in the business for seven years at that point). He later went on to a regular role on "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman."
In 1996, when he was 21, photos of him kissing a guy in a hot tub appeared in The Globe tabloid. They were sold to the rag by Allen's then-boyfriend (I'd never heard that tidbit before, but Wikipedia doesn't lie).
He waited until 2001 to officially come out, and has since been very open about his past partying and drug addiction, his spiritual journey, and his new role as: an openly gay activist, an actor doing great work, and and "old fogie" who’s more interested in hanging out at home with his boyfriend and dogs.
I bring up his past both to give context to some of what we talk about in the interview, but mainly because in "Save Me," his character starts as a drug-addicted party boy who cleans up to find love and a better life, which (aside from the ex-gay ministry setting), seems to touch on Allen's own journey, as well.
Chad and I spoke on the phone last week. Here's what we said:
By Jeff Walsh
"Save Me" is an independent movie opening in theaters in September, and it is the first production from Mythgarden, the production house started by openly gay actors Chad Allen and Robert Gant.
In the opening scene we see Mark (Allen) doing drugs, drinking, and having hot vacant sex with a hot vacant guy -- bottoming and bottoming out. The next morning at check out time, the motel owner finds Mark on the motel room floor, having overdosed.
He wakes up in a hospital room, screaming at his brother and yelling at his mother, who is in the hospital hallway, but unable to even come in the room and look at her son. They pay for him to spend two months at Genesis House, a Christian-run "ex-gay" ministry that can also handle his sobriety issues (they use the same 12 steps to cure people of their sexuality anyway).
At the center, Mark encounters Scott (Gant), another "ex-gay" at the live-in center run by Gayle (Judith Light). I won't spoil the details, but anyone whose ever seen a movie before can figure out where this is going, not that it makes the journey any less interesting to watch.
By Jeff Walsh
"On The Other Hand, Death" is the latest Donald Strachey mystery starring Chad Allen (playing now on the Here! Network). But if that's not enough to hold you, a fourth installment called "Ice Blues" is coming out in September. As a fan of the first two Strachey movies, these two have the same fun charm as the earlier outings.
In "On The Other Hand, Death," Strachey investigates the story of an older lesbian couple. One half of the couple (Margot Kidder) is a high school guidance counselor that is a target of harassment since coming out to the school, and the couple is also being harassed for being the only people not willing to sell their home as part of a huge deal to bring a large store chain to their sleepy suburb.
There are other interconnected subplots involving both sides of the lesbian couple's story, but the Strachey stories make it pretty easy to swallow and a fun time. The director really loves putting a lot of classic noir nods throughout the movie, which always make it enjoyable.
Chad Allen is the key to making these work, though, which is evident in that this is the third of four Strachey movies that has been filmed (out of six that are planned) with him in the lead role.