Sean Lockhart: In His Own WordsBottom Highlights, Online Only Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Tracking Sean down was no easy task. He’s not inclined to give interviews or, I suspect, he’s much more careful about with whom he speaks, given the rather toxic environment he has left behind in the gay adult entertainment world when he closed the door on ‘Brent Corrigan.’ Luckily, I have the tenacity of a Pitbull. And thanks to Jody Wheeler, Sean’s quasi-publicist, a meeting was arranged and I had a chance to ask Sean about his featured role in the much-publicized movie, “Judas Kiss.”
LGBT Weekly: Tell me a little bit about how you came to the role. Did you work with an agent? Did the producers approach you? Were you surprised by the quality of the script given the possible variables of not having worked with this team before? What sort of experience did you draw on for the part of Chris Wachowsky.
Sean Lockhart: Jody Wheeler, a producer on the film, wrote and directed a short film called “In the Closet” a few years back, almost 5 now. J.T. Tepnapa and I acted opposite one another and that’s where we met. So, going into Judas Kiss I did have a feel for my cast and crew in some form. I think J.T. saw some promise in me during “In the Closet” and by the end of the shoot he decided to offer me a part in his movie. He knew he wanted me involved in some capacity but at the time what or how was unclear. The boys sent me the script and even in earlier drafts I could see how superior the writing and concept was. I was on board from the start and I wanted to contribute in any way they would have me. I was actually the first actor to become attached to the project. Eventually it was decided I would take on the role of Chris Wachowsky, a part which was made larger in part because of my involvement in the film. Experience? Who me? I just wing it! So far it’s worked – but I’ve also recently begun taking acting classes so I can be more focused and developed in my craft.
LGBT Weekly: What roles would you like to play? What are you drawn to? What drew you to the character of Chris? Who would you want to play you in the story of your life? How did “Judas Kiss” speak to you?
Sean: I was drawn to Chris’s vulnerability and sense of self. I am a strong person. I can say that with conviction now and not feel conceited. I’ve always felt like I knew where I was going and what I wanted to do even though I’ve changed paths and adjusted my goals I’ve always had a grasp of what’s next for me. I like that Chris works hard and he does things the right way, he achieves his goals through hard work and dedication, doing the time and paying his dues. In my early life I could have aspired to be more like him – but I certainly am more now that sort. Chris was my chance to show a softer side of me that, most people who know me personally, know that I don’t reveal often, if ever at all.
My dream is to become a character actor – but for now I am just happy to take on whatever is right for me at this stage in my career. I wanna get dirty. At times I don’t want people to recognize me. As a child I would spend hours in the mirror just contorting my face and coming up with expressions that were…strange and awkward. I don’t want to always bank my career on my face or body. I’ve been through that before. It’s a lot of pressure and it can be backbreaking. The personal insecurities alone can cripple you. I feel better about myself today than ever before and I think because of that it’s time to get messy.
Who do I want to play me in my life story? He’ll be a no name, young gay actor who is out and comfortable with his sexuality. I want to give a young man who is as fearless as I am the chance to prove that an actor can be himself in this industry and not pay the ultimate price of personal sacrifice to find success and roles.
“Judas Kiss” fell into my lap. It just so happened that the themes and the message involved are something that, as a person who has been through some seriously trying times and public controversy, I can relate to. The truth of the matter is even after everything that I’ve endured in my life; working in the adult world [while] underage, being sued by my first producer, countersuing, having that public feud settled only to have it all end in a murder and a subsequent investigation and trial for which I was a star witness in…through all of that, though, it put a lot of strain on me, there is very little I would have done differently. The blessings in our lives don’t define us – the trials and tribulations do. Everyone knows that! Charlie David’s character Zachary would not have the story to break his “writer’s block” and losing streak at the end of “Judas Kiss” if he didn’t go through a rough early half of his life. You have to live to make art, make an impact. You can’t hide away from life and still expect to have a perspective of value or interest.
LGBT Weekly: Given the storyline, what steps, if any, are you taking now not to arrive at the same point in your life where you might say: “Sean, you really screwed up and I wish I could go back to change it.” In other words, do you live your life differently as a result of participating in this movie? How? Why?
Sean: At most, I’m putting myself out there more because of the film. I not longer hide away my real interests and passions thinking I’m not worthy of them. That said, the biggest thing I would have changed is having been involved in unprotected work with my first adult studio. I was a stupid kid and I had no idea, or care, what kind of ramifications my actions could have. I was extremely lucky but the damage wasn’t compartmentalized to me and my own health. The kind of example I set for all kinds of people in the gay community was atrocious. I regret that most of all. I know boys in that first company I worked for that were not as lucky as I was/am. I know boys from that first company who are no longer with us. It pains me.
By changing I am more aware of how my actions affect others. I never thought I’d be a role model. That people would watch me and see my behavior as an acceptable way to fashion themselves after. Like it or not there are kids who truly do, for some misguided reason, look up to adult stars. Knowing that now I am definitely more responsible.
LGBT Weekly: What was the best thing you’ve read about yourself in any review of this film? The worst?
Sean: Whoa. I try not to keep tabs on this sort of thing, but a critic recently sent me a polite e-mail: He wrote: “[Q]uite moved by [his] portrayal, with its intensity, fluidity, gestural economy, and use of vocal inflection.” He also went on to say: “[His] courage is noble; and at least, it is certain that such trauma cannot help but have informed that nuanced, sympathetic approach to [his] work and to other people.”
I think people are noticing that I’ve utilized my tough luck and turned them into tools to pull from in my craft. Most people note how genuine and frank I am as Chris Wachowsky. My job was to get people to fall in love with me and root for me – however, when I was filming I don’t think I was conscious of that, which inadvertently set me up for success. I was really just focused on being a good actor and the rest worked itself out.
The worst thing anyone’s said about “Judas Kiss” was that it lacked heart. I haven’t met or read anything that substantiates such a comment, or seconds that notion for that matter.
We’re all very proud of “Judas Kiss” and I’m thrilled that the response has been so positive. I owe the filmmakers all a great debt of gratitude. Because of my work in my last two films has opened up great opportunities for me. I’m now scheduled for as many as six mainstream projects filming in 2012!
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