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Alexander/Hephaestion Article in "Out Magazine"
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Aloren



Joined: 05 Sep 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:50 am    Post subject: Alexander/Hephaestion Article in "Out Magazine" Reply with quote

All right, my loves! Today I picked up a hot-off-the-press issue of "Out Magazine", and who's on the cover? Jared Leto! 75% of his article is devoted to Hephaestion's relationship with Alexander in the movie. I just thought you guys would like to read it, in case you don't frequently pick up "Out" like I do. Wink

Oh, and this article has a bit of language in it, but I assume the filter will bleep all of it out.

Quote:
Unlike many stars, this is an actor who isn't preoccupied every second with guarding his image.

If he were, he might not have been in his new movie due out November 5th, Alexander, in which he stars as Hephaestion, the best friend, confidant, general, and (likely) lover of Alexander the Great, played by Colin Farrell. Directed by Oliver Stone, the $100 million film - while focusing mostly on the Macedonian king's battlefield conquests - explicitly portrays its hero enjoying the sexual pleasures of both men and women. "It's not a gay film. It's a film for everybody, but hats off to Oliver. It's very, very brave. He's committed to showing all sides of Alexander," says Leto. "There's no pussyfooting around and walking on eggshells." According to Leto, Farrell as Alexander gets it on with Queen Roxane - played by the beautiful Rosario Dawson - and **** Bagoas, the eunuch made famous by Mary Renault's 1972 *** novel The Persian Boy. (Bagoas is played by unknown newcomer Francisco Bosch, a dancer with the English National Ballet.)

"Colin was really great and carefree with all of it," says Leto, sitting up, his posture ramrob straight now that his egg-and-cheese scramble has arrived. "Alexander was the guy who one moment is with Bagoas and the next moment he's with the barbarian queen [Roxane] and they are **** up a stairwell."

That's progress. This is a "swords and sandals" movie, after all - that Hollywood genre that has had perhaps the most opportunity to highlight the ubiquity of man-on-man action in antiquity and has, consequently, worked for decades to deny ***' existence. Even this year's big-budget spectacle Troy conveniently turned Brad Pitt's buff Achilles and fellow blond boy toy Patroclus into just cousins, and not even kissing ones. Sure, 1960's Spartacus offered up a few crumbs of implication. But just eight years later, in a TV movie starring William Shatner as Alexander, Hephaestion - the single most important man in the conqueror's life - didn't even show up as a character. "Hollywood has been so skittish about showing Alexander and Hephaestion as anything more than best buds," says Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman, assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a *** in Macedonian history.

Unfortunately, the jury is still out on Stone's depiction of Alexander and Hephaestion's relationship. For starters, contrary to earlier rumors, there's no sex scene between Leto and Farrell - so much for some Greek active and passive role-playing acted out on the big screen by two of Hollywood's hottest guys. According to Leto, the script never even contained a love scene between the pair. "Between Colin and I, there's nothing physical. We hold each other sometimes," says Leto, adding, "If there was [a sex scene], you better believe it would be the best sex scene you ever saw in your life. They could have never done another man-to-man sex scene after that. It would have been the quintessential **** of all time."

"Jared worked his ass off," enthuses Colin Farrell. "I worked with him very close for six months. He was always a joy."

But the actor doesn't see the lack of a love scene as an avoidance of the topic. Instead, he says the film makes it clear that these were two men - brutal, deadly warriors, no less - who were also in love. [So does Farrell; see sidebar] "It was the deepest love you can imagine," says Leto, his brow knitting a bit, as if he's focusing hard on the subject. "Alexander and Hephaestion are two people that found someone else who completed them. I think gay men are going to understand the relationship the first time they see us together, whether there is sex or not." And what about straight audiences? He thinks they'll get it too, and if they were drawn to the movie simply because it's a big-budget action film, all the better. "Ultimately, I think it's more important to have people who might be uncomfortable walk out of the movie and go, 'Wow, they really had something special, something unique,'" says Leto, who recalls the advice given to him by Robin Lane Fox, the history consultant on the film and author of the critically acclaimed 1973 biography Alexander the Great: "Remember, every time you look at [Alexander], it's always about the love."

Alexander and Hephaestion undoubtedly would have approved of having their love idealized on-screen. "Alexander and Hephaestion grew up together, were the closest of friends, and were also, sexually, lovers," states Fox. "Their friendship from boyhood lasted for more than 15 years, perhaps outlasting any sexual element. It was plainly not just a sexual passion. Alexander loved Hephaestion exceptionally, to the end of their lives. Oliver Stone's film understands [their relationship] well."

For the record, there's no categorical evidence that Alexander and Hephaestion had a sexual relationship. But historians have for centuries assumed and inferred the two did, at least as youths. "The circumstantial evidence is highly suggestive," says Reames-Zimmerman. As even one Roman Author, Aelian, once wrote, "Alexander was defeated once, and that was by Hephaestion's thighs." Quite an image, but certainly nothing that would beging to faze Leto, who admits that he and other cast members even got down to discussing just which sexual role Alexander might have taken. Was it possible that the warrior king was the ultimate power bottom? "We did talk about that," says Leto," You know, Alexander takes the world... he might need someone to take him. You never know."


The article goes on to talk about Leto and his sexuality, but since this isn't strictly Alexander-concerned material, I'll skip over it and go to the short interview with Colin Farrel.

Quote:
How would you describe the nature of the relationship between Alexander and Hephaestion?

They're best friends from a very early age. I was very open to the possibility [that they were lovers]. They were very much soul mates. He was someone who Alexander trusted implicitly. He's someone who he very much needed to keep his feet on the ground because his head was in the clouds a lot of the time. When Hephaestion dies at the end of the film, it's pretty much all downhill for Alexander after that.

Even though you don't have a love scene, how did you convey that their relationship was more than just friendship?

As simple as [the line] "Stay with me tonight." Four words. History books say they were lovers, and I believe them. You'll probably get the **** vibe unless you're blind or deaf.

Troy desexualized the relationship between its two lead male characters, who, according to the original story, were lovers. Do you think that could happen with Alexander?

Alexander and Hephaestion model themselves on Patroclus and Achilles. Oliver is an artist. The best thing he can do is not please the masses - have the integrity to please yourself. If you compromise, you can't reflect that you had the purity to tell the story you believed in.


As a gay man, at first I was very upset with the lack of love scenes between A and H, but you know what? Reading this article really did comfort me. I'm okay with the lack of sex as long as they kept in what their relationship was really focused on -- love. And it sounds like Oliver Stone's done his best to show the world that Alexander's soul mate was always Hephaestion. I have faith in him and am definitely looking forward to this movie! I hope this offers comfort to the people who were also upset with the lack of sexuality.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sex scene would have been nice, but really Alexander and Hephaistion were more to each other then sex. I'm very pleased that this film is actually being as upfront as it is and saying that for these two men there was no one else who could have filled the others place. They were not just close buds, they loved each other completely.
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Lala



Joined: 22 Feb 2004
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Location: Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece, Europe, Earth

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hint to all: Read Plato (Platonas=Ancient Greek Philosopher).
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rtms



Joined: 29 Jan 2004
Posts: 72
Location: canada

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is some gossip that may be interesting:

By Jeannette Walls
MSNBC
Updated: 1:39 p.m. ET Sept. 30, 2004

Is “Alexander” too gay?


The opening date of the Oliver Stone epic about the Macedonian conqueror has been pushed back from Nov. 5 to Nov. 24, and an insider says one reason for the delay is that execs at the studio want to cut some of the film’s male-on-male love scenes.

“Alexander was almost certainly bisexual, and [director] Oliver Stone wanted to portray that," says the source. "So there are scenes between Colin [Farrell, who plays Alexander] and women, but there’s also some passionate scenes between Colin and Francisco Bosch.”

Bosch plays Bagoas, a Persian eunuch, who many historians believe was Alexander’s lover
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vulgaren



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
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Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you got it wrong - Alexandar loved his friends - but nowhere - I mean nowhere is written that he had sex. You are making the history a porn issue.
Not that I mind of course.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't two thousand years of speculation came from nothing. And I do mean two thousand at least, this isn't something that was made thirty, forty years ago.
I mean where there's smoke there is fire.
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Spike



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
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Location: Athens, Greece

PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its one thing to have hints of Alexander's (bi)sexuality and another thing entirely to have homosexual love scenes. That would disturb alot of people.
Hopefully they 'll be removed.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they remove the gay love scenes, they had better remove the straight ones also. Those too, could disturb somebody.
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Jenna Corinth



Joined: 22 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt any love scenes will be removed, gay or straight, that was just hype to get the film more publicity before it opens.
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Chopin



Joined: 31 May 2004
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Location: Washington, DC, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: Sex scenes for Alex and Bagoas/Hephaestion Reply with quote

Spike wrote:
Its one thing to have hints of Alexander's (bi)sexuality and another thing entirely to have homosexual love scenes. That would disturb alot of people.
Hopefully they 'll be removed.


I can't believe anyone would make the statement above. It shows no respect at all for Truth. No respect for Alexander. And no respect for LOVE.

For many centuries, a popular saying was: "Alexander was defeated only once: By Hephaestion's thighs."

Now if you think there is no implication of sex between Alexander & Hephaestion in this phrase, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would love to sell to you.

If they remove sex scenes between men because they think some ignorant people can't deal with it, it will be a huge, huge shame and a complete betrayal of historical truth. There are nowhere - NOWHERE - mentions of Alexander having sex with a woman either. We know it probably happened since two of his wives had babies but that doesn't mean there was love there... just the expectation of providing an heir. Ancient societies which accepted gay relationships still expected gay men to procreate. But unlike today, they respected the love that gay men had for each other. Too bad we're not so sane today.
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Spike



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that you didn't understand my post.
I certainly believe that Alexander had relationship with other men, probably with Hephaistion and Bagoas. But he was not homosexual in the modern sense.
Now, can you tell me a blockbuster that had homosexual sex scenes?
If there is onein the film it 'll be closer to the truth, but it wont be acceptable by the public at large.
That's what i am saying and i am not your enemy Chopin.
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maryp



Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, can you tell me a blockbuster that had homosexual sex scenes?
If there is onein the film it 'll be closer to the truth, but it wont be acceptable by the public at large.


I've said this same thing in reference to some other Heath Ledger and Colin Farrell films.
I'm not saying it's "right".. but living here in the heart of the "Bible Belt"..I can tell you that by putting in homosexual scenes in a movie.. you are going to ensure that a large group of people will NOT see this movie.

So it boils down to what the producer and / or director think is more important.. historical accuracy ..or box office profits?
If they really want a "blockbuster" and run on the safe side..
the explicit homosexual scenes will be cut.

Personally.. I don't care if the scenes stay or are cut..
but I really want this film to be successful.. "critically" and " box office" wise. So..if cutting the scenes means there is a better
chance that the film is a huge success.. it's fine with me.

As a P.S. I'm not sure how many scenes will actually be "cut".. from everything I've read..i don't think they even filmed too many sexual scenes between Alexander and anyone.
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rtms



Joined: 29 Jan 2004
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Location: canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed Heph and Alex don't even share a kiss much less from the sounds of it a bed.

I think were getting cheated out of nice sublte love story bwt Heph and Alex and going for the pure sex thing with Bagoas who doens't even figure promently in Alexander's history. People are going to be scratching their heads when the relationships are revealed I think. You ask the general person and they would mention Alexander and Hephestion, and would asking who the hell was Bagoas. Only history buffs would know about it and even then I just don't think he was that important.

I'm sorry the more I hear about Bagoas and what a promient role he seems to be playing with Alexander when it should be Hephestion just just kinda makes me a little mad.
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Vecchiolarry



Joined: 21 Dec 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Dictating to Oliver Stone...... Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

My question and obsevation is:

How much can Warner Bros. dictate to a powerful, award winning director like Oliver Stone as to what to retain and what to cut?????
If Stone wants any sexual relations in his picture, then he will probably fight for it.
But, Mary is right; in the Bible Belt, which extends to here in Alberta, there will be protests from the 'religious right' (religious wrong!!) and they will condemn and boycott it if there's a homosexual even in the background. These people are nuts as well as scared!!

Regards,
Larry
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kida_greenleaf



Joined: 21 Nov 2003
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How much can Warner Bros. dictate to a powerful, award winning director like Oliver Stone as to what to retain and what to cut?????


Sadly, Hollywood studios have way too much power. That's why there will always be Cinematic Releases and Director's Cuts. For example, the original release of "Bladerunner" has an uplifting ending because the movie studio thought Ridley Scott's ending was too sinister.

Movies from "Lawrence of Arabia" to "Apocalypse Now" to "Risky Business" have all been altered from the director's vision to please a mass audience (read: make more money).

Even the "Lord of the Rings" movies were intended to be rated R, but New Line demanded PG-13. The greatest directors are still at the mercy of studios, unless of course you're Steven Spielberg in which case you can use Dreamworks. Smile

Let's hope everyone, from studios to audiences, is mature enough to let Stone share his vision. In the end, it's only one man's vision.
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