A repressed gay man seeks a fleeting companion ― but ends up with a lot more than he bargained for ― in “Down Low,” a raucous new comedy that marks the screenwriting debut of “White Lotus” actor Lukas Gage.
Due out on demand Oct. 10 via Sony Pictures, “Down Low” follows the middle-aged Gary (played by Zachary Quinto), who is eager to embrace his queer sexuality after ending his marriage to a woman. He discreetly hires a masseur, Cameron (Gage), so that he can have his first sexual experience with a man.
Once Cameron discovers that he’s Gary’s thus-far-only source of same-sex intimacy, however, he decides to give his client a crash course in everything from gay hookup apps to LGBTQ nomenclature like “hot zaddy.”
Unfortunately for both Cameron and Gary, however, the night holds a few more surprises, including a deadly threesome and a nosy Christian neighbor.
Watch the trailer for “Down Low” below.
Directed by Rightor Doyle, “Down Low” premiered at the South by Southwest festival in March to mostly positive reviews. In addition to Gage and Quinto, the movie’s cast includes Judith Light, Audra McDonald and Simon Rex.
Gage said he and co-writer Phoebe Fisher envisioned “Down Low” as a gay-inclusive riff on the original screenplay of “Pretty Woman,” which was initially conceived as a gritty drama titled “$3,000” before being reimagined as a romantic comedy with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
“Originally, we really wanted a fast-paced, fucked-up rom-com,” he told Vulture in an interview conducted before the Hollywood writers and actors strikes. “But it was always about two very different people that are in this larger-than-life, crazy circumstance and what they learn from one another within this 24-hour period. There’s a little bit more heart in this version.”
Many of Quinto’s best-known projects, from “American Horror Story” to “The Boys in the Band,” have showcased aspects of queer life. The actor, who came out as gay in 2011, first read the script for “Down Low” while much of Hollywood remained shuttered during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noting that the film “felt like something I hadn’t seen before in terms of the brand of humor,” he told Vulture: “I wanted to do something that was unexpected for that first thing back, and this certainly was that.”