This week I talked with actor, producer Emerson Collins about his fabulous new film A Very Sordid Wedding that he appears in and produced with award-winning writer/director Del Shores. The film reunites their all-star cast of iconic characters to explore the acceptance, conflict and bigotry following the Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision. The ensemble cast of 32 actors is led by Bonnie Bedelia (Parenthood), Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch), Dale Dickey (Independent Spirit Award winner Winter’s Bone), Leslie Jordan (Emmy winner Will & Grace) with cast members from the original Sordid Lives film Newell Alexander (August: Osage County), Rosemary Alexander, Kirk Geiger, Sarah Hunley, Lorna Scott (Wanted) and Ann Walker. New additions Levi Kreis (Tony winner Million Dollar Quartet), Carole Cook (Sixteen Candles), Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty), Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing), Katherine Bailess (Hit The Floor) and a cameo from Whoopi Goldberg. After premiering at the Palm Springs Film Festival the film went on to play in 31 cities across the U.S. in theatrical runs and festival screenings with 20 sold-out events with another fifteen markets scheduled. A Very Sordid Wedding will continue to travel around the country until its DVD release on October 17th. I talked to Emerson about the significance of his new film especially after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Collins stated:
Vocally, persistently, daily, really I think about we must fight at every level. Fighting for equal rights ordinances against all legislations cropping up in so many places particularly targeting trans people and at the same time fighting for representation culturally. That way we target bigotry and all its form. We have to be accountable to fight for the equal treatment of all marginalized communities because as LGBTQ people we are part of all communities: Black Lives Matter, undocumented immigrants, we are members of every other community. Sort of as a white gay cis man if you only fight for your own rights that’s just self-interest. Then following the leadership of our national organizations that do such great work to inform us, GLAAD, PFLAG, Lambda Legal and the work that they are doing and those of us who have the ability to support them financially and to donate our time. We also have to celebrate the victories as they happen and to take care of ourselves. It is a long fight but we’re in for it. Staying together is how we can continue to push forward.
Emerson Collins joined Del Shores Productions as Vice-President of Development and began as a producer on the revivals of Sordid Lives. He has also starred in four seasons of BRAVO’s hit social series The People’s Couch. Emerson won the Desert Theatre League for Best Actor in a Comedy in the first regional theatre production of Jonathan Tolins’ one-man show Buyer & Cellar with Coyote Stage Works in Palm Springs, California. He returned to the role to close the 95th season of the historic Laguna Beach Playhouse in 2016. Emerson also produced and hosted A Sordid Affair, the national tour variety and comedy show starring Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, Del Shores and Caroline Rhea.