With so many LGBT film festivals happening around the country this summer, there’s one place you don’t have to go very far to check out the latest film offerings, original series and even some oldies but goodies that you can watch again.
Welcome to the HereTV Freeview!
The Freeview kicks off tomorrow for XFinity customers and runs through June 16th with fabulous offerings from HereTV original series like “From Here On Out” and “Vampires: Brighter In Darkness” to movies that wow’d festival audiences like “Go Go Crazy,” “Because Of An Earlier Incident” and “From Hollywood To Dollywood.” The Freeview is only available on VOD and Xfinity subscribers can upsell instantly during the Freeview by following the easy instructions on your remote. For more information, here is the Comcast information page.
One must-see film in the collection is a road trip seeking out one of the most beloved entertainers of all time, Dolly Parton, who is still going strong with her 42nd CD release, “Blue Smoke,” and, of course her Dollywood Theme Park. In “Hollywood To Dollywood,” twin brothers Larry and Gary Lane have written a screenplay for Parton and simply want to get it in her hands. With the help of celeb friends like Academy Award screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant and Chad Allen, the guys get advice on their script but still have to make the trek to Dollywood to deliver it!
It’s a great road trip film but also very relevatory about the relationship between the Lane twins.
Can you remember your first time ever seeing Dolly on TV or film?
Larry Lane: We can’t really remember the first time we saw her, but the first time we heard her was 1983 for “Islands In The Stream” (her hit single with Kenny Rogers). It was the biggest hit of that year and she was everywhere. That started our love for Dolly.
Gary Lane: Years later in our early teens seeing her on TV talking about her gay fans and how much she loved them and appreciated them really struck a chord in us.
Everyone universally seems to love her. Why are we all so drawn to her?
Gary: I think Dolly just makes us all feel loved. She transcends the beauty of the world in her songs. She makes it ok to be who we are. Dolly accepts and embraces our differences, saying we should all love each other for who and what we are.
The film nicely documents your relationship as brothers, too, and that of your family. Did the trip deepen your own relationship or change it in any way?
Larry: Just taking the journey changed our lives because we opened up and shared our story about being gay from a small southern Baptist town. That was not easy to do but we are proud we did it and have had people all over the world reach out and thank us for telling our story and what Dolly means in their lives. I think we played 64 Film Festivals, including Australia, Canada, and Scotland. We attended 33 of them and hosted Q and A’s and won 25 Best doc awards and also appeared on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” on OWN, “The Marie Osmond Show” on Hallmark, and “The Jeff Probst Show” on NBC!
Gary: As you can see, it’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s still going. We are on display at the Hollywood Museum for the “Real to Reel” display until July 25th! Also, I wanted to mention my amazing partner Mike Bowen from the film! He made Dolly the amazing custombirdhouse that we handed her of her Tennessee mountain home. The film made us even closer and we are now over 7 years together!
You faced floods, potential tornadoes during your journey. What kept your spirit alive to keep pushing ahead until you got to Dollywood and Dolly herself?
Gary: We are very determined and we really wanted to get that script “Full Circle” in her hands. We had no promise of meeting her, we did have to get permission to film on park, but it’s up to her if she sees you or not. Thank The Maker that day she must have said, ‘Hmmmm, gay twins with a birdhouse and a script? Let’s see what this is all about!’ On another happy note, “Full Circle” is currently being shopped around Universal right now. Fingers crossed.
Larry: It’s like something Dolly says in the film, ‘If you have a dream. get out there and push it on through.’ That’s what we did.
You use Dolly's music throughout the film. Was that a challenge to get them for the film?
Gary: Sweet baby Jesus yes! [laughs] We worked out a deal after hours and hours and hours of calls to what I like to call ‘Dollys Camp’ [and] locked in 15 songs including her 3 biggest, “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” which is the name of our RV, and “Coat Of Many Colors” as well as two previously unreleased songs! Also, in the contract with Dolly Records, 10% of every DVD we sell goes directly to Dolly’s World Wide literacy program ‘The Imagination Library.’ Leslie [Jordan] said ‘Honey, I’m amazed you locked in all that music. I said, ‘well, we sure had to pay for it but it’s so worth it!’ It also lets us know that Dolly was inspired by our story and what she meant to us. She could have so easily said no but she didn’t and we love her even more and her music truly puts a stamp of approval on our story.
How do you think your film helps others who aren’t yet truly out to their families?
Larry: Our film really focused on growing up in the South, I personally believe the South is about 20 years behind the rest of the US in the fight for Equality, so that is our truth.
Gary: So many great messages of what our story meant to people and them sharing their stories. It made us feel so proud. It was all worth it. I remember one message from Justin in Montana. He wrote me a message, ‘I’m about to show my parents your film and then come out to them.’ WOW! That’s what it’s all about.
This may be an impossible question but is there one Dolly Parton song that best encapsulates each one of you as a person?
Larry & Gary: The song ‘Family’ from her ‘Eagle When She Flies’ CD. The chorus, “Some are preachers, some are gay, but not a one is turned away when it’s Family. You choose your lovers, pick your friends, but not the family that you’re in, they’ll be with you to the end when it’s Family.” We played that song to our mom when we came out to her. Dolly also has a show at Dollywood called ‘My People.’ In 2013 she added the song ‘Family’ to the show. We hope maybe we reminded her of the power of that song!
How are things with your families now that the film is out there? Have they seen it? If so, what was their reaction?
Gary: Dad did see it a few years back [and] he even reached out to my partner Mike and said ‘I appreciate you being in his life and loving him.’ We have never talked to Mom about the film. Every family is different so this is our story with Mom. Dad has since had a stroke and is in a nursing home, our Grandma is in another nursing home with early dementia so Mom has a full plate. We can cut her some slack on playing the two gay sons in Hollywood card right now. Yes, we still talk to our Mom two times a day and always will. I can say that after the film started getting out where people could stream it and buy it our home town took notice. Grade school teachers, people we worked with growing up, even people from our church all had amazing things to say about the film and they were proud of us. That’s all we could ask for.
Tell me about the Leslie Jordan reality show you guys are working on.
Leslie was in ‘Hollywood to Dollywood’ along with Beth Grant, Chad Allen, Ann Walker and Oscar winner Lance Black! Also, I have to give a shout out to John Lavin our amazing director who is also involved in the show we are filming with Leslie, a reality show called show ‘Pony.’ It’s so funny. He has the craziest life, 44 venues a year doing stand-up, still acting and meeting his crazy, loyal fans. It’s being shopped around all over Hollywood right now and Larry and I are filming him within the show. He says ‘Honey, my life is so crazy I need twins to keep up with it all!’ Example, Leslie was checking into a nice hotel in San Francisco when the nice lady at the front desk said, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Jordan, this card has been declined’ He looked over at Larry and I filming, and said ‘Turn that damn camera off!’ [laughs]
What’s next for you guys?
Gary: The end of June we get two weeks home with family and we’re so excited, we just did a funny zombie web series called ‘Acting Dead’ and we are up for a remake of ‘Celebrity Name Game’ with Courteney Cox. Tomorrow we have a Skype [meeting] with a casting director doing a huge reality show competition with all twins and a huge money prize. We already won $50,000 on ABC’s ‘Wipeout’ (that’s how we paid for the Dolly music by the way!) and we also won $50,000 on Twin “Fear Factor” on NBC. So, yes, when it comes to this twin gimmick stuff and kicking ass for money, sign us up because we have it down pat!
For more on the Lane Twins, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter or the film’s website. For more on the Hollywood Museum’s “Real To Reel” exhibit, visit the website. And if you’re a Dolly fan as much as the Lane Twins, check out her website for all things Dolly including her current ‘Blue Smoke’ world tour!