YouTube star, Jeffery Self, co-wrote and acts in “You’re Killing Me”. As the only horror entry in the film fest lineup you won’t want to miss out. The film is showing this weekend as part of the 20th anniversary of the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Fest. Jeffery took a few minutes to speak with Equality365 about his love of nineties rom-coms, Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Jonas’ biceps. Oh, we talked about the movie as well. Get your tickets here.
Movie description from Three Dollar Cinema:
Aspiring viral video star George (co-writer and YouTube star Jeffrey Self) is so narcissistic that he misses all the glaring signs that his gorgeous new boyfriend is a serial killer. Only when his comically shallow friends start disappearing one by one does George finally start realizing that Gretchen might not be coming back with crushed ice for his party. In this campy, shocking comedy-horror hybrid (mumblegore!), director Jim Hansen reveals the perils of incessant chatter. The supporting cast includes Drew Droege (of the Chloë webseries), Jack Plotnick, and a cameo by Mindy Cohn (TV’s Facts of Life).
How did you come up with the idea for “You’re Killing Me”?
My collaborator, Jim Hansen, and I wrote the film together. Jim has a major love of horror films and his knowledge of that is pretty extensive. I have a major love of nineties romantic comedies. He came to me with the idea that we write a movie that infused those two things together.
Have you caught the new “Scream Queens” series on television?
Yes, I really enjoy it. I will watch Jamie Lee Curtis literally do anything. I really do mean anything.
What is your favorite part so far?
If I have to pick a favorite part it is going to be Nick Jonas’ biceps. I don’t think that should be legal. I think he owes me new underwear.
What do you think of Nick Jonas’ playing mostly gay parts?
I think it is really exciting. I think there is now this sort of line of queerness. You just have to embrace it in order to be a contemporary male movie star. Obviously, gay audiences are a very big part of who is watching things. Look at “Magic Mike” the sequel. I feel like they just literally made the movie for gay guys. We have these stars like Nick Jonas, James Franco and Dave Franco that ride the line of queerness. They really know what they are doing. It is very exciting.
So you think it is a lot different from Hollywood not all that many years ago telling their leading men to shy away from playing gay?
Oh, definitely! It is entirely different time. I am sure that is still happening. I think that still exists but those people end up on CW shows that maybe last for a few years but people don’t really talk about them or who they are because they are trying to play an old school game that isn’t really cool any longer. I think the more queer friendly a male celebrity is now equates directly to how interesting they come across to their fans. They also get to play more interesting roles that a lot of people may have declined.
Do you watch “American Horror Story” as well?
I love it! I am very excited about the new season. I actually live in a sort of spooky haunted house and I am a little afraid to watch them in my place so I usually have to go somewhere else. I would prefer to go to Kathy Bates’ condo but I doubt I will get an invite.
What is it like for you to write and act in the same movie?
For this particular movie, we wrote it with specific friends in mind for each character. Most everyone in the movie is a friend of mine of Jim’s. We all work together in our own ways. We have collaborated together live or online in different projects. So I wrote my parts with my own voice in mind.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Finishing (laughter). Well, that and actually getting to make the movie. I think this one was fun because we were actually writing it with our friends’ voices in mind. We were able to be amused by how we imagined the line would be delivered.
Did that make the script maybe more malleable when you handed it to these people?
Maybe a little. Most everyone in the film is very skilled at improv. So, there was always the question of creating everything they would say or just give them suggestions to form into their own thing. I think it is a testament to what good actors they are that they did what we wrote. We did have a couple takes where we just told them now do what you want with it. A bit of that ended up in the final cut but it is mostly exactly how we wrote it.
What do you find the most difficult part writing for film?
I think just sitting down and doing it at all. It is so easy to sit around drunk with your friends and talking about writing a movie and how funny this or that idea would be. I could do that every day for the rest of my life. It takes a lot of self-discipline to actually sit down and write the ideas.
Can you tell us something weird or even scary that happened while making the film?
Well, Matthew McKelligon, is a friend of Jim’s and I didn’t know him all that well. He plays the serial killer. He is actually obsessed with serial killers in his real life. There is a little bit of strangeness to working with someone playing a serial killer and getting really into the role. I guess one of the weirdest things he did was show up one day and tell us that he just ate tofu for lunch while sitting outside of the house where the Menendez brothers killed their parents. I felt like that was a very LA moment.
How have audiences reacted to the film?
We have traveled all over the world with it and it has gone pretty well. We have done mostly gay film festivals and one horror film festival. It is nice to hear people laugh at the appropriate spots. Some people are put off a little by the horror and the violence of it. In Atlanta last weekend I got into a little argument with some white-privileged-middle-aged gays who didn’t like the movie at all. It is supposed to be very tongue in cheek. We didn’t want to write just another gay horror movie where some hot shirtless guy gets stabbed. We have a tiny bit of that in the movie but we wanted to make a horror movie that would upset you. There is just something about having people come in and laugh then having something suddenly really intense happen. I would say most people get into it. Occasionally there is someone with a weak stomach though.