The BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opened last night with a gala screening of Cloudburst, starring Oscar-winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker. Just ahead of the screening, Dukakis spoke to The Guardian about the movie, saying that she “loves” the idea that her character in the film is a ‘foul-mouthed, lesbian Walter Matthau’.
She says about Cloudburst, “It’s about two old lesbians who run off to Canada to get married, so that’s completely what it’s about. And the character of Stella is great: very belligerent and in your face. [Director] Thom Fitzgerald kept pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me say things that were more and more outrageous. I looked at the film in post-production and could barely recognise myself. I thought, My God, that’s a man!”
Dukakis, who won an Oscar for Moonstruck and played Anna Madrigal in the mini-series of Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City novels, was also asked about her status as a gay icon. She says, “I appreciate that my work is seen and understood and feels relevant to people. And I’m lucky enough to have friends of all different sexual persuasions, some of which are utterly inexplicable to me. So it’s all good. Last year I was grand marshal at the San Francisco gay parade, and that was good too. You get to ride around in a car and wave at people: that’s about it. My arm got so tired from the waving that my brother had to hold it up for me.”
The 26th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival runs until April1st.