Dylan Fergus is a straight actor who has an iconic gay role.
Any true horror fan, especially a gay male one probably knows Dylan Fergus as the young wannabe police officer with the glass eye in the 2004 cult hit Hellbent.
Not only is he nice to look at, but he also created one of the most iconic gay characters in horror cinema. And if you don’t agree, you haven’t seen the movie.
Thirteen years after the premiere of Hellbent, it’s back on the big screen for FilmOut tonight at the Hillcrest Landmark Theatre.
Although Dylan has left his acting career behind to create branded content for his production company, there are still people who remember him, me especially, as the hot young gay final guy with the piercing blue eyes in Hellbent.
His big break started when producers cast him as a soap stud in All My Children, a daytime serial that lasted 41 years. Before that, he did guest appearances on other shows and a lot of theater.
“But as far as leading a movie, Hellbent was my first one,” he says.
The first thing you should know about Dylan is that he is straight which some people may find odd in that the movie takes place in the gay community. Not that straight actors can’t play gay parts, but this film was made in 2004 and included some pretty racy scenes between men, even Dylan's character.
I asked how he felt about that.
“It was fine, I mean you know, you don’t really think about that kind of stuff,” he said. “The one thing I will say is at the time; I remember back in the day there were still a lot of people who were nervous about being pegged one way or the other. For me it was nothing really to worry about because you know it’s a movie, it’s fake, and I don’t have any qualms with it.”
Dylan was raised in San Francisco, in fact, he was speaking to me from his parent's house in the Golden Gate, “I grew up in a progressive city, so you know it was just kinda like, whatever. The one thing that I will say that I remember is my manager at the time said, ‘I just wanna make sure you’re comfortable with playing a gay character,’ and I was like yeah whatever. I think if you’re a straight guy, you don’t worry about it.”
One mistake he says he made at the time was turning down a three-year contract with All My Children. He was just out of college when the offer was extended, “I said, no no no no, I’m going to move to LA and make arty movies. And that was a huge mistake in retrospect and so by the time Hellbent came around I felt so lucky to be wanted.”
He may not have had an arc on All My Children, but Dylan now has a part in LGBT history and a place in the cult movie archives.
“The funny part is, interesting enough it took while for that film to finish and then to come out, and when it did, we had a blast. I grew up in a neighborhood bordering The Castro in San Francisco. We had the premiere at the Castro Theatre and all my friends and family came. We sold out a 1,200 seat theatre – it was awesome!”
One of the most memorable scenes in Hellbent, one which, if I may say so, is as noteworthy as Hitchcock’s shower scene, or the chest-burst from Alien, involves Dylan’s character and his glass eye. The poster for the film does not exaggerate in its depiction of the scene.
For years, I thought Dylan actually did have a glass eye, and I thought what a novel way to do a special effect and use someone’s disability to great effect. But that was not the case he tells me, Dylan has eyesight in both of his eyes and does not wear a prosthetic.
“It didn’t touch the eye,” he explains. “That’s all computer graphics. So what happened was they did the shot, and it was probably six-inches away from my eye. And then using computer graphics, they went in. So they shot the eye, just my eye and then they had the scythe there, but that one shot where it scratches it didn’t really happened that was CG.”
I asked how he felt about Hellbent not only being an important entry into the horror genre but an important film to the LGBT community.
“The short answer is yes, it is,” he explained. “I will say when we were making the film I was surprised at how much attention it was getting even during the making of the process because people were like ‘oh, this is the first…oh, this is important for..’ and it was because of that I felt privileged to be in that situation. I was like oh shit, this is great you know?”
“It was great for the gay community. To open up any community for all people is obviously the goal of a progressive society.”
Dylan says that Paul Etheredge was dedicated to this film. It wasn’t being made as a low-budget looking, soft-core project by way of gay-baiting. Paul was serious.
“He really gave it his all. He really cared about the film. He went out of his way to put in the extra effort to make sure the film was enjoyable and fun and unique.
When you’re making a film like Hellbent you know, everything boils down to the one person, whoever the person is who really holds the film as their baby, and Paul did that. He and the producer took care of the film and everybody who was working on it. It’s one of those things where you can say, ‘someone really loved this film.'"
But who says it had to end? The ending of Hellbent leaves it open for a sequel, maybe many of them. I asked Dylan if there was any talk of doing one.
"Every once in a while, every couple of years, I'll connect with one of the producers or another member of the cast or Paul. And every once in a while they're like, 'oh I just had a conversation with someone about Hellbent 2; I'm like hey, as long as I get a cameo I'd be happy."
I would not only be happy to see a sequel but Dylan and those gorgeous blues eyes in the lead once again.
FilmOut presents "Hellbent" playing with "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2" on Wednesday, October 18, starting at 7 pm at the Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas.
The Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas is located at 3965 Fifth Ave. # 200, San Diego, 92103.
Get your tickets now by clicking HERE!