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FilmOut Q&A with Matthew Montgomery, star of "Finding Mr. Wright"

SAN DIEGO -- Matthew Montgomery is making his mark in Hollywood, specializing in independent movies centered on LGBT themes. He has built a considerable following after making such movies as "Long-Term Relationship," "Back Soon," "Pornography: A Thriller" and "Role/Play."

Montgomery stars in "Finding Mr. Wright," which will be shown at 2 pm Saturday, Aug. 20, at FilmOut San Diego's 13th annual LGBT Film Festival at Birch North Park Theatre. He spoke with San Diego Gay & Lesbian News about the film and his career as an actor, producer and writer.

Q: FilmOut San Diego audiences loved you in “Back Soon,” and now you are coming back to San Diego in “Finding Mr. Wright.” What drew you to the role of Clark Townsend, the oh-so-serious talent manager with a starlet client from hell?

A: He's a character that I had never played before. He's like - normal. And believe me, playing normal and sane can be a bit of a stretch for me.

Q: Did you model Clark after any talent agent, living or dead?

A: I probably drew a lot from myself, to be perfectly honest. I can be very controlling in my career and life and am incredibly ambitious and have huge amounts of strength but am also incredibly fragile and spent much time alone so I really felt that drawing from that seemed apropos for the character of Clark.

Q: How was the on-the-set experience, working with David Moretti and Rebekah Kochan and Nancy Criss?

A: Like visiting the nut ward. I felt at home.

Q: You are listed as one of the executive producers of the film, and your production company Proteus Pictures was one of the partners in making this film. What were your duties as executive producer? Are there any conflicts of interest between producing and acting?

A: My duties were to make sure the movie got made. I know it sounds broad and vague but it's the truth. I (and we) all did anything and everything that you can think of to guide this project along to fruition. It was the definition of "collaborative" effort.

Q: You have built a cult-like following for movies such as “Gone But Not Forgotten,” “Long-Term Relationship” and “Back Soon.” Why do you think audiences relate so well with for this Texan?

A: Everything's bigger in Texas.

Q: What are the challenges of being an openly gay actor, and do you feel like being out has helped or hindered your career in Hollywood?

A: I'm an optimist at heart. I believe that it has helped my career - and possibly even made it. It's definitely made it more fun! I sincerely believe that staying in the closet would not only have been a miserable life but I truly feel that it would have ultimately hindered MY career. It works for some people (obviously - we're looking at you *insert actor of any hit cable network show about a criminal here*). I'm just saying that I don't believe it would have worked for ME. Guess I'll never know - thank you, Baby Jesus.

Q: Why is it important to support independent movies?

A: It's important to support equal rights. It's important to support freedom of speech. It's important to support finding a cure for cancer and HIV/AIDS. I don't necessarily feel it's important to support independent movies in general as much as I feel it's important to support movies that push boundaries and unapologetically stand up and support something that releases a strong message. Something that evokes action and even harmless fantasy and escape at times - but ultimately sends a message. I guess that's why I love working in gay cinema.

Q: What’s on the horizon for Matthew Montgomery?

A: Going for my master's in directing at USC Cinema. Directing my first feature, a horror film, "Crimson Creek," written by Melvin Johnson Jr., and again working alongside Nancy Criss and Nandar Entertainment. I'm also coming out with another movie soon called "I Want To Get Married" and is directed by the visionary genius, Billy Clift.