Photographer, author, and former model Nigel Barker, who is best known from his 17 seasons as a judge on America’s Next Top Model, has announced that he is working on a film about legendary gay activist David Mixner. Paper Magazine asked Barker about his relationship with Mixner and the upcoming film:
“First of all I always loved a great, true story. Whenever [David and I] meet I ask him questions about his life. He’s an incredible raconteur. I basically sit like a child and get whacked into this story, transformed and taken there. All of a sudden I’m in another era and another moment, and I can feel for the people. And he has a very visual way of describing. I realized [his stories] had the ability to become a film. I asked for consent for a screenplay and eventually a film of his life. He said he’d been approached in the past but never felt there was the right person. Then he said to me, “I would love you to do it.”
When did you first meet David?
“I first met him at an Alan Cumming salon event. Alan Cumming has these salons where he does interesting things with about 30 people. That time Susan Sarandon was talking. I knew of David Mixner but I didn’t know what he looked like. When I was introduced to him he said “Hello, I’m David” and was sitting in a wheelchair. I asked him if I could get him a drink, and he said that he didn’t drink. He didn’t know many people in this group and we just started talking. Later I realized, ‘My god, this is David Mixner. I know his story.'”
How far along in the film-making process are you?
“We questioned him for ages and wrote down the stories. He also produced this one-man show called “From the Front Porch” which we recorded and made transcripts of. The screenplay’s like a hundred pages over what people like screenplays to be. We’re trying to write, get control of it and bring it down. We’re hoping to have our screenplay in a good state by the next month or so and really start the process of making the film.”
Barker declined to say who he has in mind to play Mixner. Hit the link and read the rest of the interview.
RELATED: I chatted with David several times in Philadelphia this weekend without him once mentioning the movie. Probably because he knew I’d have been tempted to blog the news immediately.