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Chris Kattan, Craig Chester and Parker Posey on the set of Adam & Steve.

Craig Chester’s Adam & Steve is just your typical New York romantic comedy: two men who’ve lived through AIDS, cocaine addiction, bad hair, lots of bodily fluids, gay bashing, two-stepping and 9/11 find domestic bliss as a couple. “The initial idea came when I was at New York’s 2002 Gotham Awards,” says Chester. “Everyone was taking everything so seriously. Indie filmmakers always cite John Cassavetes as their influence, but no one really acknowledges John Waters, who was just as significant. I wanted to make an homage to him — a gross-out gay comedy. Also I wanted to make a film about two guys in a relationship that was not all about longing.”

After Chester had written the screenplay, he did not send it out. “I read scripts for Miramax,” explains Chester, “so I know how hard comedy is to get on the page. Instead I set up 10 staged readings in New York and Los Angeles, which allowed me to control how the work was heard.” The readings also served as part of the audition process. “We invited a lot of actors to read, and that way we could see who had chemistry with who.” His final cast (Malcolm Gets as his love interest, and Chris Kattan and Parker Posey as their heterosexual pals) was culled from these readings.

Chester had a lot of experience as both an actor (Swoon, Grief) and a writer (Why the Long Face?). He had never tackled directing a feature before, however. “I had no design to direct,” explains Chester, “but as things progressed, I found myself stepping into the role out of necessity.” Likewise, they shot the interiors in Los Angeles to keep on budget. But it was important to return to Manhattan for the exteriors. “The film is so much about New York,” Chester stresses. “We shot in Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Sheridan Square and, of course, Times Square.”


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