Antonio Marziale on „Starfuckers“ / interview

Born in London, UK, he grew up in Switzerland. He studied acting at the Carnegie Mellon University and has starred in Alex Strangelove and the series Altered Carbon. His debut film as a director is „Starfuckers“ for which he also wrote the screenplay.

What was your starting point for “Starfuckers”?

I knew I wanted to tell a revenge story with a surprising twist, and I wanted to celebrate the art of drag. I wanted to empower the main character through the use of drag performance, and focus on giving them power and agency instead of focusing on their pain. After writing the script, I went into a recording studio and recorded all the voices for the lip-sync and then sent it along with the script as an MP3 to the creative team, and that was the start of the short film.

Do you have a favorite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

I love one of the first moments in the film, the long take where the actor Cole Doman is putting on his schoolboy uniform, because it feels tense and you’re not sure what is going to happen, and I like the surprise of what ends up happening at the end of the long shot. 

What do you like about the short form?

I like the challenge of having only a short amount of time to tell a story, you have to throw your audience into a circumstance and take them on a ride. It forces you to be precious and creative about every moment because you have so little time to tell the story, and also allows more opportunity for untraditional structure.

Photo © Dorothea Tuch

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08:3509:35 Excerpt: Starfuckers / 10:5016:45 Is it possible to cast chemistry? / 16:4623:34 How do you manage the transition from writing the script to acting in the film? / 23:3434:10 Please tell us more about the different acts of performance in all three films.

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„I was thinking about how art can be used to process trauma and I’ve always loved watching drag and drag performers express themselves, so through the backdrop of a clear power dynamic that can often be set up in Hollywood [where] the have and have nots can be quite clear, I [thought] what if we forced someone who did something bad to kind of watch a person they victimized have all the agency, but also be witness to their pain. These issues are not solely related to stuff that happens in Hollywood, but I used that as a backdrop.“
an Interview with Antonio Marziale by Stephen Saito for The Moveable Fest

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„My whole life I’ve been super inspired by drag queens and drag performance and how drag queens can often renegotiate the circumstances of their life through performance. A lot of drag queens, and just people who don’t exist under a normative identity under the patriarchy, have experienced some sort of struggle from that, and I feel like drag gives a lot of queer people the opportunity to really be themselves fully and adapt an alter ego. And I’ve always loved that idea, loved watching drag performances, loved lip-syncing in general.“
an Interview with Antonio Marziale by Chris Azzopardi for Pride Source

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„My whole life I’ve been super inspired by drag queens and drag performance and how drag queens can often renegotiate the circumstances of their life through performance. A lot of drag queens, and just people who don’t exist under a normative identity under the patriarchy, have experienced some sort of struggle from that, and I feel like drag gives a lot of queer people the opportunity to really be themselves fully and adopt an alter ego. And I’ve always loved that idea, loved watching drag performances, loved lip-syncing in general.“
an interview with Antonio Marziale by Chris Azzopardi on Q Saltlake Magazine

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