Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Filming Of Apt Pupil

I think in light of the lawsuit filed against Bryan Singer that everyone should take the opportunity to read this piece about the filming of Apt Pupil, which Singer directed shortly after Usual Suspects. One of the writers, Mark Ebner is a friend of mine, and he is a guy who is not afraid to take a stand or go after people he thinks need going after. He looks at both sides of the Apt Pupil scandal. I wonder if he were to write it today, if he would have a different conclusion. It is really long, but really fascinating.

Two weeks after the shower scene in Apt Pupil was filmed, a lawsuit was filed. You can read the entire article here.

"The boys' suits say that although they'd been promised their roles wouldn't involve nudity, once they entered the set, Singer and other crew members "commanded blaringly and screamingly" that they strip. The youths were then forced to stand naked for more than four hours as the cameras rolled and an "obviously homosexual" set photographer snapped pictures of them in "indecent positions," their lawsuits allege.

Gordon and Rub planted another attention - grabbing claim in their suits: that some or all of the defendants were "known homosexuals."

The boys further claim that the crew subjected them to "ogling, leering, and suggestive glances." One crew member, Stockdale says, told him that if he left the set or refused to perform naked, he'd be fired. Director Singer cast a particularly dark shadow over the set, erupting in "multiple fits of rage," Stockdale claims. By the time the cameras were turned off for the day, the boys' lawsuits say, they'd been subjected to sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, and other outrages by Singer and his crew. "


Kno Won said...

Don't know as much as I should, will study up and produce a more educated comment -
At first blush; "known homosexuals", "ogling"? What century is this?
Sounds like this suit was filed in 1954.
If they were underage, were no parents/guardians on set? Why not?
OK, OK...I'll read it.

Bacon Ranch said...

How in the world did Singer come about to have so much 'power'?
I mean, what did he do to get the attention needed to be granted a director position in the first place?
There is probably a rabbit hole that most certainly did not begin with him.

Violet said...

Well from what I can gather the whole thing revolved around some perceived ogling by 'the gays' and being told to leave the set if they didn't like it.
I'm sure it's way more serious than that and I wouldn't want to demean anybody's feelings but it was a lot to read to glean that bit of info.

Steampunk Jazz said...

Couldn't finish the article..repetitive...

it took forever said...

Forget apt pupil and get videos of his parties/orgies. He is a privileged predator.

hairydawg said...

sounds like a bunch of extras got treated like shit. A lot of 2nd AD's get and keep their jobs cuz they're good at treating people like shit. Keeps things moving.

FearN said...

Agree. Seems like a typical workday with an asshole boss. Doesn't really scream 'sexual harassment' to me.

Kelly said...


Unknown said...

From article sounds like a sleazy attorney that stumbled on a salacious sounding story and wants to cash in- that being said the extras or greedy parents had to go to him to start the process.

Kno Won said...

Yes, if they wanted nudity, they shouldn't have hired minors.
However- "And I told him I didn't want to take it off; I'm a minor. And he shook his head, and he just said, 'Fine, I guess we can switch you with somebody else.'" that seems fairly reasonable.
Not knowing your extras are minors is a n00b error, inexcusable and probably a legit legal problem. The inflammatory BS such as being "leered at" by people who "seemed gay" is moronic enough to taint (heh heh, I said taint) the entire suit. As it should.
My recommendations going forward:
-Don't hire minors to be nude
-Don't hire attorneys from Westboro Baptist Church
C'mon, man.

Lady Heisenberg said...

Those poor boys. However, I must say that the language of this reminds me of the suit the firemen in SD filed for being subjected to harassment during the department's float in the annual Pride Parade. Harassment is harassment, plain and simple. No need to complain how the gay gaze harmed you additionally. Let the facts speak for themselves. I hope that justice will prevail here.

@Bacon: Guys like this are powerful because they are paying you. The dynamics of relationships and consent are always of concern when money is on the table. These boys are probably not wrong to assume that noncompliance could result in being blacklisted, meaning no money or jobby jobs. Plus there's the whole he's just an asshole and enjoys exploiting his power thing

Unknown said...

Not that there wasn't plenty of sleaziness to go around on production's part also. Seems like a settlement might be coming but probably not the payoff the lawyer is looking for.

Bacon Ranch said...

Agreed Lady H.
The cynical side of me wonders if we would be hearing about this if the guys were A list or at least constantly cast in films? I wonder what stories people like Pitt,Clooney,Depp,DiCaprio could tell?

I have zero doubt this happens, it just seems that it becomes public only when the people involved don't get what they want.

Brian Brown said...

But we should totally celebrate homosexuality because ____?

Well, because.

Stefani said...

What was the outcome of the lawsuit?

Many years ago, I heard similar rumors about Singer on an earlier film.

Pen-a-lope said...

It's a shame he's such a pedo perv if there is any truth to this. Apt Pupil was a excellent thriller.

Iwinjen said...

Corey that is a guy with stories. Poor kid

Steampunk Jazz said...

Lol @Fear and Reno, give these boys a break.
Women have been dealing with leering ,
once overs
slow perusals
body part lingers
the slooow head to toe and back,
The evaluating look
The eye roaming lip lick
We have the reactions taught to us by the women before to tell us how to react when these Eye ONLY, moves are made.
Men and boys don't have that kind of training.
The fact that we have only started to do something about it in the last 30-40 years...has to mean something :-\
Poor things aren't used to being on the receiving end..

tara17 said...

I just read Apt Pupil 10 days ago... There isn't even a shower scene in the novella.

Leekalicious said...

It's too bad that the real issues (making the boys wear and remove G-strings when they were told no nudity was to be involved) were lost by sloppy lawyering and the old-fashioned notion that gay = pedophile.

Sicilysclover said...

Wasnt this with Brad Renfro? He was 16 when this filmed. he became addicted to drugs and passed away due to an overdose. Wonder if he was a part of this lawsuit.

duckie said...

No one here bothered to read the full article. Least of all Enty. The salacious details of the intro are actually picked apart by the author, showing that basically the plaintiffs are lying. This post is called false light-making someone seem like they are saying something that isn;t true (like what breitbart did to shirley sherod).

As for the lawyer, he resigned from the state bar with charges pending based on this case.

Kno Won said...

I read it. Hence my conclusion that the lawsuit is crap and was slapped together by a used car salesman with an overdue mortgage.

Ella Bee said...

Singer is a major sleaze. His gay parties are legendary- Ted C even referred to him in one or two blinds about Taylor Lautner. If that is what Singer is going after (casting couch or otherwise), this is not surprising. He likes em young.

Sherry said...

If there are minors on the set there are people there that keep an eye on them. That's what made me suspect. I had a friend who was a set teacher (and Lady H can help me on this one) and if the kid said he was tired and didn't want to shoot anymore. BOOM he was taken off the set. NOW, they may have tried to coerce him into shooting the scene once more but the teachers are beholden by law to abide by what the kids want. End of story.

Lady Heisenberg said...

Sherry, you are correct that these kinds of safeguards are typically set in place and usually prevent these kinds of abuses. But not always. Could being emancipated change things, for example? Honestly, I am really just shocked that teenage boys can even be filmed naked like that, period. I have no inside scoop on this suit and don't know much about it, aside from the linked article. Maybe they just ended up with a shitty lawyer? Should have called Saul. I don't know. We will see.

Just Another HR Lady said...

Joshua Jackson and David Schwimmer were also in this movie.

It sounds like it was only extras involved in the allegations.

Jason Blue Eyes said...

I remember reading about this in PREMIERE Magazine back in 1998.

I can.t find the article online anywhere. I might have to scan and upload it myself.

Seven of Eleven said...

Apt Pupil? Based on the Stephen King story? That was one freaky story, and yes, there was a shower scene. A couple of them, but the main one involved a female. (I've never seen the movie.)

Agree with @Sherry, on-set guardians would lock that down if the actors were underage. They're legally obligated to report anything untoward. And "known homosexual"? Seriously? Park your discriminatory histrionics over there by Kirk Cameron's golf cart.

crila16 said...

It's very intimidating. I feel bad for these boys. Being a female and getting ogled and stared at while being fully clothed, is almost as intimidating and upsetting.

Sherry said...

"Park your discriminatory histrionics over there by Kirk Cameron's golf cart."..Good one Seven

TalksTooMuch said...

Seven, that was my first thought: this is the Stephen King story, yes? About Nazis? Didn't see the movie either.

and of course, this is all wrong if it happened (sounds like not necessarily) but I would be very surprised if this didn't happen to exactly every young actress. With no uproar.

Kno Won said...

Well, this has certainly blown up today. It's bloody everywhere.

Rose said...

I haven't read the article yet or know anything about this novella/movie but as far as minors always being protected on set - that's just not true especially 20-30 years ago. Kids weren't as protected and their rights weren't as important.

Cory Feldmen is a horribly sad example of what can happen on sets.

Unknown said...

Homophobic morons are making a federal case out of it but Singer's been around for a long time and he's no fool. He keeps it legal - if only barely legal. Van Sant has pushed that line a lot harder.

Sometimes sleazy people go looking for a big payday 15 years later. With the X-Men premiere so close at hand, the new guy calculated his timing very well. He will probably get paid. The case Enty's referencing was a piece of shit.

Basil said...

I read the original article, and have seen the movie. In the scene they are filming, it is meant that the male lead (Renfro) is in a high school shower, but is slowly loosing his mind, and the shower eventually becomes a shower in a gas chamber. There is no overt nudity, only implied. As for what when on during shooting, the Premiere article didn't go into it much.

Iwinjen said...

I would not be surprised if this guy and the sleezy Penn State coach and a whole web of high profile pedos have some secret society going on. Party houses, etc When will it all come crumbling down?

__-__=__ said...

Fits of rage = run. Normal people do not have fits of rage. Get away from the psychos and pervs. Isn't anyone teaching their children this?!?!?!! It's just not that hard. Stay away from the crazy.

Rose said...

Having read the article now the lawsuit seems like total bullshit comprised of shady lawyers and parents looking for a way to make some cash. I found the most offensive behavior coming from Plaintiff's side and their implications that all the adult men working for the film were gay and ogling them and go back and use the dailies as porn material. I don't know how you can tell if someone is a "full-fledged homosexual" and how they differ in looks from a half pledged homosexual.

The plaintiffs lawyers are just making up lies in the media hoping that the defense will settle instead of risking their careers.

The extras were not forced to get naked and were even told ahead of time what the scene would require.

If a role requires a brunette extra then blondes can either dye their hair to be in the scene or go home - you don't dye your hair and decide to sue later.

Basil said...

I heartily agree with Rose. The original articles about the lawsuit at the time cast a heavy pall over the supposed gay crew and the sheer amount of homophobia was actually nothing at the time. But reading it now, almost 15 years later, homophobia like that would get you sued.

As to this new Singer case, I don't know, but when you get naked in a hot tube with 2 other men, you aren't going to be saying the rosary.

RowdyRodimus said...

I don't care about what Singer does or likes in sexual partners, but I do hate the man for making some of the most boring super-hero movies ever made. He made the fucking X-Men boring! How the hell do you do that? Not to mention his Superman Vs. a Big Rock movie.

Flora Goforth said...

So all of you who bitch and moan about why no one does anything about sexual predators in Hollywood have flipped to the other side?

Head over to Gawker and read the comments there

I would not be surprised if this turns into another Sandusky.

Rose said...

I'm not sure what gives you that impression @Flora. All of us have changed our minds? I'm not sure you've read all of the comments in this post.

My comment is about this specific lawsuit and not about Bryan Singer or Hollywood pedophiles. Well my other comment was about Corey Feldmen but a lot people are specifically discussing this case and not deciding that it's ok to be a creep. There is another post about Bryan Singer separate from this.

Seven of Eleven said...

Please. There are numerous posts here about casting couches, the Nickelodeon guy and all of his (reported only by Himmmm) shenanigans, "this actress was raped/molested/hurt", but casting aspersions on this specific lawsuit and its homophobic wording means means we've all "flipped to the other side"?

Rose's comments were spot on.

Alita said...

Flora Goforth's Defamer link from comment above.

Flora, I cannot say that I've spent much time on this but from what I have read, it looks like this:

- rich movie director is gay
- rich gay movie director likes young men
- rich gay movie director has dodgy registered sex offender friend
- the articles don't say 'illegally young,' just 'young,' and that pool party picture from the article looks like young adults

- Now an allegation of drugging and raping a 17yo (is 17 il/legal in CA?)

Sandusky groomed kids from pre-pubescent ages and attacked them when they were pre-teens. Singer's not a teacher/coach - he's a guy and worst-case (for the power dynamic) a potential employer. It doesn't seem the same as Sandusky at all.

I feel like the 'net reaction is typically pitchfork laden.

Alita said...

Ahh, other people posted before I did. But I agree with Seven & Rose as well.

Flora Goforth said...

Sorry, I fell down the Bryan Singer k hole and have been reading about this all day. Defamer/Gawker has deleted some of the comments with links that made connections.

It's easy for Ebner to take pot shots at various low level grifters, Hiltons and Lohans but he is not going to alienate rainmaker big shots. His article seems very hinky to me as both sides had vested interests in sticking to their versions.

I've never seen Apt Pupil but from what I've read about the scene there is no obvious nudity in it. So why did they have to remove the g-strings? Did the studio cut back on the nudity after the allegations.

My reference to Sandusky was not about their methodology but that the avalanche of others coming forward with similar stories.


and Datalounge threads from



Aoife said...

Either this will become Penn State/Sandusky or money, and lots of it, will be paid to stop more stories from coming out.

I read something today that implied that the way this has come out will prevent private settlements being made and that there could be more to come. I don't know.

I also read a post on iMDB that someone was warned to stay away from Singer years ago.

I'm going to wait and see how this plays out since the statement put out by Fox basically says that Singer is on his own with this one.

"Fox, which releases Days of Future Past on May 23, issued a statement, saying, "These are serious allegations, and they will be resolved in the appropriate forum. This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately."

Also TMZ has posted the entire presser.

Alita said...

Okay Flora, I understand what you're saying, but I'd be careful with the Sandusky similes. I don't want to even say it's a Tiger Woods type deal, because they were mistresses not rape victims. It seems like people are getting stuck in the salaciousness of it all - but basically the rest of it, seamy though it is, is noise.

So now there is a rape allegation, and the suggestion that more (many more?) may follow - if he is guilty, I hope the justice system moved quickly.

Must say though that it does bother me that the accuser apparently (seriously I only read a little) continued to spend time around Singer after the first alleged rape. People get coerced into doing things all the time for promises of things that don't really eventuate (eg 'put the plates in the dishwasher and you can have dessert' ...done ... 'here you go, dessert is an apple' ... me: GRRR). If someone says 'you can have this role if you fuck me,' it's illegal - but you either walk or you don't. It's a choice, and you don't get to complain only if you don't get the part - if that is the case, it ain't rape. And the articles that I did read did indeed make me wonder if this was an element of it. We shall see! Although either way I imagine this accuser is hurting and I wish him peace.

Dexamyl said...

The most damning thing is Singer's involvement with the known head of a pedophile ring. It really looks ugly.

Rose said...

@Flora, from the article Enty posted the nude g-strings were still showing on camera so it didn't work for a shower scene. Apparently you could that the extras were wearing underwear.

I think any settlements that come from this case would be just so they can get the plaintiff's lawyer from running his mouth. I wouldn't take any guilt from it.

Sprink said...

I loved your coercion and reaction to the 'apple as dessert' scenario, @Alita. Made me laugh.

However, I think you get to complain whether or not you took the part. My desperation as an actor does not absolve your illegality as an employer.

Rose said...

@sprink, what about personal responsibility in that type of situation? Everyone has to have a line of where they won't cross, to decide how important their integrity is to them. If we aren't talking about rape then it comes down to a choice. There are plenty of people who wouldn't sell themselves for a role.

The producer/director trying to get you to lay down on that casting couch may be a pathetic creep but if you take their deal there is a part of saying this behavior is OK since I will get what I want in the end.

In you I mean the general you.


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