‘Same Kind of Different as Me’ Stars: It’s a Turning Point for Women in Hollywood

“I think change has to happen, if it has to happen this way, than this is the perfect way for it to go,” actress Ann Mahoney said of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, on Thursday at the Los Angeles premiere of “Same Kind of Different as Me.” “And hopefully this will make others who are doing this stop.”

Mahoney, who plays a homeless prostitute named Clara in the film, hopes that this will be a turning point for women in Hollywood, opening up “casting for women across age, color, and what we typically talk about as beautiful.”

This desire to spin gold out of straw is in line with the film’s message: Through tough situations — infidelity, cancer, prison, homelessness — you can accomplish some good.

Same Kind of Different as Me,” which opens on Oct. 20, is based on the true-life events of Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear), Deborah Hall (Renée Zellweger), and Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou). It follows Hall, an art dealer, and his path to friendship with Moore, a homeless man with a traumatic past but unwavering faith. This unlikely pairing is driven by his wife, Deborah, whose spiritual dream leads the couple to the local homeless ministry.

“This was a love story between three people,” Kinnear told Variety.

And it’s a story, many of the stars and creators said they hoped would inspire people to aid the homeless. The issue is particularly important to Hounsou, who called homelessness a “dream killer.”

Prior to his acting and modeling fame, he spent around a year of his youth homeless in France. In 2008, he urged a U.S. Senate panel to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.

Jon Voight called his character, Earl Hall, Ron Hall’s whiskey-addled, politically incorrect father, “comedic relief.” And he earns quite a few laughs as he zooms about on a lawnmower.

On the red carpet though, Voight was more somber, eyes welling with tears as he told the story of befriending and helping a homeless man in New York, while he was doing the Anton Chekhov play “The Seagull” in 1992. “The adventures you have when you try and help someone,” Voight said. “It’s never in vain.”

The real Ron Hall was also in attendance, he introduced the film by paying tribute to Deborah, who passed away in 1999, and Moore, who died in 2012.

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