The cast and filmmakers of “Stonewall” hope audiences take away more than just enjoyment from the film.
“Forty percent of the homeless youth in America today identify with being LGBT,” Jeremy Irvine, who plays lead Danny Winters, said. “I read that at the end of the script and went, ‘wow, this is a movie that is just as relevant today as it ever was.’ I think it’s kind of a disgrace that we’re not taught in schools about the Stonewall event, so I think if anything can get a wider awareness is only a good thing.”
“Stonewall” follows Winters, who leaves behind his friends and loved ones when he is kicked out of his house and flees to New York. Alone and homeless in Greenwich Village, Winters befriends a group of street kids who take him to the Stonewall Inn. After enduring discrimination and police harassment, Winters and his friends find themselves caught up in the 1969 Stonewall riots.
“It’s not a documentary — we’re not trying to be 100 percent factual,” said Joey King, who plays Winters’ supportive younger sister. Phoebe. “It’s a movie. I really want people to take away that message about the homeless youth. This is not about facts and history, this is about what’s happening now in the world.”
Director Roland Emmerich hopes the movie stirs people to inspiration.
“I hope that they get inspired,” Emmerich said. “That always was our idea. Yes, to show how brutal their lives were, but the Stonewall riots more or less spawned the first gay march, and we always thought it was great to inspire people.”
“It shines a light on something that started off as one thing and turned into a full blown movement,” Ron Perlman, who plays Stonewall Inn owner Ed Murphy, said. “LGBT movement began as a result of these riots, and it’s led up to watching the Supreme Court do what they just did.”
After the film screening, guests continued on to the Abbey in West Hollywood to celebrate.
“Stonewall,” out Sept. 25, also stars Jonny Beauchamp, Vladimir Alexis, Otoja Abit, Matt Craven and Karl Glusman.
(Pictured: Jonny Beauchamp, Joey King, Jeremy Irvine, Vladimir Alexis, Roland Emmerich, Ben Sullivan, Ron Perlman and Otoja Abit)