In one of the funniest and heartwarming comedies of the last few years, 4TH MAN OUT finds Adam (Evan Todd) choosing his 24th birthday to come out to his friends, who are a group of borderline stereotypical guy guys who like to drink beer, pick up chicks, and watch hockey. Immediately out of their comfort zone, they dive into the world headfirst as any group of friends would – because friends don’t let friends come out alone (that’s the tag line, great, right?)

Adam’s ‘man unit’ includes Chord Overstreet (from Glee) and Parker Young (from Suburgatory, Arrow, and the criminally-cancelled Enlisted). 4th MAN OUT Out is really about friendship, and Parker’s character leads the charge to make Adam feel comfortable and succeed in his new situation, and even get laid. The film releases today on VOD and in select cities theatrically (NY, LA, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, SF, DC, Houston, Toronto, and Portland).

I got a chance to talk with Parker about the film, potty humor, and given the timing, the super bowl.

BEARS: How did the script reach you and what were your impressions reading it?

PARKER: I was taking a trip and had a long flight ahead of me, like 25 hours, and asked my team to find me a bunch of scripts to read. 4th MAN OUT was the first one I read and I remember laughing from beginning to end. I’ve worked on a lot of PG comedies for television, and I was so impressed that the amount of “potty humor” in this film mixed with an incredible message. It was the type of dick and ball potty humor that one of my agents found childish and offensive, but I think that’s why I loved it. It’s the stuff me and my buddies laugh at.

BEARS: The film does a great job of making you feel like a group of friends, just having a great time, what did you do on set to keep loose and keep the energy up?

PARKER: Trouble was we had never met (well, I knew Chord prior). So from the moment I got on the plane with Chord and [Jon] Gabrus, I made it my goal to be best friends with these guys. We met Evan Todd in Albany as he lived in NY at the time.

It’s not that we had to force an artificial friendship, its just that we allowed ourselves to open up and have fun with each other as if we had truly been best friends our whole lives. We gave ourselves that permission. We knew who these guys were. They are a bunch of bachelors that get drunk and crack jokes and sleep with chicks. So in the couple of days we had together before filming we allowed ourselves to be that to the best of our ability.

First night together in Albany we went out and got drunk, and had plenty of laughs. There may have been some weed involved. We’d work out together everyday and sit in the sauna all night like a bunch of idiot best friends. I think ultimately we just got really lucky that we all hit it off so well. As far as on set goes, that was the easy part. We had already found out who we were to each other. On set we just let Gabrus run his loud mouth cracking jokes all day and that keeps everyone loose and laughing.

BEARS: I always describe this film as an LGBT film that not only could I take my parents to, but they could take their friends as well. It’s a very uplifting story that is as much about friendship as it is about coming out. But last year was probably the most important year ever for gay rights. How did you feel touring the festival circuit with a film covering these issues in this climate?

PARKER: It was an honor to be a part of. People would come up to us and shake our hands and thank us for making this film. They would tell us that the film provided an opportunity to have the “gay conversation” with the people in their lives that may be slightly less receptive to the idea.

BEARS: Have you been in your character’s dilemma? Has someone surprised you by coming out? Do you remember the feelings you went through?

PARKER: No, I have never been surprised by someone coming out. The people that I know that have come out, I always suspected were gay. But hey maybe this film will inspire some people I know to come out and I’ll be completely shocked. That would be awesome.

BEARS: I know these guys are more hockey guys than football guys but the Super Bowl is this weekend – who are they cheering for and why?

PARKER: Chord and Gabrus’s characters are rooting for the Panthers – because they are probably going to win, and Cam Newton is young and cocky, and they both want to be black. Mine and Evan Todd’s characters are cheering for the Broncos -because we have a heart, and think it would be beautiful for Peyton to win one last time before he crumbles. But the Panthers will win.

BEARS: I’m still not over “Enlisted” not getting renewed. It seems like one of your strengths as an actor is finding your place in an ensemble of guys.

PARKER: I’m still not over it either! I was just having drinks at [fellow “Enlisted” cast member]Angelique Cabal’s house the other night for her birthday, and we had a bit of a reunion. I may have been yelling “f*ck Fox” to a couple Fox employees as well. The approach is always unique to the project and character, but ultimately I just try my best to do my part to serve the story. One thing seems to remain constant, and that is that I tend to fully embrace the character and the relationship that he has to the other characters in the story. With”Enlisted” I spent wayy to much time with Geoff Stults. I made him my big brother. We did everything together and I was always tagging along and being his wingman and hype man. I idolized him the way that Randy idolizes Pete. I have a younger brother and drew a lot of inspiration from that. I also idolized my dad growing up so I know what it’s like to have a hero. For Fourth Man Out, finding Chris and his relationship to his buddies was just a matter of accessing a different part of me I guess. I had a handful of best friends growing up so I know what that’s like. As captain of my football team, and oldest of three siblings I know what its like to step into a leadership (or I guess alpha) position. And like with “Enlisted,” I made Evan, Jon, and Chord, into Adam, Ortu, and Nick. They were one and the same. I treated those actors as if they were those people in the story, and we acted accordingly. This makes it a lot easier for me when I step onto set. Then I’m not acting quite as much. I’ve already found the relationship. Then we get to just have fun and not try to fake anything that doesn’t already exist. This gives me the freedom to play that I need.

Written by Aaron Dancik and directed by Andrew Nackman, 4th MAN OUT is available TODAY on iTunes VOD and out in theaters throughout the country – in Houston at the AMC Studio 30. For more on the film, check out my interview with director Nackman when the film was the Opening Night Film for Agliff.

Bears Fonte covers indie film for AMFM Magazine and programs and consults for film festivals nationwide. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival as well as the former Director of Programming for Austin Film Festival. His short The Secret Keeper played at 40 festivals, his feature iCrime was released in 2011 by Vicious Circle.


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