In 2012’s Sassy Pants, Bethany (Ashley Rickards) is a homeschooled teen who has a good fashion sense but not much else going for her. Her controlling mother (Anna Gunn) has ruined her social life and creativity. When Bethany runs off to her gay dad Dale’s (Diedrich Bader, above), she starts to find herself—with the help of Dale’s much younger boyfriend, Chip (Haley Joel Osment). Frontiers spoke with Osment about his fashion choices for Dale & playing gay:
How did you play up—or down—the character’s queer stereotypes?
That was a line I wanted to walk carefully—I didn’t want to make him a caricature or have fun at his expense. He’s a selfish person; the humor doesn’t come from his orientation, but the self-absorption.
How did you work on Chip’s ‘look’—the lip ring, lipstick/eyeliner, hair, nail polish, tattoo, tight pants and cowboy hat?
We kept adding layers from the first day I went into the makeup trailer. The lip ring came in a moment of inspiration. The haircut was a sweep forward and a peacock in the back. Coley [Sohn, the writer/director] gave a clear picture of him in the script—the boots, the hot pants, the tattoo.
Sounds borderline cliché, but it’s not like we can pretend this kind of character doesn’t exist in the gay world. Seems like he went the Macaulay Culkin route (see Party Monster) to transition from child star to being taken seriously as an actor. The movie isn’t about his character but it looks like fun. It’s on HuluPlus now.