Interview: ‘4th Man Out’ Cast, Including Kate Flannery of ‘The Office’

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CHICAGO – The times, they are a-changing, and much of that change comes from a millennial generation who accept all the people and experiences of their time. The new film “4th Man Out” explores what happens when one member of a close-knit male group of longtime friends reveals his orientation, and features Kate Flannery (“The Office”) and a stellar cast.

“4th Man Out” is a comedy, taking on the the confusion and adjustments both for a 25 year-old man from a small town named Adam (Evan Todd) who decides to come out to his lifelong buddies Chris, Nick and Ortu (Parker Young, Chord Overstreet and Jon Gabrus). At the same time he wrestles with how to navigate his new world, and how to come out to his family (including Kate Flannery as his mother Karen). Warm, funny and perfectly natural, “4th Man Out” succeeds by allowing everyone to be themselves.

4th Man Out
Left to Right: Chord Overstreet, Evan Todd, Parker Young and Jon Gabrus of ‘4th Man Out’
Photo credit: Gravitas Ventures

In September of last year, the film opened the 33rd Chicago International LGBTQ Film Festival, “Reeling33.” Kate Flannery, Parker Young and Evan Todd of “4th Man Out” offered their insights to a different kind of friendship-oriented film.

HollywoodChicago.com: After experiencing your roles in ‘4th Man Out,’ why do you think it is easier for the straight men of the generation depicted in the film to support their gay brothers and sisters?

Kate Flannery: The world has changed so much, and younger kids have so much less judgement about everything – about coming out, about the transgender community, about racial issues – they don’t care to draw lines between people. I think that is fantastic, and this movie is the evolution of coming out in America. This is an amazing story that represents that change.

Parker Young: It’s one of those things that in the end, is the right thing to do, and as time progresses, the right thing always emerges as what we need to do. Our generation is more aware of what we think about it as individuals, and we’re not listening to negative backlash when we don’t agree with it.

Evan Todd: I think that simply there are less hang-ups and that feeling of being emasculated when having gay friends. In general society, I think people are figuring out that it doesn’t take anything away from who they are, and really now nobody cares or makes a big deal out of it. We just want our friends to be happy and part of our lives.

HollywoodChicago.com: How did the four main cast members bond as friends in the film, beyond the rehearsal and story that is in the script?

Todd: We didn’t have much time, we met on set the first day. But we were staying at the same hotel and sharing the same trailer on the set. We had some time when we were hanging out off of the set, and that really helped.

HollywoodChicago.com: What were your thoughts the morning of the announcement of the Supreme Court that gay marriage would be the law of the land?

Flannery: Complete joy and disbelief, I never thought it would happen in my lifetime. It was an affirmation as to how fast the world is changing and evolving, and how lucky we are to see that.

Todd: I was relieved mostly, because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I went through the time when Proposition Eight in California passed [banning gay marriages] and I was so disappointed then, so I was ready for the country to take a stance and say, we’re no longer going to represent that viewpoint anymore as a country, and other people need to catch up.

HollywoodChicago.com: Do you foresee any issue being as important for gay Americans in the upcoming presidential election?

Flannery: I think they just need to be picky as to who will best represent them. Some politicians aren’t moving as fast as the rest of the country. They really need to get on board, because everyone else is on the fast track, and we’re not going to slow down.

Todd: I think now it’s the transgender community that is picking up the spotlight, where they can start to advocate what they need. All communities are rallying around them as well, because – for example – the gay community wouldn’t have been able to achieve what they did without other parts of straight society rallying with them. And it will be the same for the transgender community.

4th Man Out Kate F
Kate Flannery (standing, right) is Karen in ‘4th Man Out’
Photo credit: Gravitas Ventures

HollywoodChicago.com: Kate, after portraying a character for nine seasons on a hit sitcom, what trait do you believe you gave Meredith and what endearment or trait did she give back to you?

Flannery: Well, my Dad owned a bar in Philadelphia for 50 years, and I talked about it a lot, so I didn’t start out as a drunk. Whether that had anything to do with Meredith, I don’t know. [laughs] I guess it came naturally. What Meredith gave me was a sense of chutzpah, to be the loud and proud drunken floozy of ‘The Office.’ I can’t tell you how many women have come up to me and said, ‘I’m the Meredith of my office!’ And their attitude in the way they say it, I know they mean it.

I’ll tell you the other thing ‘The Office’ gave me. It was a dream come true, because I grew up watching the great ensemble comedies of the 1970s – ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ ‘M*A*S*H,’ ‘Cheers’ – so many great shows that changed the game. To actually be in the same world as those shows, and to have a finale that the audience actually celebrated and invested in, it was really gratifying.

HollywoodChicago.com: Parker, what was the circumstance of the first time you stepped in front of a big time professional job camera, and what now is the significance to you of the first line you said?

Young: The first thing that comes to mind is when I shot the pilot for the ABC-TV show ‘Suburgatory.’ The scene I auditioned for in the pilot was cut, so all I had to do was I had to jump out of a car and do a crazy dance. I thought to myself, I was so excited to be here and a part of this, that I was going to do the best dance I knew how to do. So I jumped out, and did this ridiculous horse riding-type movement, and it ended up becoming an iconic image in the pilot, and when the show was picked up, my role grew significantly. Even though that was so tiny, I gave it my all, and it paid off.

HollywoodChicago.com: Evan, you were in the famous holiday classic, ‘Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,’ What is your favorite type of holiday film, and were you able to duplicate the enjoyment when doing your contribution to the holiday genre?

Todd: [Laughs] Honestly, one of my favorite holiday films was ‘Home Alone,’ so I felt I got to live a dream of being an idiot bad guy in the Grumpy Cat movie, which was similar. It was celebratory of family and all that crap, but also it was fun, and somebody got to win the day, which especially works during the holidays.

“4th Man Out” has a limited release, including Chicago – at the AMC Sbowplace Galewood, 5530 West Homer Street – on February 5th. Click here for other theaters nationwide. Featuring Evan Todd, Parker Young, Chord Overstreet, Jon Gabrus and Kate Flannery. Written by Aaron Dancik. Directed by Andrew Nackman. Not Rated.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Writer, Editorial Coordinator
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2016 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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