Watch: Netflix Launches Two New 'Boys in the Band' Featurettes

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday October 1, 2020

Charlie Carver as Cowboy in a scene from Netflix's "The Boys in the Band."
Charlie Carver as Cowboy in a scene from Netflix's "The Boys in the Band."  (Source:Scott Everett White/Netflix)

Netflix has released a pair of new featurettes that offer viewers insights into the cast and characters of the new "The Boys in the Band" remake, which is now available exclusively on the streaming service.

The film follows the events of a birthday party in 1968. A group of gay friends - and one straight man - gather in New York City for an evening of fun, but interpersonal tensions boil under the surface.

Extras like short documentary featurettes normally only show up on home media releases, but the streamer didn't let that usual way of doing things get in the way. What's more, it's not necessary to have a Netflix subscription to see the featurettes; they are both available for viewing at YouTube.

The two featurettes go behind the scenes to examine different aspects of the cast and the story. In "Meet The Boys in the Band," star Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), who plays Michael, muses on how a modern retelling of the story can shed light on the past, and the present.

"It;'s been so long," Parsons reflects, "and we have come so far. And you can be a better version of who you are by knowing what came before - show came before."

Co-star Zachary Quinto ("Heroes," "Star Trek"), who plays Harold, ponders how the remake is "really an exploration of the psychological dynamic" that exists between the cast of gay male characters, "as influenced by the socio-political climate of the time."

The second featurette, "The Boys in the Band Reflect on Their Younger Selves," finds the cast looking back on their own lives. Andrew Rannells ("Girls"), who plays Larry, recalls the birthday when he got what he really wanted: A Malibu Barbie.

Matt Bomer ("American Horror Story," "What Collar"), who plays Donald, shows off a photo of himself as a young boy dressed up in a cowboy outfit. As for the film's own Cowboy - the hustler who shows up to the birthday party as a gift for the birthday boy - actor Charlie Carver displays a photo of himself as a child, explaining, "This is right before I got married to the cat." Sadly, that was not to last: "The cat died," Carver discloses. "I'm a widower."

Other cast members, including Michael Benjamin Washington (Bernard), Tuc Watkins (Hank), Robin de Jesús (Emory), and Brian Hutchison (Alan) also appear in the clips, which run just over four minutes each.

"The Boys in the Band" began as a 1968 off-Broadway play by Mart Crowley, and then was adapted by Crowley into a 1970 movie directed by William Friedkin ("The Exorcist"). In 2018, Ryan Murphy revived the play on Broadway in honor of its 50th anniversary. The new movie version reunites the 2018 Broadway cast.

"The Boys in the Band" premiered Sept. 30.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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