Actress Molly Shannon talked this week
about her father's later-in-life coming out.
In two recent movies, Miles and
Other People, Shannon plays the mother of a gay person.
Miles, which opened Friday, stars Tim Boardman as Miles
Walton, a high school kid who joins his school's volleyball team to
earn a college scholarship. His school, however, only has a girls'
At a Q&A for the dramedy in West
Hollywood, Shannon said that her father played a role in inspiring
her to seek out these roles.
“My dad was gay and closeted. Born
in 1926, where it wasn't an option [to be out]. Married,” Shannon
Shannon said that she didn't associate
her father's love for camp with being gay.
“When I went to NYU drama school, I
would send him pictures of, like, a head shot of Judy Garland. I
didn't associate that he might be gay; I just thought, 'He'll love
this!' … And then when I got my first color head shots, my dad
framed it and threw gold stars all over it.”
Shannon said that her father didn't
reveal his sexuality to her until he was 72.
“He was 72 when he told me. He told
me he was gay right before he died. We were sitting at the pool at
the Four Seasons, and I said, 'Have you ever thought you might be
gay?' He said, 'Most definitely.' And then we drove to Ohio and
talked about it for the next 72 hours.”
She said that because of her father
she's attracted to stories “about people being gay and coming out.”