There are moments in life that end up defining you in some way. The filmmaker in me is constantly trying to bring those moments to life in front of a camera. That might have started in the late-1990s when Angelina Jolie made me gay.
My friend Brendon asked me to help him style Angelina for a shoot with Movieline Magazine. I knew she would probably be cool and most definitely be gorgeous. What I wasn’t prepared for was how sweet she was. Completely intimidated, I spent most of the day not being able to look her in the eye. But like a typical director, I watched.
I watched as she worked the camera and how gracious she was to everyone. I watched her drape across a chair in thin top and cowboy hat as “Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin began to play. I watched when everyone else drifted away from the set except me.
The camera moved and Angelina locked on the only eyes there, mine. All that energy was like a beam. I was deliciously caught in it. Whenever I hear that song I can still remember that feeling. It was random and charged and when the song was over, the beam fell away.
Was I truly gay then? Maybe. Or maybe it was later that day when I was rolling tight leather pants up her legs and she was wearing only a G-string.
Hard to tell, but I do know I was never the same again.
Robyn Dettman is a director and filmmaker in the San Francisco Bay Area. More about Robyn’s work at DuendeFilmsWest.com.