“Kinsey,” Bill Condon’s latest opus, deals with the impossibility of confining people to category – a lesson that Condon knows as well as anyone. An openly gay filmmaker who started out making low budget horror films (“Candyman 2”) and then wound up winning an Oscar for his stunning “Gods and Monsters,” a genre-bending biopic about “Frankenstein” director James Whale. Now Condon’s back with another biography, telling the story of a man who literally proved that everyone’s different, almost as an effort to preempt any attempt to pigeon hole him a second time.
“Kinsey put people in boxes to show that you can’t put people in boxes … but Hollywood, movie people really do like do that,” Condon says, relating how he got a glut of offers after “Gods and Monsters” to do similar stories.
Condon says he started “Kinsey” five years ago, but as it took time to put together the money to produce the project, he took time in interim to write the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Chicago”.
Throughout development, however, confronting the story of a man who’s been consistently controversial for the past 50 plus years remained vital to Condon.
“I’ve seen people be offended (by the movie),” he said. “I think it’s a good litmus test of how much of this stuff you can take. It’s not so much the imagery as the talk; few movies talk about sex as much and at a certain point some people feel like ‘that’s enough.'”
Kinsey’s work is often credited as being the touchstone of the sexual revolution, but Condon says he sees the debate as ongoing and still relevant.
“I’d be disappointed if anyone saw the movie and thought it was a quaint story about how backward we used to be,” he said. “This is still very much going on. I want people to project themselves into the movie and ask ‘Where am I on the scale?’ ‘How would I answer that question?'”