13 AUG 2008


What the Frock
Photo Courtesy of Carolina Theatre

North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Carolina Theatre—Though he was the only one of the Village People to actually live in Greenwich Village, Randy (“the cowboy”) Jones was born in Raleigh, attended Enloe High and UNC-Chapel Hill, and considers himself a Tar Heel through and through. “I always call North Carolina my home, and it’s always been my home,” says Jones, whose main duty at the fest is to introduce Saturday night’s screening of Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild and sign autographs. 

Despite the Village People’s iconic status in the gay community, Jones’ busy schedule of touring, recording and acting has kept him from attending the N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the past. He’ll be there for the first time this year to help promote it, and he is looking forward to the experience. “I’m so happy that this provides me an opportunity to get a close-up look at the success of this festival,” Jones says. “From all the comments I’ve heard, it seems to be extremely successful.” He also hopes to network: “It seems like every time I attend a film festival, I get a job in a movie out of it.”

Jones says that even with gay themes becoming more mainstream in Hollywood, the festival still offers an important opportunity for a venue where gay-oriented films can gain exposure and a wider audience, citingBrokeback Mountain‘s Sundance buzz as an example. “There are always going to be film festivals that deal with pointedly focused groups in a community,” Jones says. “A lot will either break out and become mainstream, or at least provide a place where filmmakers can get their work seen by a broader audience.”

Jones, who’s currently working on the film Against the Wind, which includes exteriors shot in Boone, N.C., says he’s been talking with the chancellor of the N.C. School of the Arts about possibly becoming more involved with the school. “Without my training at that school and UNC, I wouldn’t have had the career that I’ve had,” Jones says.

What’s his secret? “I’m like the Energizer Bunny—I just go on and on,” Jones says. “Rust never sleeps, and neither do I.” Yes, you just read one of the Village People quote Neil Young. Is your mind blown? —Zack Smith

The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival opens tonight.