David W. Ross:
A Double Threat
Written by Frank J. Avella
Former Brit Boyband Star, David
W. Ross has written and starred in a powerful new
film about gay rights and gay identity, titled I
Do. I recently asked David a few questions
and he was very candid with his responses.
David Ross in I Do
How did the making of I Do
I had been working on the script
for a few years and got stuck in the "Hollywood
system" for about a year. Time was ticking.
I knew I wanted to tell this story in 2012 and when
an email came in about a website called Kickstarter,
I was intrigued. I followed the link and read about
a friends film that was raising money. I thought
to myself, I can do this, and on February 14th I
launched a campaign to raise starter funds for $50,000.
By May I had raised $53,000, so I called my producing
partner Stephen Isreal. Stephen got the rest of
the funds in place and we set a start date.
Is this the first script you penned?
I've written about 2 1/2! But
yes. I Do is the first script I've taken
all the way. My next script, which I've been developing
for a few years, is about my experiences in a boy
band in my late teens. Another drama.
Is I Do at all autobiographical
or based on someone you knew?
It's based partly on a relationship
I had with someone from the UK who couldn't get
(his) paperwork. (He) had to move back to the UK
and we couldn't handle a long distance relationship.
It broke my heart. That was the start of the story.
Then shooting all the prop 8 rallies in California
really drove it home that I needed to take the story
seriously and show just how DOMA is destroying families
How much were you involved in
Very involved. Being a producer
I was part of every decision. The two great moments
in casting was meeting Jessica who plays my niece
and seeing Maurice's reel (who plays Mano). Both
times I had a visceral reaction and knew they were
the ones! And then they said yes. It was amazing.
Did you find yourself making any
changes once filming began?
No. Stephen has made a lot of
films and we knew going in that we had budget restrictions.
I had to collapse a few locations together. There
was no re-writing on set…We were lucky it
Jack (the role David plays) is
a sweet but seemingly indecisive guy, what makes
him know that Mano is the man for him?
I don't know if Jack is indecisive
more than he is living his life for his niece and
stepsister. I think he finds it awkward to live
his life and that makes him seem like he doesn't
know what he wants. He does, he just thinks he can't
ever have it. There's this sense of not being able
to live your own life when you don't have your paperwork
here in the States. A lot of people I spoke with
said they blossomed as soon as they finally got
their green card. Before that it’s hard to
know if you could actually commit to anything here.
Your performance is terrifically
nuanced, impressively understated. How did you get
into the Jack mindset and what kept you there? Do
you stay in character once the scene is done or
do you break out instantly?
Thank you. I spent a long time
working on Jack and what makes him tick. I would
go on long walks and imagine carrying Tara as a
baby and being stopped by people and them saying
how much she looks like me and me not wanting to
tell them I was just the gay uncle. I spent hours
imagining being a single dad. Changing diapers.
Tara grounded me in the story and everything kind
of stemmed off that. For a few scenes it was almost
impossible for me to break. Not because I didn't
want too, but because I was an emotional wreck.
Glenn, the director, was worried I wouldn't be able
to bring the full emotion for the amount of takes
we needed with one scene but I would remind myself
just who we were making the film for, the thousands
of bi-national couples that are going through this
in real life, and it would take me right back to
being an emotional wreck.
A few questions about Bad Boys
Inc (the boyband David was a member of) Were you
I came out last May during the
Kickstarter campaign. My sexuality has been a battle
for me. Being in the band was very hard but I dealt
with it. The other band members knew and it wasn't
an issue, but I felt a tremendous amount of pressure
and that's one of the reasons I left and why my
20s were a mess. It's taken me years to accept myself.
What are your thoughts on mega-pop
stars/movie stars deciding to remain in the closet
rather than risk their careers? Have the times changed
enough that audiences would not mind? Or are these
artists rightly concerned with their image for posterity?
I think it's all a personal decision.
CEOs don't come out, why should actors if they feel
it'll mess their careers up. Hell we all have shit
we don't tell our co-workers. I was such a mess
in my 20s because I felt I was never going to have
a career unless I conformed. And i tried. I think
it's easier when you are established because your
fans, at some point, don't give a shit. But we are
a long way off having the general public be OK with
their leading action hero man being an out gay man.
Christ! Most gay guys I know wouldn't want that
either. We're all to blame…But I think for
me it was time, it was right and I'm happier for
it. I truly believe I can have a career as an out
actor and not have to play just gay roles. I'm an
actor. Not a "gay actor." Being gay is
so far down my list for me. I wish everyone else
would get to that point. Straight people don't have
being straight as their first identifier I'm sure!
Why should we?
For more info on David, visit
And for more info on I Do, visit: