Based on a true story. Inspired by actual events. In the hands of Lifetime those words usually call to mind scenes from some campy stalk-a-thon starring Tori Spelling. But Prayers for Bobby, a biopic directed by Russell Mulcahy (Showtimes Queer as Folk), stars Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffith, a 1970s fundamentalist bigot turned crusading PFLAG hero after the suicide of her gay son. So perhaps the network is changing course, snaring conservative Midwest moms with the films boldface name -- and doing some good as well. (Stat attack: Gay youths are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.)
Were hoping that with an A-lister like Sigourney people will be intrigued to go outside their box and watch it, says Ryan Kelley (above with Weaver), who, thanks to lessons from his gay friends own coming-out traumas, plays titular twink Bobby with a teary pathos. Whether closed-minded people want to believe it or not, someone they know and love is probably gay, he says. When people were talking about Yes on Prop. 8, someone there was hurting.
Kelley continues, One of my favorite lines in the film is Stop and think: A child could be listening, which is Mary Griffiths admonition that everyday, offhand intolerance is often the most cutting. It would be amazing to change even one mind [with this film]. One mind -- thats enough.
Prayers for Bobby premieres January 24 on Lifetime.Send a letter to the editor about this article.