Photography by Ryan Pfluger at his home in Hollywood on September 29, 2015. Styling by Michael Cook. Groomer: Dallin James at The Wall Group.
When Roland Emmerich learned of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, he was shooting the sequel to Independence Day. It was a moment in which history rubbed shoulders with Hollywood, and that’s precisely what happened with Stonewall, Emmerich’s 2015 film about the start of the LGBT civil rights movement. Stonewall’s many detractors have panned Emmerich for whitewashing the 1969 riots, depicting them through the eyes of a stereotypical corn-fed lead (actor Jeremy Irvine). Yet too few have acknowledged that he’s made the first mainstream, unabashedly gay popcorn epic. Emmerich, who’s “very proud” of Stonewall, may or may not have made historic and artistic missteps. Still, it’s momentous that he’s crafted a traditional saga that wears its rainbow flag on its sleeve — that a man known for making movies about aliens applied the same blockbuster accessibility to the alienated.