Pictured: Matthew McKelligon in 'You're Killing Me.'
Jeffery Self has become a household name in the gay community, whether you like it or not. You may recognize the Out100 honoree from his various TV cameros or his viral online presence from many YouTube clips. Self isn't easy to forget. He makes no apologies for his off-brand sense of humor, which he delivers with his own brand of confidence and charm.
In You’re Killing Me, a fusion of romantic comedy and psycho horror, Self stars as an oblivious vlogger whose new boyfriend (Matthew McKelligon) has a killer sense of humor. Co-written by Self and Jim Hansen, the movie will play at Newfest, New York’s LGBT film festival, Sunday Oct. 25. To prep us for the film's gory fun, Self answered our 10 most burning questions:
Out: What has the response been so far for You’re Killing Me?
Jeffery Self: It’s been great. You know, the movie has a nice mix of comedy and horror so the reactions from the audience are always different depending on the crowd and stuff. But we’ve been to various screenings all over the country and internationally in the past six months, and the response has been really lovely.
What inspired you to write it?
I wrote it with my friend, Jim Hansen who also directed the film. He has a large love of horror movies and I have a large love of romantic comedies and buddy comedies of the ‘90s. He just called me one day and said, “What if we made a movie that combined both of those things?” And we also just wanted to write something that we could make with all of our friends and write for our friends. And so we wrote it and made it.
You also have some kind of dramatic scenes, which I was surprised to see. Do you want to do more dramatic work in the future?
Yea. I mean I think the moments that are dramatic in this movie are crazily dramatic, but I wanted to write a vlog character and play a vlog character. So often, I and so many of the other people on this movie, when we do act, it’s as a sassy gay assistant on a sitcom and we have three lines and we say something about someone’s hair. We wanted to write a more fully rounded, deeper character to play.
I love your YouTube videos, and you’ve been doing that for a while. How would you say that’s helped your career?
I think everything I’ve done for the most part has come from making videos. I started making YouTube videos quite a while ago. I think it was in 2006 or 2005. Not many people were making things on the Internet at that point, and nowadays everybody has a web series or two. And at that point, nobody was making anything, so it was kind of easy to get noticed if you were doing something even slightly different. And from that, the videos I was doing with my friend, Cole Escola, led to us having our own show on Logo called Jeffery and Cole Casserole, as well as various other jobs I’ve gotten. I know when I did an episode of 30 Rock a couple years ago, that happened because of people seeing my YouTube videos and I think it’s just an easy way for people to see what you do instead of having to audition you or whatever.
Jeffery Self (left) with Matthew McKelligon
So what advice would you give to someone who’s trying to make their own career happen, being the self starter that you are?
Well I would love some advice myself. I wish I could figure it out. But I guess just doing stuff always. It’s really easy to just sit around and wait for the opportunities to come, but the reality is they really don’t come that way. So you kind of just have to make them yourself. I would love very much to be the kind of person who’s just an actor who goes and auditions for things and gets the job on a TV show and gets to just show up to work everyday and have lines written for them but that’s not what I am. And it’s really my obligation if I actually want to do this to wake up everyday and make something happen. And I guess if you want to do it, that’s really what you have to do.
Do you feel like the movie and TV industries are becoming more progressive though in writing more roles and embracing gay characters?
Absolutely, gay characters and gay storylines are so in. It’s very hip to have a gay storyline and a gay character on a show, and that’s so wonderful. As an independent gay artist if you will, I think there’s an obligation to continue to make things that aren’t quite as mainstream and aren’t quite as conventional in the way they’re showing gay storylines and gay characters. And in having mainstream gay themes, I think we have to be really aggressive about continuing to create subversive, alternative queer things that don’t necessarily fit into the network television or studio movie box.
What’s your favorite homoerotic moment in a horror movie?
Ooh, that’s a good question. What’s my favorite homoerotic moment in a horror movie? I mean, I don’t know if this counts as a particular moment, but I mean American Psycho is so homoerotic and so sexy, from start to finish. And I definitely think the sexiness of Patrick Bateman in that influenced the character of Joe in (You’re Killing Me).
Marry, fuck kill: Norman Bates, Hannibal Lector, and Patrick Bateman?
Oh ok, that’s easy actually. Definitely kill Hannibal Lector, because why? Why keep that around? And I guess fuck Norman Bates and marry Patrick Bateman, because my theory would be that I wouldn’t want to spend so much time with Norman Bates because there’s a lot of mom issues there. There’s a lot going on. I mean, yea he’s hot. Anthony Perkins is hot, so the sex would be fun. Whereas Patrick Bateman would be really hot sex, so you’d want to do it more than once. So marrying him would be the way to go.
And he’s rich as fuck.
And he’s rich as fuck, whereas Norman Bates is just running a motel. That’s not good money.
So how would you commit the perfect murder?
Jesus! How would I commit the perfect murder? Certainly not by outlining it on Out.com. (LAUGHS)
Good Point. What’s your spirit animal?
Diane Keaton? Nice. Are you talking Annie Hall Diane Keaton or First Wives Club Diane Keaton?
I mean, I love them both. I think it depends on the day. When I went through a breakup a couple years ago, I literally spent every night for six months watching Annie Hall. Literally every night, like a crazy person. So I have a deep association with Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. That said, First Wives Club is my favorite movie. So I think sort of a combination of those two with a little bit of Father of the Bride.
Check out You're Killing Me at Newfest and watch the trailer below: