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From Here to Eternity

Barrett Crake came a long way from his texas hometown to pursue his dreams of stardom, but his breakout role in the hilarious new film Eternity: The movie required him to travel even further — all the way back to the 1980s.

Eternity: The movie tells the story of Todd, a naive songwriter from the Midwest, who meets B.J., a brash saxophonist from the Valley. Tired of the world treating them like losers, they join forces to become Eternity, a quintessential ’80s music duo (à la Hall & Oates), and begin their rise to semi-stardom.
Eternity has been bringing film festival audiences to its feet all year and will begin playing theaters October 17. Now one of its stars — openly gay actor and musician Barrett Crake (who plays Todd) — talks to Metrosource about learning to love outrageously ’80s fashions, recording the film’s hilarious songs and his own intriguing family history.

The 1980s fashions in the movie are everything! What are your favorite ensembles?
One of my favorite outfits is this ridiculously short robe that barely covers my crotch. It’s red, it hardly has any sleeves, and it is clearly for a woman. I’m wearing a tank top underneath, and I have a blue headband. It’s so outrageous! My other favorite is this horrific sweater that I wear pretty early in the movie on a date; [it’s] this gaudy, atrocious vomit-brown and pink. It’s so gross, and it always gets a laugh.

Did wearing all these wild clothes have any influence on your own fashion sense? I didn’t used to wear as much color; now I wear so many bright colors and fun, ’80s-style clothes. To be honest, it’s crazy and totally gotten under my skin.

I love that you’re not shying away from material with gay themes. Do you think 20 or 30 years ago, you would have stayed closeted to protect your career? I had an uncle who moved out to Los Angeles in the 1980s, actually: my dad’s brother. He was pursuing acting, and unfortunately he passed away of AIDS in ’92. My family always makes comparisons [between] me and him. … He was totally out and completely open about his sexuality. I really believe that I would be doing the same thing back then. I don‘t think I‘m a person that would be able to hide my sexuality. I’m the kind of guy who likes to be myself as much as possible.

How did you first get involved with Eternity? It almost seems like the part was written for you.
I had done a short musical film called Incest! the Musical. It’s a comedy, obviously. … [The creators of Eternity] really liked that film and I think that helped seal the deal for me. … Todd is very much Barrett in an amped-up way. … He has the same journey as me: He comes up to LA, he tries to make it in Hollywood, he gets his heart stomped on — all these things that I could find parallels to in my life.

It seems like people who love the ‘80s would get a kick out of how Eternity captures the era, and people who hate the ‘80s would enjoy how you make fun of its excesses. Who do you think is more likely to enjoy the film: lovers or haters?
I‘ve seen those people who hated the ‘80s, who also look at [Eternity] fondly. When I was working on the film, I was telling people I was [basically] playing Daryl Hall, and they would be like: “Oh my God, I hated their music in the ‘80s!” Then they would actually end up laughing … but I think the lovers [of the 1980s] are going to like it more.

The original songs are so authentic, if you took out some of the jokier lyrics, you could almost mistake the soundtrack for an actual ’80s album.
But I would say that I feel like we have a little modern twist on it ­— like people [of today] making ’80s music. But I think some songs, like “Don’t Let Go (I’m Begging You Please)” hit it on the head — that one could be straight from a Hall and Oates album.

Tell me about your chemistry with Myko Olivier, who plays B.J. Your characters are ostensibly fighting over a girl, but there’s clear gay vibe between you two!
Having these homoerotic things happening [throughout the] movie — that’s where the comedy comes from in a lot of the scenes, and to me it just came naturally. … We just played it very earnestly. It comes through with how seriously we’re taking each other, how close we get, how we touch each other. … I have another project that Joey [Abi-Loutfi], who wrote Eternity, is currently writing for me and Myko to both star in. It’s an action-hero story where I’m sort of this evil German villain, and Myko plays the hero, who’s sort of like a Tom Cruise parody.

When you’re approaching a broad parody like Eternity, how tempting is it to “wink” at the camera?
I think that my sweet spot is being just as doe-eyed and honest as possible … and then not winking at all.

What’s your favorite way to spend time when you’re not making music or movies?
I have a lot of family in England, and my great uncle is a lord. I love to go visit him. He happens to be openly bisexual, and he has a really fascinating story. … He was one of the first gay civil rights — not leaders — but he was an instigator, without meaning to be, for civil rights change in England. … There’s a documentary about him. It’s called Lord Montague. … Every time I go over there, I feel like I‘m treated like I‘m in Downton Abbey — because it’s a totally Downtown Abbey–type place. It blows my mind every time I go.

Since this is our “Indulgence” issue, I wanted to ask if you have any major splurges on your bucket list?
I have this [idea for a] dream fantasy home, where I live on the beach and my house is half underwater. There’s a whole glass tank around it. So I basically have dolphins as pets; I can go to the second floor of the house, and I can watch the dolphins as they hang out, and then I can go swimming with them at any time, and they’re also free to roam the ocean.

Do you have any other projects coming up?
I also have dreams of being a singer. I have been doing a lot of it, so I’m wanting to see what it does for me and put myself out there more and more. I’m putting together a show to perform in LA this September. I’m really excited about that. Other than that, nothing else coming up other than Eternity stuff; did you see the music video [for “Make Love, Not Just Sex”]?

I did. I died over it. It’s fantastic. What you would say to convince someone to come and see you in Eternity when it hits theaters?
It’s bright, colorful, happy. It’s exactly the opposite of what’s going on in most movies these days. If you want to come see a movie that’s completely different and will make you laugh your ass off, that’s what Eternity is. It’s a feel-good movie and a lot of movies aren’t feel-good movies anymore.

See the video for “Make Love, Not Just Sex”and more from Eternity at here.

By Paul Hagen

Metrosource is a glossy lifestyle and entertainment magazine geared towards the modern metropolitan gay community. Metrosource has three editions: New York, Los Angeles and National. For more great articles like this, subscribe here or download Metrosource for iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle.

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