With 'Lovelace' at Sundance, Co-Star Harry Reems Speaks

PARK CITY, Utah—With all the buzz about Lovelace, the new Linda Lovelace biopic from documentarians Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein that's debuting at the Sundance Film Festival tonight, it was only natural that someone would seek out Linda's Deep Throat co-star for comment, and that's what the Salt Lake Tribune did.

Finding him wasn't that difficult, since the now-retired realtor lives in the city that hosts the festival, and Reems was only too happy to vent about a couple of subjects, most notably the fact that the filmmakers didn't see fit to consult him while writing the script.

"I knew her and worked with her a lot," Reems told the Tribune. "When you sit there naked waiting for a shot, you talk intimately. I would hear a lot, especially from angry girls about their dads and how they were abused. My first guess with Linda was she was terrorized by her father."

It will be interesting to see how that father-daughter relationship plays out on screen, since Epstein and Friedman have cast Robert Patrick, best known as the shape-changing villain in Terminator II and as FBI agent John Doggett on The X-Files, as Linda's dad—and Sharon Stone, who needs no introduction, as her mom.

While it's unclear at what point the movie will pick up Lovelace's life—will it cover her bestiality loops, or will it start with her auditioning for and being cast in 1972's Deep Throat?—the directors decided to end the film in 1980, a few years before Linda met feminist and Ms Magazine founder Gloria Steinem—played by Sarah Jessica Parker in a last-minute casting, but whose footage was not included in the film—and just after she wrote her so-called "tell all" book, Ordeal. (Her other Andrea Dworkin-inspired tome, Out of Bondage, came out in 1987.)

Reems is played by Adam Brody, who was a regular on such TV series as Gilmore Girls and The O.C.. Apparently, many thought the role would be filled by another Adam, Adam Goldberg, possibly because of that actor's prominent mustache.

One thing the film will likely focus on is Linda's relationship with boyfriend (and later husband) Chuck Traynor, played here by the multi-talented Peter Sarsgaard, who riveted moviegoers as Alfred Kinsey's chief investigator in Kinsey, and as the rich playboy in An Education.

And Reems had a fair amount to say on that subject!

"I'm hoping it will be very accurate," Reems said of Lovelace. "There's enough people alive who know if she was beat on the set. She was never beat on the set. She was not. That's not true. I was there for the 12 days [of the film's shoot]...I thought she was sweet and wonderful and quiet. But she was just stuck with the wrong guy. He basically controlled her life. He was a total A-hole. He was not a friendly guy. He was a hustler; he did not die too early."

One thing that might help with the accuracy is the fact that one of the directors' consultants was Eric Danville, who's spent the better part of the last decade researching his book, The Complete Linda Lovelace, an updated edition of which has just been released this month. (A few pages of the interactive version of the book can be found here.)

Apparently, Amanda Seyfried, who plays Lovelace in the film, had a bit of sexual catching up to do in this radical departure from her usual roles—even the one as polygamous wife Sarah Henrickson on HBO's Big Love.

"We were doing a scene where I was supposed to be going down on Peter Sarsgaard," she told the New York Daily News. "We used a popsicle, and I had my arms covering the popsicle… I was laughing hysterically throughout. I couldn't stop laughing."

Interestingly, the movie's credits on IMBD.com seem to give short shrift to one of Deep Throat's central characters: the nurse, played by Carol Connors, whose role is filled by Nicole Andrews, whose previous roles have had names like "woman in hat" and "girl in tanning salon." On the other hand, Deep Throat's second female lead, Dolly Sharp, will be played by talented character actress Debi Mazar, whose credits include guest-starring roles on just about every dramatic (and a few comedy) TV series of the past decade.

Other interesting castings include Hank Azaria (Simpsons, Mystery Men) as director Gerard Damiano, everyone's favorite "mobster" character, Bobby Cannavale, as Deep Throat producer Butchie Peraino, and the inimitable James Franco (Interior.Leather.Bar, 127 Hours) as... Hugh Hefner?

This, we've got to see!

Pictured: Harry Reems then and (almost) now (2005)