Wade Gasque and Mark Strano are partners in the film business and in life. When I spoke to them by phone on June 2, 2015, the first question I had was about the sort of trust they have in each other when working on a film that is so personal to Strano. We went on to talk about why Strano gave up playing the role he thought he wanted in the film, how high school experiences infused the mood of the film, why it was important to show both sides of the villain of the piece, and why one character still uses a flip phone. The film co-stars Frankie Valenti, Gregory Marcel, Ty Parker, Vincent Duvall, Adrien Delcan, and Loanne Bishop. Gasque directed from a script he co-wrote with Strano. For this film, Mark Strano won the 2014 Outfest Award for Best Actor.
TIGER ORANGE is a film about painful memories, vital turning points, and learning to move on. Set in a small California town, it’s the story of two brothers raised by a single father who was at best uncomfortable with his sons being gay. Chet, played by Strano, stayed home to care for his father and to run the family business. Todd, played by Frankie Valenti, went to Hollywood to try his luck as an actor. Both gay, but otherwise with little in common, and a lifetime of resentments between them, they revisit the past and sort out the present when Todd returns home for the first time in many years, an absence that included his father’s funeral. Where Todd is flamboyant, Chet is quiet, clinging to the familiar even though that the familiarity includes his small town neighbors looking at him with questioning eyes and uncertain acceptance