The sexual revolution and women’s freedom that helped shape the 1970s immediately spark thoughts and images of a reckless lifestyle. Women at the forefront leading the sexual liberation began to envy Linda Lovelace, an overnight sensation in the pornography world, while men had desires to be with her, even though she was married. The sensation of Lovelace’s quick ascent to the top of Hollywood fame came with the help of all the constant press she received, including from the legendary DJ Frankie.
But secretly hidden underneath Lovelace’s façade of a liberating lifestyle was the emotional and physical abuse and betrayal at the hands of her husband, as families were still stuck in the mindset of uncontested loyalty to those closest to you. That abuse and the downfall of fame are examined in the new biographical drama ‘Lovelace,’ which showcases the real pain of America’s first pornography star.
‘Lovelace’ chronicles the phenomenon of ‘Deep Throat,’ the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda Boreman (Amanda Seyfried) discovered freedom and the highlife in the early 1970s when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard).
With the help of Chuck, along with DJ Frankie (Cory Hardrict), pornography producers Anthony Romano (Chris Noth) and Butchie Peraino (Bobby Cannavale), and director Jerry Damiano (Hank Azaria), Linda became the persona of Linda Lovelace. She transformed from a charming girl-next-door, and become estranged from her parents, Dorothy (Sharon Stone) and John J. Boreman (Robert Patrick), to become an international sensation centerfold fantasy. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world, describing herself as the survivor of a far darker story, including domestic abuse.
Hardrict generously took the time recently to discuss the filming of ‘Lovelace.’ Among other things, the actor discussed being drawn to DJ Frankie because of his legendary persona in the 1970s, and how he influenced society; how Seyfried was humble and driven to perfect her character while filming; and how he enjoyed his first experience at the Sundance Film Festival this year, while promoting the biographical drama.
Question (Q): You play DJ Frankie, a DJ who is essential to Linda Lovelace’s stardom, in the new biopic ‘Lovelace.’ What was it about the character of DJ Frankie, and the script overall, that convinced you to take on the role?
Cory Hardrict (CH): DJ Frankie’s voice was so legendary in that era; the airwaves tuned in to his every move. From the way he dressed, to his overall presence, the character fascinated me. The script was a no brainer, so when I heard Amanda was Linda, I came on board with no convincing-I was all in!
CH: Speaking of Amanda, what was your working with her like while you were filming?
CH: She’s the best! She’s so down to earth and very humble, and her focus and drive is unreal-she’s such an amazing actress!
Q: How did you become involved in the film-did you audition for the role?
CH: Well, the producers saw my tape out of a wide range of people and cast me, which I’m very grateful for. So big hug to Millennium Films and Heidi Jo Markel for believing in me!
Q: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman co-directed ‘Lovelace’ together. What was it like working with two helmers on the film-do you find it more challenging than when you’re starring in a film with only one director?
CH: Rob and Jeffrey are a dynamic duo. They let you play as an actor because they are all about the artist. I can’t wait to work with them again.
Q: ‘Lovelace’ premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. What was your reaction when you found out the movie would be playing there, and what kind of reaction did the film receive at the festival?
CH: Well, my first reaction was, “I’m going skiing!” But really I was ecstatic because I have never been to Sundance. To get there and enjoy the atmosphere of different genres of film is a dream come true. Plus, when the crowd went crazy, I couldn’t believe we received such a great reaction to the film.
Q: You have appeared in several bigger budget studios film in your career, such as ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ and ‘Warm Bodies.’ What was the experience of filming ‘Lovelace,’ which is an independent film, like overall, as compared to the bigger movies you’ve starred in?
CH: I love studio films, but it is slightly different because sometimes shots are what matters most on huge projects; whereas with indies, it’s more gritty and dirty, which allows you to sink your teeth into the role. But both types of films are special!
Q: Speaking of ‘Warm Bodies,’ you played Kevin, the lead soldier protecting Teresa Palmer’s character, Julie, and the second in command to her father, the general Grigio, played by John Malkovich. What was your experience on the set of the film like overall?
CH: I loved that cast and crew. John Malkovich is one of the nicest guys on the planet, and is a living legend.
Q: You have also been cast as the lead role of Nate in the indie comedy ‘Boulevard H,’ which is about a crew of aspiring performers who come under the guidance of an eccentric acting coach. What is it about the character of Nate, and the script overall, that convinced you to take on the role?
CH: It was something different with the comedy, and the script was funny as hell. Nate was such a serious character-he was this militant who didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. But I loved it though!
Q: Besides films, you have also appeared on such television shows as ‘Lincoln Heights’ and ‘Heroes.’ What is it about television you enjoy so much, and do you have any interest in returning to TV in the future?
CH: Yes, I would love to be on ‘The Newsroom’ or ‘Game of Thrones.’ An hour drama cable show is a strong possibility for me when I’m considering that jump!