From Milo Ventimiglia Playing a Gay Teen to Joel McHale Waterboarding Noah Galvin: Actors Recall Their Most Indie Projects

Milo Ventimiglia was just 19 years old and starting out in Hollywood when he was cast as a gay teen in the 1996 short, “Must Be the Music.” You’d think his team would have advised him not to play queer, but Ventimiglia says he received nothing but support to sign on.

“I played a gay teenager who is going out with his friends, meets a guy but his buddy’s best friend is already kind of sweet on that guy,” Ventimiglia remembered. “Then he ends up giving them a ride home and he gets the guys number. It was a very sweet story.”

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The short was produced by Gus Van Sant.

“That’s the great thing about being an actor,” the “This Is Us” star said at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Sunday. “You play a lot of different roles. You represent a lot of roles. You represent a lot of stories. There’s no fear in that. But if you are afraid of it, just do it. Yeah, it was a great role. Nick Perry, the director, wrote a great script.”

Ventimiglia wasn’t the only actor recalling their first indie jobs on the carpet.

Noah Galvin got waterboarded by Joel McHale in Sam Levinson’s “Assassination Nation.” “It was really hard because Joel was cracking jokes while he was sitting on my body and pouring water in my mouth,” the “Theater Camp” star said. “I couldn’t stop laughing when I was supposed to be screaming, crying and sobbing.”

Ben Platt, who says he is working on new music, filmed “Run This Town” in Canada with Scott Speedman and Nina Dobrev: “I played PA at Toronto new source that was trying to expose the mayor doing drugs.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” star Lewis Pullman had a small role in Andrew Haigh’s 2017 feature “Lean on Pete.” “I played a vet living in a trailer and Charlie Plummer, who was a journey with his horse, knocked on my door.”

Meanwhile, Pullman played coy when asked about reports that he is replacing Steven Yeun in the upcoming, and very not independent, Marvel movie, “Thunderbolts.” “I am a huge Marvel fan,” he said, declining to confirm his role in the film. “I love Marvel. It’s been a big dream of mine to be a part of a Marvel movie.”

He cracked, “I have no secrets. I’m an open book. I love Marvel and I look forward to seeing that movie.”

“Monica” star Trace Lysette ended up as an extra in movie that her then-boyfriend was filming in Brooklyn. “He was like, ‘Meet me at this club Sputnik,’” she said. “So I went and he was like, ‘We need an extra body. Come dance with me.’ We slowdanced. In the background.”

One of Adina Porter’s first indie projects was a short with Peter Dinklage that shot in New York City. “I don’t think it got very far, but I do remember I had to pretend to eat a plate of roaches. It was all so inexpensive and cheap,” “The Changeling” star recalled. “I think the roaches were just dates cut up into thirds.”

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