Interview: Redhead Looking For Love And Confronting Past Bullying in New Film
A film is holding its U.S. Premiere in Austin Monday night. It’s a documentary called “Being Ginger” and it’s all about what it’s like to be a redhead – or as they say across the pond – a “ginger.” Texas Ex – and redhead – Scott Harris directed, produced and stars in the film.
The premise of “Being Ginger” is a redhead – Harris – looking for love. Harris says he wanted to make the documentary because of some of the strange, even disturbing experiences he's had that were based solely on his hair color.
On Some of His Strange "Ginger" Experiences:
"I was walking down the street one night... and these two, random drunk girls come out of a club and they start calling me 'ginger' and sort of harass me – it's playful harassment – but it was a little harassment and I ignored it and I kept walking. And eventually they caught up to me and one of them eventually says, 'You're quite sexy for a ginger.' And I was standing there thinking, 'Is that even a compliment, what do you mean for a ginger?' And then while I was thinking about it she said, 'Do you wait to kiss me?' And I was like, yeah, sure so we kissed for about two or three seconds in the street and then she walked off with her friend going, 'I kissed a ginger, I kissed a ginger.'"
On Scotland (Where He Made the Film and Earned His Master's Degree) as a "Mecca" for Redheads:
"Percentage-wise, there are more redheads in Edinburgh than in any other city in the world. There are more redheads in Scotland than there are any place else in the world. And it's confusing, I think, that that's also the place where redheads get teased by far the most. And I think it's because they're common enough to be everywhere but they're still rare enough that it's a little bit different."
On the Film's Theme of Bullying:
"I'd wanted to make a film about bullying and about the long-term impact that bullying has on people for a long, long time and didn't know how to do it. And, while I was making this film, it kept coming up as a theme. And I eventually realized this was my opportunity to tell the story I really wanted to tell."
On the Combination of Comic and Tragic Elements in the Film:
"There are a couple of moments in the film... where the shift is quite raw. That was intentional. I was hoping the audience would be laughing, laughing, laughing and then I'll hit them with something and it will give you pause to think about things that you've done and the way that you've treated other people."
On the Film's Target Audience:
"People say when I describe it to them, 'Oh, I've got this redheaded friend, I'll tell him about it.' And I say, 'No, it's for you too.' It's for everybody. It's not just for redheads and I can't seem to get that across."
“Being Ginger” has its U.S. Premiere tonight in Austin at the AMC Barton Creek Square 14. Click here for ticket information.
For more information on the film and other things Harris is up to, click here to visit the "Being Ginger" website.
Click on the audio player below to hear a longer version of the interview with Harris.