In Match, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, Patrick Stewart plays a renowned former dancer and Juilliard teacher, who welcomes the opportunity to tell old stories when a graduate student (Carla Gugino) and her husband (Matthew Lillard) arrange an interview for her dissertation on contemporary-dance history. But their conversation soon shifts and becomes more tense, as it becomes clear that the couple has ulterior motives for tracking him down.
Stephen Belber adapted his 2004 Broadway play — which starred Frank Langella in the lead role — and directed the film, which sticks to the strong three-character dynamic that was the basis of the play. “It’s been opened up a little for film,” says Stewart, who didn’t see the stage version. “The development within the film is all linked to what people say rather than to what they do. There are three people, talking to each other. One of the principle things in the screenplay that powerfully drew me to this project was that a situation arises where a man is forced to analyze and reconsider incidents in his past that have changed the lives of many people, and this is what gives Match ultimately its power and its drama.”
Click below for an exclusive clip from Match:
Stewart’s character, Tobi, teases the husband about his own sexuality, but in February, it was Stewart who was surprised to learn that his own sexuality was in question (despite being recently married for the third time and the father of two adult children). After Ellen Page publicly announced that she was gay, the London Guardian newspaper identified Stewart as an “out” actor. “It exploded into my life,” says Stewart. “All of a sudden, I’m looking at my emails and people are saying, ‘Congratulations!’ ‘I never knew.’ And ‘Welcome to the community.’ It certainly caused some amusement and teasing so far as my friendship with Sir Ian McKellen, who outed himself many years ago and knows me really quite strongly as a straight man, if only because he actually officiated at my wedding.”