Chris Salvatore had a fairy tale entry into Hollywood. At 24 he was cast in his first feature film, 2009’s Eating Out: All You Can Eat. He went on to appear in another two sequels of the sexually progressive gay comedy series.
The Eating Out films and many others such as Another Gay Movie, Shelter, Adam And Steve, Summer Storm and Slutty Summer were part of a gay sub-genre of independent films produced in the late
’90s and 2000s that were made by gay actors and film makers in an unapologetic style for a gay audience. In the days before subscription TV they were distributed via DVD and screened at festivals.
Chris released his musical debut, After All Is Said And Done in 2008 and has continued recording EPs, albums and singles since.
In 2017 he popped up in a surprise cameo in the gay reality series, Fire Island, and his next project sees him sharing the screen with RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Alaska Thunderfuck and Katya Zamolodchikova in the supernatural horror flick, The Quiet Room.
Now 33, Chris still models and recently shot with Los Angeles based edgepushing photographer Venfield8 for this series of retro-styled art nudes.
Chris spoke with Andrew M Potts about modelling naked, a book he’s writing on his elderly neighbour, and what happened to the indie gay film scene of the 2000s.
DNA: Hollywood studios have started producing LGBT-themed projects, made for a wider audience, and distributing through streaming services. They’re creating their own LGBT content more and providing less of a platform for independent film makers. Are we seeing the passing of that era of “gay-made-forgay” cinema?
Chris Salvatore: I think there will always be space for independent filmmakers to create gay content. The more Hollywood studios produce LGBT movies and films the more it helps all of us. I wish independent filmmakers, as well as the big studios, would create even more gay cinema, because there simply is not enough. We’re making progress but there’s much more that could be made. Are you still in touch with any of the cast from the Eating Out movies and would you be interested in working with them again?
Yes, I’m still in touch with Daniel Skelton who plays Casey on the movies. I’ve always said that I would love to do another Eating Out movie.
So much on-screen gay entertainment
I’ve done nude art photography before. It’s very empowering to shoot this way. To strip down and simply just be.
now is reality television – Fire Island, Drag Race, Queer Eye come to mind. Does that make it hard for the gay actors in Hollywood who are looking for acting roles, not reality spots?
I say the more on-screen gay entertainment there is the better.
It all helps by opening the doors to conversations about the LGBT community and breaks down walls.
You next appear in the horror film The Quiet Room alongside Alaska Thunderfuck and Katya Zamolodchikova. What was it like working with them and are there any other Drag Race alumni you’d like to appear with in the future?
I’m such a Drag Race fan that I was a little star struck when I met Alaska. Unfortunately, I didn’t work on the same days at Katya, but Alaska was super professional and super patient with the hours it took to get her into the special effects make-up. I was very impressed. After she was in make-up it was hard to look at her because she was so scary looking. It definitely helped me and my co-stars get into character and stay scared as we ran through the halls of this abandon veterinarian clinic.
What’s next for Chris Salvatore?
Right now, I’m working on a book about the time I spent caring for my 89-yearold neighbour, Norma. She was my best friend and helped me so much during the last five years that I knew her. I want to share my story about my struggle with mental health and how caring for Norma was a big part of my healing process. Can we expect to hear any new music from you soon?
As far as music goes, it’s been a while, but I’m finally beginning to work on some new tunes. I took a break to heal and finally feel the creative juices flowing again. I hope to have new music out by the end of the summer.
Venfield8 has a reputation as an art photographer who pushes the envelope. What was it like shooting with him? Shooting with Venfield8 was a great experience. He has very calm energy and knows exactly what he wants to capture. I felt completely comfortable the whole time and it was a lot of fun. We shot at a beautiful house in the Hollywood hills. Had you previously modelled for nude art photography before this shoot?
Yes, I have done nude art photography before. I think the nude body should be celebrated. It’s also very empowering to shoot this way. To strip down and simply just be. It can be very therapeutic.
This issue of DNA is themed sex and sleepwear. What do you sleep in?
I just wear boxer briefs to bed.
My 89-yearold neighbour, Norma, was my best friend and helped me so much during the last five years that I knew her.