TV’s Pauley Perrette talks about role in lesbian short film

She only chuckled when I asked her to marry me. But Pauley Perrette, known to many as the goth forensic genius Abby Sciuto on CBS’s “NCIS” series, was kind enough to say that the whole gay marriage situation in California, where she’s from, “is a mess.” Of course in Georgia, there’s not even a gay marriage mess — except among political candidates vying for our votes — to argue about anymore.

Perrette, who is straight and, sigh, married to a man, stopped in Atlanta on Monday for a screening of “To Comfort You,” part of the Atlanta Film Festival’s Pink Peach selections geared toward LGBT audiences. Perrette stars in the film, which was part of the fest’s Lesbian Shorts series.

Also on hand for the screenings were Laura Jean Cronin, writer and director of “One Night,” and De Jonna DeMarco, an actress in Cronin’s film that deals with a gay bashing.

“To Comfort Me,” a glimpse into the relationship between a mother and her lesbian daughter who has HIV, is now being considered for being made into a full-length feature, Perrette said during a Q&A after the films were shown.

Perrette explained how the film was loosely based on a true story of a man with HIV and his relationship with his mother. She also said she’s played lesbian roles before and thinks portrayals of LGBT people should be seen as simply human stories.

In an October 2009 interview with TV Guide about her participation in the one-time performance of “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later,” Perrette said everyone needs to fight for civil rights.

“With so much going on with Prop. 8 and everything else right now, LGBT civil rights activism is what’s most necessary,” Perrette said. “In the women’s movement, women needed men to stand up and say this isn’t right. In the civil rights of the ’60s, it took people of all color to demand equal rights. And in this case, it takes straight chicks like me to demand equal rights for everybody.”

Here’s a video of Perrette speaking about “To Comfort You” last night, including the true story it is based on.

To view photos from the event, click here.


Photo by Dyana Bagby