Inside HBO’s ‘Looking’ Red Carpet Premiere and After-Party

The cast of Looking arrived at the Castro Theater lookin’ fine. The boys spent a good hour chatting to the long line of reporters, most of whom opted for taking selfies with the actors than asking them questions. From left to right: Raul Castillo, O.T. Fagbenle, Murray Barlett, Frankie J. Alvarez and Jonathan Groff.


Groff talked about going to The Mint countless time while shooting the show on location, yet never going onstage of the popular karaoke bar.


Alvarez revealed that the inspiration for his character, the struggling yet fearless artist, is Robert Mapplethorpe as portrayed in Patti Smith’s Just Kids.


Barlett spent much time at Equinox while in town to keep his studly daddy physique. He also said that his character’s bathhouse scene was filmed on-location at Eros.


After screening two-episodes back to back, the cast, creator and producer took the stage to take questions from the audience. Several Castro area residents of a certain age relied on their classic “Castro area residents of a certain age” routine of “asking” a really long comment on the microphone so that everyone in the audience could hear it. Others asked questions about full frontal nudity and the cast’ sexual orientations — both answers were teased but never truly revealed.


The after party at the nearby The Cafe got crowded quickly and felt like a prime example of what my friend called, “life imitating art imitating life.” Appetizers like sushi, potstickers and grilled cheese sandwiches were provided by Taste catering, while Honey Soundsystem’s Jacob Sparber was caught in the DJ booth playing the total opposite of usual Cafe fare: good music.


On the dancefloor, Jonathan Groff and the other actors mingled with show creator Michael Lannan, staff writer JC Lee, costume designer Danny Glicker, activist Cleve Jones, Frameline’s former ED K.C. Price, authors K.M. Soehnlein and Kevin Sessums, politicos Bevan Dufty and Anthony Wiener, HBO head of programming Michael Lombardo, HBO VP of PR Tonya Owens, GayCities co-founders Scott Gatz and Chris Bull, SFBG editor Marke B., style mavens Skye Paterson and Grant Taylor, drag starlets Donna Sachet and Honey Mahogany, Magnet director Steve Gibson, Dot429‘s Anna Peirano and Cameron Lee, photographer Steven Underhill, femme party girl Aimee Forster, Accidental Bear‘s Mike Enders, fellow “Modesto redneck” Pablo Escobar, I Want Your Love film team Travis Mathews and Jack Shamama…


… and this shirtless go-go bear.


And JP!

Photos: Cameron Lee for Dot429. For more photos of the red carpet, the screening and the after party visit Dot429.

Oh did I mention it was an open bar? SmileBooth has the GIFS to prove it.

Oscar Raymundo
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  • se ve que estuve estupenda la fiesta !!!