Last month, Dekkoo announced the release of "Stranger Hearts", a new original series from Middle Tennessee filmmaker Kevin James Thornton (How To Get From Here To There). Thoughtful, sexy and deeply heartfelt, the new Dekkoo Original Series follows three queer characters from wildly different backgrounds, played by Amo (MTV's "The Challenge", "The Real World: Go Big or Go Home"), musician Matt Moran and newcomer Qua Robertson Harper. Though they don't know it, these disparate characters are soon to be connected - through fate, work, family, love...and donuts.
The plot? "Andre is a shy young African-American man struggling with his sexual identity. When his mother finds a stack of gay p**n hidden in his closet, the truth starts inching ever closer to the surface. Luka is a gender non-conforming photographer who has fallen on hard times. In need of a steady job, Luka decides to dip their toe into the risky world of escorting. Billy is a smooth-taking media mogul who finds his life turned upside down when he's diagnosed with an incurable heart disease. While waiting for a transplant, he begins reevaluating his life and learning to appreciate the people closest to him."
Last month, I had the chance to ask Thornton about his new project and upcoming work, and here's what he had to say!
Grady: How did this project come about?
Thornton: It’s a show I’ve been writing and developing over the last year or so. My first feature film (How To Get From Here To There) was picked up by TLA Releasing/Dekkoo Films and I was excited to pitch something new to them right away. We shot it on location here in Nashville this past summer with a small crew and a stellar cast of local actors.
Grady: How would you describe the show to someone in a one-minute elevator speech?
Thornton: It’s about 3 very different people, all in the LGBTQ community, whose lives unexpectedly cross in a profound way.
Grady: What do you think is unique about the show? What does it add to the growing body of LGBTQ programming?
Thornton: I’m devoting my career as a filmmaker to queer cinema. It’s important to me to tell LGBTQ stories that haven’t quite been told yet. I’m looking beyond the “struggle” of coming out or dealing with HIV and toward more unexpected storylines. Stranger Hearts is very quirky and playful with some unexpected twists. It’s about love, loss and hope. It’s pretty sexy too.
It also includes a cast of all-queer bands like Karen & the Sorrows, Catherine The Great, Tina and Her Pony, and local DJ Killa Chris.
Grady: Do you see this as pushing any boundaries? If so, why do you want to push those?
Thornton: There’s definitely some commentary about our current community dealing with privilege of some people over others. The world is in a crazy place. I tried to keep it current. But more than anything I want people to be engaged and to be moved. This isn’t a public service announcement.
Grady: Are you working on any other projects?
Thornton: I’m in pre-production for a new series called “Monday Midnight” it’s a queer erotic thriller. We’re going to shoot it this summer, again here in Nashville. I’ve got an amazing cast, including some Stranger Hearts faces including Amo, Lydia C. Bushfield, Daniel Mark Collin,s and Qua Harper Robertson, along with Brooklyn’s Boy Radio and local actor Alex Van Zeelandt. New comer Anthony Granda joins the cast as well.
For more on Kevin Thornton, click here! All five episodes of the first season of "Stranger Hearts" have been available on Dekkoo beginning since March 12, 2020. Dekkoo is available internationally via iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, AppleTV, Xfinity X1 and Roku. In the U.S. and U.K., Dekkoo is also available via Prime Channels.