EP. 7 Jonathan & Sergey Talk with Gary Lavard Star of RAYE: A New Gay Film About The Cutthroat Male Modeling Industry

March 10, 2017

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini combines yummy flavored vodkas with pineapple juice for an awesome cocktail!

1/2 cup Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
1/2 cup Pinnacle Vanilla Vodka
1 cup of pineapple juice
Maraschino cherries
crushed ice (about a cup)

Put crushed ice in shaker
Add vodka and pineapple juice to shaker
Shake away
Put a maraschino cherry in the bottom of martini glass
Strain vodka/pineapple mixture into martini glass
Slowly pour a splash of grenadine down the side of the martini glass





Gary LaVard has been gracing the entertainment scene with his presence and charm for years. A Detroit native, he currently resides between Atlanta and Los Angeles where he is a model/actor. Gary has been involved with all things entertainment his whole life. While in high school he hosted local hip-hop shows and even contributed music production to the top selling Hip-Hop Documentary (Rap Files, Vol.1 2004) (under the name Cashada). Gary has since then graced the pages of many print publications including Kontrol, KRAVE, Hype Magazine + more and has walked for Atlanta & Washington D.C.’s Fashion Weeks and many notable charity shows such as Toys4Tots and Kids Against Hunger.

Gary LaVard has also been seen in print ads for renowned brands, Gap, The Get Tested Campaign, and most recently the billboard ads for Iridium Clothing Store. Even further divulging into the entertainment realm, Gary has graced television screens in such programs as Scream Queens (FOX), The Walking Dead (AMC) and Nightmare Next Door (ID) just to name a few. He can also be seen on FOX Sports commercials. Due to his impeccable physical stature, his body was used as the body cast for legendary NFL players, Jimmy Johnson and R.C. Owens of the San Francisco 49ers, on display inside the Levi Stadium, in Santa Clara, CA. In 2015, Gary also recreated the legendary John Carlos “Black Power Salute” which can now be seen at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. In 2016, through hard work and consistency, Gary has landed principal and supporting roles in short, independent and mainstream films and television shows such as Ambivalence, RAYE, Products of the American Ghetto, the highly successful LGBT streaming series, About Him (Season 1), TV One’s “#Murder”, OWN Network’s “Greenleaf”, BET’s “The Quad”, Fast8 & ArtHouse TV’s highly anticipated series, “REDSKIN”. 2017 will be an even bigger year with production starting for About Him Season 2: The Revolution, where Gary returns in his leading role starring an all-star cast. With personal influences from his mother and sister, he has always believed in studying one's craft, faith and hard work and is determined to leave an even bigger mark than he already has.


Beautiful Men Strike a Dangerous Pose In "Raye," 


A New Film About The Cutthroat Male Modeling Industry


In Steven L. Coard's latest film, Raye, an African American man moves to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a high fashion supermodel. One night, by chance encounter, Raymond "Raye" Buckley (played by Gary Lavard)  meets model agent Hardie Noon (played by Shawn Singleton).  With  help from Hardie, Raye becomes a modeling sensation, eclipsing his nemesis, America's former top male model, Vester V.  To hold his crown, Raye must learn who he can trust in the dog-eat-dog industry of  high fashion modeling. 
"I originally came to NYC to become a model," reveals director Steven L. Coard, who also stars in the film as Vester V.  "I was constantly told I wasn't attractive enough or fit enough or that I didn't have the right proportions.  I would go on endless casting calls only to be left broken inside."
He eventually quit modeling.  "I wasn't strong enough to make it in the industry," he admits.  
Unfortunately, giving up on his dream would become his biggest life regret.  It would also inspire him to make a film loosely based on his experience but with a happier  outcome.  "I wanted to make a film that was almost a male version of Diana Ross' Mahogany," he says.
Coard took his idea to Kaylee Fleckney, a screenwriter he had worked with previously on the film, Heartbreaks and Soulmates.  Together, they wrote the first draft of what would become Raye.   "Kaylee did her magic, editing the script and adding the final details to polish up the story."
He chose Gary Lavard, also from Heartbreaks and Soulmates, for the lead role, because, "He is such a talented actor who is always eager to work and make art.  Plus, Gary's easy to look at," he adds with a smile.
When it came to casting the other leads, Coard searched for ethnically diverse actors with real body types that would be relatable to viewers watching the film. "I wanted to show that models are not clones and that any body type can be successful in modeling."
He saved the role of Vester V for himself because he saw playing a villain as a challenge. "I can play a nice guy all day long but playing a scoundrel is something new for me," he explains.  The hardest part was bringing a likability to the character. "I wanted viewers to love to hate him."
Raye is being distributed by Color of Love Production Studios, an award-winning production company founded by Steven L. Coard that specializes in creating stories about the LGBTQ community of color.   The studio especially strives to  focus on unique issues of relevance to the gay African American identity.  Previous films include Heartbreaks and Soulmates and last fall's critically acclaimed romantic comedy, Don't Marry Griff. 
Though very different from Griff, Raye does continue some of its major themes.  In both films, men of color are chasing their American dreams.  "And without giving away endings for either, karma turns out to be a beeeotch in both," laughs Coard.
Coard wears several hats at Color of Love Production Studios.  He is writer, director, producer, and often-times actor.   "I love it all," he says.  "I love directing and producing because I call the shots and if the project isn't a success, I can only blame myself. I love acting because I can be a part of the cast, making memorable characters like Vester V that may live on through time."
Steven L. Coard may have missed out on his supermodel dream but his new aspiration is to create a place where LGBTQ talent of varying disciplines can work together in a supportive environment to create exciting visual projects.   "The Color of Love Production School for Film, Theatre, and Scriptwriting," he announces.   "It sure would make it easier to have a stable of talented actors on hand when casting my next films."
Raye is available now at https://colorofloveproduction.com.


Facebook Comments: