84: Matt Tyrnauer on “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”

Gore Vidal played a key role behind the scenes in helping Scotty Bowers tell his secret history of Hollywood. Starting in the 1940s, Scotty operated an infamous gas station in Hollywood where he would arrange sexual trysts for celebrities who needed to keep their gay, lesbian or bisexual lives hidden. With Vidal’s help, Scotty published his controversial memoir “Full Service” in 2012. Around that time, Vidal introduced Scotty to Vanity Fair writer and filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer. That started a two-year journey of making the film “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” that tells many facets of the story not covered in the book.

Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talked to Tyrnauer about his friendship with Vidal, the making of “Scotty,” and why so many people are resistant to dismantling the myths of Hollywood.

Tyrnauer was previously interviewed on Pure Nonfiction #45 discussing his films “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” and “Valentino: The Last Emperor.” His upcoming film “Studio 54” will be released this fall; and his next documentary on political operative Roy Cohn is coming in 2019.

On Twitter: @mtyrnauer @scottythemovie @ScottyBowers @thompowers @PureNonfiction

This interview took place at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Social Documentary Program.

Pure Nonfiction is distributed by the TIFF podcast network.

Note: This episode contains explicit content.

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