‘May December’ insults the real Vili Fualaau: ‘scumbag’

Vili Fualaau, a former student and estranged husband of Mary Kay Letourneau, is not a fan of the acclaimed movie «May December.»

Despite director Todd Haynes’ attempt to give the Fualaau-based character due consideration in the film, the former student involved in the child molestation scandal that gained public attention in the 1990s felt disrespected that he was not consulted on the project. .

“If they had approached me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece. Instead, they decided to make a heist of my original story,” Fualaau said The Hollywood Reporter. «I am offended by the whole project and the lack of respect for me – who lived the real story and is still living it.»

«May December» follows 36-year-old Joe Yoo (Charles Melton) and his 59-year-old wife Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) as they raise three grown children in the same scandal-ridden town. decades before the two became lovers, just as Yoo was finishing seventh grade.

The film’s screenwriter Samy Burch said he was inspired by the case of Letourneau, a teacher in Washington state who in 1997 confessed to raping her sixth-grade student Fualaau. A few years later, after Letourneau’s release, the two married and raised their children together until they divorced 14 years later; Letourneau died of cancer in 2020 with Fualaau by her side.

The film tells the story through the lens of actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), who stays with the couple in their home and prepares to play the complicated and «morally gray» Atherton-Yoo. Haynes recreated moments from TV interviews and tabloid headlines, but he said Accelerator that the film has a «treacherous» quality in the way it leads the audience away from their expectations or assumptions about the characters.

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«What’s so beautiful about the way it’s structured is that it’s the third act that opens up the space for Charles’ character Joe to really find the focus of the film,» he told the paper. «But it’s done with such a different kind of language and it’s very subtle and it’s very tender and the rest of the movie wasn’t really like that.»

Melton, best known for «Riverdale,» said Accelerator that when he read the script he immediately felt connected to the character.

“I immediately felt this connection with Joe, who the man was, his feelings. Even though our experiences are different, I found a lot of parallels in my life,” he said. «I just dig into who this man was and what he represented and this responsibility that he had at such a young age, that he carried until he was 36. Just this repressed person who’s kind of starting to ask questions that in fact, he never had.» chance to ask.»

Fualaau told the Hollywood Reporter that he understands that his life was in many ways a saga, and that he would welcome a film that thoughtfully and thoroughly captured his experience.

«I love movies – good movies.» And I admire those that capture the essence and complications of real events. You know, the movies that make you see or realize something new every time you watch them,” he told the paper. “Writers and directors like that—someone who can do that—would be great to work with because my story is nowhere near as simple as this movie (depicts).

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Representatives for Haynes and Melton did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

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