Marc Maron wanted “Bad Education” to be more queer.
The 2019 Emmy-winning TV movie based on a true story starred Hugh Jackman as corrupt school district superintendent Frank Tassone who embezzled millions of dollars in school funds. Frank’s husband Tom was played by Stephen Spinella, while Rafael Casal portrayed his boyfriend Kyle, whose Las Vegas lifestyle was in part funded by the stolen money.
Comedian Maron revealed he auditioned to play the role of Kyle but ultimately turned it down over a lack of “gayness.”
“I thought I was auditioning for the role you had,” Maron told guest Ray Romano during his “WTF” podcast. “I just didn’t want to do it. I read the script and I said I don’t want to do it. It was for Hugh Jackman’s boyfriend. He’s got nothing in there.”
Maron added, “I said, ‘If I’m going be gay in a movie, [Jackman] would be a good guy to be gay with, but there didn’t seem to be much to the role other than that.’ I said, ‘I’ll wait to be gay when there’s more gayness.'”
Romano played school board president and real estate broker Bob Spicer in the film. He agreed that the role of Kyle “didn’t have a lot of screentime.”
Maron replied, “I like that movie. I didn’t hear much about it,” to which Romano revealed, “I think originally it was supposed to be released in theaters.”
The real-life Frank criticized part of his portrayal in the HBO movie, saying on “The Coach Mike Podcast” in 2020 that there was an incorrect implication that he was trying to hide his sexuality and that he regretted his marriage to a woman.
“There was a lot of implication, or at least I felt, that I didn’t have a wonderful marriage or didn’t love her so very much, which I did,” Tassone said at the time. “I almost felt it was disrespectful to her, and I loved her very much.”
He continued of his sexuality depicted, “That upset me as well, because I’m not ashamed of being a gay man, and again, they made it seem somewhat sordid. That bothered me and upset me when the detective questioned [husband] Steven, and he implied that Steven didn’t even know I was married. That was not the case. And I don’t understand why they had to bring my sexuality into the film.”