Two actors who have faced sexual misconduct allegations, one of whom has not shied away from being labeled a fully certified creep, are attached to a film adaptation of the Golden State Killer story — and the actors' union is investigating.
A movie is in post-production titled The Policeman, written and directed by Jordan Gertner, who mostly has producer credits dating back to the 90s — including a co-producer credit on Buffalo '66, the controversial 1998 film in which Vincent Gallo famously showed his erect penis.
Gallo, 62, plays real-life Sacramento cop turned serial rapist and murderer Joseph DeAngelo, dubbed the Golden State Killer, who was finally brought to justice in 2020 after he pleaded guilty to 13 murders. And another problematic Hollywood actor, James Franco, was cast as a character named Babcock.
But as Rolling Stone reported last week, Gallo has been accused by two actresses of crossing some lines in the audition process — and his behavior has been reported to SAG-AFTRA, which is apparently investigating.
Shooting on the film has already wrapped, and the production company behind it, Pacific Media Productions, says that an intimacy coordinator was on set for all the film's sexual assault scenes.
"We do take allegations of inappropriate comments made by anyone involved in the production very seriously,” a spokesperson for Pacific Media tells the LA Times in a statement. "The casting director told the actors prior to their callback meetings and auditions that a SAG-AFTRA intimacy coordinator was being hired for the picture and she would be involved with all scenes in which any nudity or sexuality was to occur. The coordinator that was hired worked closely with the director, Vincent, and other cast, and the cast involved felt that the environment was positive and respectful."
SAG-AFTRA tells the Times, "We extensively engaged with production regarding the complaints and, while shooting has wrapped, we continue to monitor and investigate."
The allegations are, nonetheless, creepy to say the least.
Per Rolling Stone, one woman who auditioned to play a victim of DeAngelo, said that Gallo told her in the audition, "If I say to suck my dick or I will kill you, I want you, you the person, not you the character, not you the actor, but you, to truly believe you will die if you don’t do as I say. And just like you would in real life, if this were happening to you, I want you to do all of the actions necessary to do that. You won’t actually suck my dick, but you do not have the power, I have all the power. You have no control, I am in complete control."
Gallo also reportedly said, "I may ask you to get nude at any time, and I need an actress who is going to do it, because that’s what the victim would’ve done to stay alive."
Gallo may be a perfect fit to play a character as sexually menacing as DeAngelo apparently was. Acting-wise, Gallo hasn't been too active in the last decade, with his only recent credit being the 2022 horror-thriller Shut In.
It should be noted that Gallo has spent decades cultivating a public persona that is every bit "controversial bad boy" and veers into the realms of racism and transphobia on his "merchandise" website. In addition to selling a "Fuck Black Lives Matter" t-shirt on there, Gallo has a section of the site called "Personal Services" in which he is advertising his sexual services to any "naturally born female" for $50,000 a night. He adds, "No real female will be refused," and "Heavy set, older, red heads and even black chicks can have me if they can pay the bill."
Journalist Kris Benton has accused Gallo of grooming and assaulting her when she was 18 years old, back in 2007, but he has not been convicted of any crime.
Co-star Franco, meanwhile, faced multiple allegations in recent years, and in 2021 he settled a lawsuit brought by former students of his acting school and spoke out about how he believed his sexual encounters with students had been consensual.
DeAngelo is believed to have raped at least 50 women and killed at least 13 people over the course of 12 years, between 1974 and 1986. His victims spanned across the state, including in Southern California, Visalia, and the Sacramento area.
It was the true-crime book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by the late writer Michelle McNamara (also the late wife of comedian Patton Oswalt) that connected many of the dots that led to DeAngelo's arrest and conviction, and gave him the moniker Golden State Killer. Earlier monikers of him were the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was turned into an HBO docu-series that premiered in 2020.
Top image: Vincent Gallo attends the Saint Laurent show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on February 27, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)