3-Minute Interview: Carol Ruth Silver

The former San Francisco supervisor was a friend and ally of Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in The City. Silver played a supporting role and acted as a consultant for an upcoming biopic about Milk, who was killed in 1978 by political foe Dan White. For the movie, which stars Sean Penn and recently wrapped filming in the Castro, Silver played Thelma, a composite of the motherly figures who supported Milk’s political aspirations.

What memories were brought from being involved in this film? It was a very emotional time back then, and a lot of what we did in the movie invoked those feelings. The campaigns were very exciting, and it was exciting once again to be there with a whole bunchof young men and women, chanting, “Harvey! Harvey!”

What was it like playing the role of Thelma while having an actress play the role of a younger you at the same time? It was very interesting. I didn’t get a chance to meet the actress who played me, but I really enjoyed acting as Thelma. Thelma is a composite of the little old lady volunteers who really supported the Milk campaign.

Do you think the movie will be a historically accurate account of Milk’s life? I think they did an accurate job on most things, and I was very pleased at their effort to do that.

Do you plan on staying involved with the movie now that filming has finished? I certainly hope that I will be invited to the opening and hope I will be involved in the pre-screening process to give any advice. They did interview me for some of the behind-the-scenes features, so maybe I’ll show up on the DVD when it comes out.

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