Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Larry B. Scott
Larry B. Scott goes beyond Lamar Latrell
By JON SINGER
Larry B. Scott is one cool cat. He's happy, direct, funny and most important, he's straight. He makes that clear immediately when discussing Lamar Latrell, his gay character in "Revenge of the Nerds."
Scott loved filming "Revenge of the Nerds," especially the sequels.
"In the second movie, everyone knew I was straight," Scott says. "So on the set it was just crazy, man. All of us with hundreds of girls as extras in bikinis just sitting in paradise like that. We definitely lived the life."
In the early '80s, Scott says, any role, even a gay role, was a great step forward for him. He just wanted to avoid playing the stereotypical thug in television and movies.
"I had done all dramatic stuff before this," Scott says. "And back then, to get a role like this was really good. Most of my roles were like, 'You cut me, man!'."
"This was something different for me, and I was excited about it," he says.
But Scott did hear some negatives from the black community and fellow actors. Some thought the role was derogatory toward African-Americans and homosexuals. But Scott thinks differently.
"It was just a good time. It was great to do a comedy, and the role was fun," he says.
Asked the secret to his feminine strutting, Scott keeps it simple.
"I just let out my feminine side," he says. "Just let it go and don't worry about anyone else."
Scott could rap and dance in the days of "Nerds," and those talents were used by director Jeff Kanew. Scott had free reign to come up with his performance with fellow nerds at the Homecoming Carnival.
Any avid "Nerds" fan knows the words by heart:
Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands!
We're Lambda Lambda Lambda and Omega Mu
We come here on stage tonight to do a show for you
We've got a rockin' rhythm and a high tech sound
That'll make you move your body down to the ground
We've got Poindexter on the violin
And Louis and Gilbert will be joinin' in
We've got Booger Presley on a mean guitar
And a rap by little old me, Lamar
We've got Takashi beating on his gong
The boys and the Mus are clapping along
And just when you thought you'd seen it all
Along comes a Lambda 4 feet tall
Another famous Lamar scene is his javelin throw at the carnival, during which he threw a flimsy, aerodynamic javelin built by fellow nerd aerodynamics expert Harold Wormser, to beat our rival and jock Stan Gable.
The javelin wasn't real, only a prop according to Scott.
"I'll tell you a story," Scott says. "I was so sick that day. I couldn't do anything. But Jeff said, 'Just come out here and throw the javelin, and you'll be done.' So I did, and I think it took only three takes, and it was done."
Scott is thankful for a quality camera crew that day.
"Those were the days when you didn't have a TV screen right there to see if the shot worked out," Scott says. "You just had to guess. That's where the lighting guys and the crew come in to play so much."
Today, Scott continues to act, but is also passing along lessons he has learned to aspiring young actors in Los Angeles.
" You've got to get pimped, and then you've got to pimp," Scott says.
Curtis Armstrong, aka Booger in the "Nerds" movies, stops by to help Scott and teach actors once in a while.
"Curtis is a Rhodes scholar, I kid you not," Scott says. "You'd never imagine that, right? But it's true!"
Scott also keeps in contact with lead nerd Robert Carradine.
Scott can next be seen in "Getting Played" a film that also stars Vivica Fox, Bill Bellamy and Carmen Electra. He also writes comic sketches for B.E.T.
Reflecting back on Lamar, Scott sees the role as having been edgy at the time, but nothing compared to today's gay openness in television and movies.
"It was tame back then," Scott says. "All this stuff now, like 'Will & Grace,' is way more than anything we ever did.
Scott has always stayed busy, but after "Nerds," there was a time when Hollywood only thought of him as a specific role actor.
"After doing Lamar, they wanted to cast me as every black or gay character," Scott says. "They wanted me in 'Mannequin' and I said no, and they wondered why. I just don't need to do that again."
"They only think of you as one thing," Scott says. "To them, I'm Lamar. To you I'm Lamar. That's why we're doing this interview. But that's OK. It happens to everybody."