Vili Fualaau, the creative force behind “May December,” is expressing his displeasure at being represented in Todd Haynes’s Oscar season blockbuster.The film is loosely inspired by the notorious Letourneau incident of the 1990s, in which the then-34-year-old victimized 12-year-old Fualaau, forcing her to eventually enter a guilty plea to two charges of child rape. While Letourneau taught sixth grade and Fualaau was a pupil in actual life, a few elements have been altered for the movie. Julianne Moore’s role Gracie Atherton-Yoo employed at a pet store and gorged on her 13-year-old coworker Joe portrayed by Charles Melton.
Notwithstanding these somewhat changed details and the fact that “May December” mostly stays away from discussing the actual scandal, the movie follows Letourneau and Fualaau’s life to the letter, even right down to the picture-perfect beach residence photo shoot the real couple participated in 2006 to commemorate their first wedding anniversary. Or how, according to Haynes, Letourneau’s “lazy tongue” gave rise to Gracie’s lisp throughout the movie. Fualaau, for his portion, claims that nobody from the Netflix movie’s crew contacted him during any stage of development.
The Hollywood Reporter was informed by Fualaau, who is now 40, that “I’m still alive and well.” Despite their 2019 breakup, he claims to have been by Letourneau’s side as she passed away from cancer the following year. “If they had reached out to me, we could have worked together on a masterpiece. Instead, they chose to do a ripoff of my original story. I’m offended by the entire project and the lack of respect given to me — who lived through a real story and is still living it.”
“I love movies — good movies,” he said. “And I admire ones that capture the essence and complications of real-life events. You know, movies that allow you to see or realize something new every time you watch them. Those kinds of writers and directors — someone who can do that — would be perfect to work with, because my story is not nearly as simple as this movie [portrays].”