A new short film about the world of black market sperm donation gave the Backstreet Boys’ Kevin Richardson fertile ground to show off his acting chops.
“If I Could Tell You,” a 35-minute film about a woman named Abby (Avery Clyde) desperate to conceive a child, stars the singer as Derek, an anonymous free donor she finds online.
“A lot of the world knows me as Kevin, the old guy from the Backstreet Boys,” Richardson, 44, told [email protected] “It was nice to be able to let that other side of me, acting, come out.”
Act he does. After Abby and her husband agree to stop trying, she jets off to a self-help seminar, secretly still intent on conceiving. Enter Derek, a cool, collected, kind of creepy guy who presents Abby with immaculate medical paperwork and quietly boasts of his “supersperm.”
The film is a passion project for Richardson, who with his wife Kristin struggled to conceive their second son, now 3. Clyde and her director husband Rob, who’d met the Richardsons in prenatal yoga for baby No. 1, were in a similar bind.
Abby (Avery Clyde) covertly arranges a meeting with Derek during her trip to a self-help convention.
Inspired by both couples’ real-life frustrations and a “20/20” special on underground fertility treatments, Rob Clyde and his brother Ben wrote and directed the flick, with Richardson taking cues from an interview they’d conducted with a donor they found online.
“Part of it is he does want to help,” said Richardson of his character’s motivation. “Part of it is he does get a bit of a thrill out of it, knowing how many kids he has walking around in the world.”
The singer, currently toiling away on the Backstreet Boys’ 10th studio album, said he hopes the film can educate people on their fertility options.
“It’s whatever works for you,” he said. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, and do what’s right for you and your family and your spouse.”
With Meera Jagannathan