Patrick Moote: Unhung Hero. Last week at SXSW in Austin, you couldn’t pass by a taco truck or food stand without seeing Patrick Moote’s p...
Last week at SXSW in Austin, you couldn’t pass by a taco truck or food stand without seeing Patrick Moote’s penis.
Moote, an actor and comedian, has been through a lot in the past year. After his girlfriend ran away from his marriage proposal at a UCLA basketball game, Moote became something of a YouTube sideshow, with his rejected proposal making national news. But it was the reasoning behind the rejection that led Moote on a journey: his less-than-average-sized penis. From there, Moote went forward with Unhung Hero, a documentary chronicling his hilariously real—and sometimes painful—search to find out whether penis size matters in 2013.
Unhung Hero played to a packed house at SXSW, no doubt thanks to Moote plastering photos of himself—his whole self—all over the festival to drum up interest in his flick. Afterward, the brave star shared why coming up short is anything but a death sentence for your love life.
Men’s Health: It has to be surreal seeing pictures of your naked self everywhere you look.
Patrick Moote: I put most of those posters up, but it wasn’t my idea. The title was not my idea. They weren’t forced upon me, but they asked me what I thought of the title Unhung Hero, and I thought it was terrible. I thought it was incredibly embarrassing and I hated it. [Laughs] My buddy was like, “Hey, man, the more you hate it, the more it will draw attention.” And it did. Literally, the first day we got here I was walking around with tape and posters, and posting naked pictures of myself around Austin. There were a couple moments where I was thinking, “What is happening? What is happening with my life?” It was one of those things where I’ve been friends with Brian Spitz, the director, for a while. I wouldn’t have done this with someone who I didn’t trust. We shot almost 300 hours of footage and he could have cut that up to make me look like complete psycho.
MH: Your girlfriend rejected you—in public—partially due to your penis size. But with Unhung Hero, it seems like you were able to take something pretty painful and turn it into something positive.
Moote: I’ve always been about embracing the insecurities I have. I have anxiety disorder. To be able to take that experience and turn it into something like this has been such an incredible journey. Part of it was a defense mechanism where it’s like, we’re going to figure out if size matters. Then we got a couple months into shooting and I was going through this journey, and I realized it wasn’t about size. It was about the individual, about embracing your insecurities. To be able to take the whole thing and be public with it, as difficult as it has been, has also been a liberating journey for me.
MH: How do you think the film has added to the discussion of whether or not size really matters?
Moote: To be completely honest, I think physically, there’s a big problem with having too big of a penis. If your penis is too big, physically you don’t fit with this person. Women have different-sized vaginas, men have different-sized penises, and you find the right fit for two people and it works. But it’s more than just a physical fit. Your interests have to work together. We did a ton of man-on-the-street stuff, which I hated because it was me talking to strangers about my penis. [Laughs] But we talked to a bunch of guys where a small penis, for them, was something they almost wanted because there were times in relationships where, physically, it didn’t work. The sex hurt the women. If your penis is small, at least you can supplement—physically, you’re not actually hurting the person.
MH: In the film, you talk to a few of your ex-girlfriends about your penis in a very candid way, but you didn’t talk about it when you were actually dating them. So should penis size be something that guys bring up early on in a relationship?
Moote: I think it’s a conversation people should have. People are so terrified to talk about it, but something we got into a lot is that all men are insecure about it. Nowadays, there’s just as much pressure on men in terms of body image, who you’re supposed to be, and what you’re supposed to look like. The first time I ever saw a penis was in porn and it was a giant f**king penis. I was looking at it like, “What is that thing?! That looks like a monster!” The girl in the porn was screaming like she was being killed. At that point, the first time I had sex after seeing porn, I was thinking, “This girl is not reacting like the girls in porn.”
It’s something we all should be talking about. We should be open. I never used to talk about it with men or women. I was just going to hang on to insecurity, tuck it in the back of my head, and hope no one ever f**king brings it up. That’s how it became so easy and interesting. Why is this? Why am I so insecure about it? I knew I wasn’t walking around with a big, huge penis. And I know now that, yeah, I am significantly under average, but that’s comparative to what? It is what it is. Women I date now know about this thing. It’s such a liberating thing to be able to talk about it with your significant other. But I don’t even have to talk about it as they can just watch the film. [Laughs]
MH: At one point in the film, you openly question whether this venture was narcissistic and selfish. When did you realize that maybe your story could actually help others?
Moote: I didn’t really understand what we were doing. It was painful and embarrassing, and I started to question the whole thing. It all happened so fast. Once it got going, I said, “F**k it, I’m talking about my dick to everyone.” This is different. This I not the life I thought I would have. This not the life I necessarily wanted. If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I was going to make a movie about my penis, I would have laughed my ass off. What it took for me to finish it was hard. I didn’t know if I wanted my kids to Google me in 10 years and think that their dad had a little penis or if dad was a f**king nut case. Even when it screened, I didn’t sit down during the screening. To be that vulnerable and open, it’s hard. I had to realize that it wasn’t about me anymore. It was narcissistic and a little bit selfish in terms of dealing with the problem, but what I realized was the end result was something that could be positive.
If you liked this story, you’ll love these: