There’s really no way to put this delicately: Patrick Moote has a small penis.
It’s a fact Patrick had a hard time accepting, especially when his ex-girlfriend used it as the excuse to why she would not marry him. The marriage proposal, which was captured on a Jumbotron during a UCLA basketball game in December 2011, included Patrick’s then girlfriend rejecting the offer and leaving Patrick on bended knee in front of thousands of spectators.
When the dust settled days later, Patrick met up with the girl who crushed his heart to talk about their relationship. It’s during that meeting when, Patrick says, she admitted to declining his proposal because she could not marry someone who was lacking in one specific area of his anatomy.
While Patrick might’ve put his tail between his legs for a few weeks after what was probably the most embarrassing moment of his life, he has since learned to embrace his undersized package and the insecurities that followed after his breakup. In fact, Moote, who is an actor and a standup comedian, decided to make a documentary on his situation and the somewhat taboo topic of penis size. In “Unhung Hero,” which will be released on DVD Dec. 10, Moote travels the world with director Brian Spitz on a “fact-finding journey” to learn about what different cultures have to say about the age-old question “Does size really matter?” and to see if he can find a way to fix his “little” problem.
Not that I want to make you relive the UCLA incident again, but can you just tell me a little bit about what was going on in your mind when you proposed to your girlfriend only to see her run out of the arena?
It’s one of those situations when I look back on it, it sort of feels like I blacked out. It was very surreal. It wasn’t the way I expect it to go at all. It was jarring. I hung out there for a minute just dazed and then I got out of there as fast as possible.
Give me some percentages. What percent did you think her answer would be a resounding, “Yes!”?
Well, on that day it felt like 90 percent, but it was probably more realistically 70 percent. I thought the reaction might’ve been, “Yes, but let’s talk about it some more.” I didn’t expect the reaction to be what it was, which was just leaving. Then again, you put somebody on the spot like that, which I totally blame myself for, and you never know what’s going to happen. It was a dumb thing to do.
I mean, some people would argue that a marriage proposal is something very intimate and should only be shared between the couple. Why did you think a UCLA game in front of thousands of basketball fans was a good way to do it?
I’m a big basketball fan. I come from a big basketball family. My dad coached. My brother played basketball in college. When we were kids, we would come down to Southern California because we had family there. So, I got to see a fair amount of UCLA games. The decision seemed right. I also thought that maybe she would find it cute and ironic, but it didn’t turn out like that at all.
You don’t go into detail in the film about this, but you do, of course, end up talking to your ex after the failed proposal to get some answers. What were the circumstances? Was she upfront when she revealed her reason to you?
You know when you’re at the end of a relationship and you want to know why it’s not going to work? Well, the reasons are typically plentiful. There were a lot of reasons. Sometimes when you know things are wrong, you try and cover it up with more commitment. That’s where we were at. A lot of things came up. The point of the film was never to demonize anyone. [My penis size] was a problem among many others. I kept pushing and pushing: “Why, why, why?!” When you finally get all the details out, you wish you had never asked. I pushed her to say something that maybe she felt strongly about or maybe she wanted to cut me a little bit. I try and keep the focus off of her as much as possible in the movie. We are still friends and I still care about her. My nightmare is that people will see her and be like, “It’s her!” with pitchforks. That’s not the point. The point is that everyone is not a perfect match for one another. There’s so much that goes into a relationship.
Has she seen the film? What was her reaction to it?
She has seen the movie and I think she was happy with how it came out. I think she understands that it’s not supposed to be about her. It’s supposed to be about me. It’s more about where male insecurities come from. I never really thought about being insecure. I knew I wasn’t someone who would walk into a room with my pants around my ankles going, “Check it out, guys!” but I certainly wasn’t insecure about it. But when she said that, I became insecure. Then when we started digging into it [for the documentary], I became even more insecure. It was a lot to take in. It wasn’t until I saw what people would do to their bodies to fix the problem that I thought it was just ridiculous. If you’re with the right person it shouldn’t matter. It won’t matter.
I read that you hated the title “Unhung Hero” when the studio first told you what they were going to call the movie. Were you playing around with any titles in your own head that were less brazen?
Yeah, maybe like “Slightly Below Average Hero,” or something like that. (Laughs) We tossed around a couple of ideas for titles. It was actually director Brian Spitz who came up with it. But what I realized during this filmmaking process was the more I hated [an idea], the better it was probably going to play for an audience. Even for the poster, they were like, “We have a great idea for the poster! You’re going to be naked with a magnifying glass over your penis.” I thought it was so embarrassing! But I’m very proud of what we did. I’m proud of the journey and the final product and the fact that a film is out there that is about embracing your insecurities. I knew when I started doing this that a fair amount of it was going to become public record. I’ve always been open and honest and I think there’s something very liberating about doing this. Now if someone says, “Hey, man, you’ve got a little penis!” I’ll be like, “Yeah, and I made a movie about it. You should see it. It’s a lot of fun!” The movie takes the arsenal away from the people who would try and use your insecurities against you.
Did you ever consider showing your actual size in the film?
Yeah, we did. Honestly, just because of some of the situations we got into, [my penis] did end up on camera. For me it was like, “It’s just a penis! It doesn’t matter!” Yes, I’ve seen the look on girls’ faces when my penis makes an appearance. They’re not very flabbergasted or thrilled or anything. It’s just a penis. When it’s cold, it’s teeny tiny. When it gets ready to do stuff, it gets slightly bigger. It’s like comparing it to the briefcase in “Pulp Fiction.” Your imagination is so much more interesting. If I was to show my penis to people, they’re reaction would probably be like, “Oh, man, here it comes…Oh…Oh. It’s just a little penis.” I thought showing [my penis] would go against what I felt was really important about the movie. It doesn’t matter. I don’t want to be evaluated and judged just like everyone else doesn’t. I’ll stand here and say, “Yes, my penis is not that big!” But it is just a penis.
On the other end of the spectrum, Dirk Diggler does show his at the end of “Boogie Nights,” so…
Yeah, but that’s prosthetic! (Laughs) It’s funny because I met a lot of those guys who have a penis that is too big. All the other guys were looking at them saying, “Man, you’ve got it made!” But on the inside, these guys were thinking, “Man, I don’t know if the girls that I’m with really care about me or if they’re with me just because of this thing.” Sometimes the relationship wouldn’t work because their penis was too big and sex for the women just hurts. To me, that’s a bigger problem. I mean, I can supplement. You can get creative when [having a small penis] is the problem. The problem is when [a penis] just physically doesn’t fit.
In movies today, you really don’t see too many penises on screen unless it’s in a comedy like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” or “Observe and Report.” What do you think is it about penises that people find so funny?
Ah, of course, the guys who always want to show them have big penises. Like Jason Segel has a pretty big penis, so he was probably like, “Let’s just go with this and see what happens.” Yeah, I mean, even when I was little I remember kids on the playground teasing each other saying, “You’ve got a little penis!” Looking back, I wish I would’ve said, “We all have little penises. We’re seven!” I think it’s funny because men are men. We’re strong and tough and don’t care about anything…except that. [Penis size] is our hot-button issue. That’s a slam that hurts. When I tell people about my documentary and what it’s about, there is this split second of silence and then this uproarious laughter. I told Brian, I didn’t want this film to be a 90-minute dick joke. I wanted to really know if size matters and if there really was a way to fix it. I wanted to talk to people about it and start a dialogue. I think we’ve accomplished that. Is so funny to be here saying that: “I’m just so proud of my penis movie!”
So if it’s not your penis, what physical trait would you consider your biggest attribute? What attracts the ladies?
(Laughs) You know, I’ve got some pretty epic peepers. I’ve got nice eyes. I’ve been hearing it since I was three years old. Now, I use my eyes as a secret weapon with girls. I’ll just give them the deadlock stare. (Laughs) When I was a kid, I had some really long eyelashes, too. I kind of looked like a little girl. Especially in the winter, my cheeks and lips would get red. Then I had the long eyelashes and big eyes. So, I remember some kids started calling me “makeup boy” when I got on the bus. I finally had it one day, so I went and got a wig out of my mom’s costume box and some lipstick and got on the bus the next day and started talking with a girl’s voice. I was like, “I’m makeup boy!” The kids on the bus never made fun of me again. It’s funny because that’s how I’ve been dealing with insecurities forever. I would just throw it in peoples’ faces.
If your penis could talk, what do you think it would say about how it was portrayed in your movie? Would it be happy or disappointed that it didn’t get enough screen time?
(Laughs) I don’t think my penis is much of a narcissist at this point. I think it would be proud and upset. It would be like when parents aren’t really “mad” but just “disappointed.” It wouldn’t be mad at me because it would be happy with what I accomplished, but it would be a little disappointed. It would be like, “I thought you would take better care of my image.” Sorry brother, I totally threw you under the bus on this one.