LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Jared Leto is just a hired hand. It was a mistake for anyone in our community to think an actor should also take on the role of an advocate of some sort for the persona portrayed in a film. Dwelling on the blunders of Jared Leto will not solve the real issue at hand — trans actors for trans roles.
In a perfect world, yes, of course we should fill trans characters roles with transgender actors. We’ve a number of great actors to choose from. So why isn’t it happening?
The short answer: money — we don’t have any.
Not-so-trivia fact: Seven out of 10 films lose money, two break even, and only one becomes a “blockbuster”.
Virtually all big money films are green lit by investors (executive producers) based on “A-list” stars they’ve chosen to commit to the project. Directors, writers and producers rarely have final say in who gets cast in the lead roles. Investors look for someone who will fill seats, hence Jared Leto. At this stage in her career, Laverne Cox has virtually no chance of someone investing $50 million plus in her.
Another not-so-trivia fact: The majority of screenplays in serious consideration don’t get green lit.
A director or producer shopping around a screenplay with a major transgender character that they insist be Laverne Cox will find no buyers among traditional film investors. Sure, the trans community can underwrite the film themselves, but with films being bad investments, who but those that have money to lose would step up?
With time and a bit of luck, the Laverne Coxes in our community may find someday themselves on Hollywood’s “A-list”. In the meantime however, our demands for trans actors for trans roles is likely to remain ignored by those who pony up the cash to produce films.
In my opinion, one of the best transgender characters portrayals caught on film was by Steven Mackintosh as “Kim” in the UK film “Different for Girls.” His performance was spot-on — posing a huge challenge for any actor, trans or cis, to top.
“Lexie Cannes” — an award-winning feature film about a transgender woman who is stalked, solves a mystery, saves a lost soul and finds love. Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332
LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/