APR 23, 2005
What kind of research did you do?
Well, the first thing I did when I talked to Duncan was I told him how excited I was and then proceeded to [try to] talk him out of casting me and casting a man instead. I was saying, “You’ve got to cast a man in this role, otherwise the inherent drama is robbed, it’s hollow! Everybody knows what I’ve got under my skirt!” I’m really glad he didn’t listen to me. He very wisely said, “Look, the drama is not about what’s under your skirt. There have been a lot of movies about men playing women; I believe there are two Academy Awards for them. And this is not a movie about what’s under your skirt.”
It’s actually very smart. The backdrop is that she’s a transgendered woman. But it’s a movie about your heart breaking open. It’s about someone who feels so alienated from herself and from society and feels that people don’t really know her, who feels that her family hasn’t accepted who she really is. I think many people can relate to some of those feelings. Certainly I could. So once I started to understand the emotional through-line, and where this woman was coming from, then I had to tackle the outside.
What did that entail?
I met with Andrea James and Calpernia Addams who run a production company called Deep Stealth Productions. They really helped me with the internal truth of the project and they also helped me with the external.