By André Hereford on May 28, 2021 @here4andre
New York City’s Port Authority bus station is an unlikely place to meet the love who might change your life. But love, like a rose in concrete, can take root in the most unlikely places. So it is that Wye, a trans woman of color, and Paul, a white kid fresh off a bus from Pennsylvania, first lay eyes on each other in Danielle Lessovitz’s stirring romantic drama Port Authority.
Paul, played by Dunkirk‘s Fionn Whitehead, arrives in search of family who isn’t there to greet him. He spots Wye, portrayed by Pose actress Leyna Bloom, among her chosen family, voguing and kiki-ing on the steps outside the station. After an instant, silent spark, a while passes before their paths cross again, and their path together will be complicated by sometimes violent interference — but for both, the journey may prove worthwhile.
“I think the movie is about two people trying to connect with each other in a way that’s new and fresh and beautiful and organic and real and raw. And they’re not choosing to let anyone hold them back,” says Bloom, who made history with Port Authority in its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time a feature starring a trans woman of color had debuted at the festival.
The film, executive produced by Martin Scorsese, also marks the feature directing debut for Lessovitz, who cast Bloom, a successful model who’d never starred in a film, in a role that mirrors aspects of Bloom’s own experience as a respected member of the house and ballroom community. Although both actress and director were entering unfamiliar territory, they were in sync “from the get go,” Bloom recalls.
“We really blueprinted our connection on trying to figure out where are we right now with humanity, and where are we going and how can we tell a story about love through intersections of different places and people that aren’t normally seen in society or in entertainment spaces. So it was kind of a beautiful seed that we had to water, both of us. And it grew into a beautiful project. And she wanted to make sure that I had a voice on this project, and I was telling this story as authentically as much as I can, because I do come from the ballroom scene and I am a trans woman, and that’s what the role is looking for. We wanted to make sure that we were doing this the right way and not fetishizing or sexualizing, or having this horrible gaze on these beautiful things that we’re doing.”
Following Port Authority‘s high-profile premiere, the film was on its way to lighting up the festival circuit when the global pandemic slowed its roll. But Bloom has not slowed down, taking on her part in Pose as a member of the ruthless House of Khan, and taking her modeling career to new heights with her next milestone, appearing in Sports Illustrated‘s legendary swimsuit issue, hitting newsstands in July. And she’s thrilled that the love story of Wye and Paul finally will find its audience.
“I feel like when the movie was just announced, before even premiering at the Cannes Festival, people were craving something like this — they were craving this film,” says the actress. “It made history in 2019. And we really showed up, and set the bar so high with this film about love. Then months later, we’re in a pandemic and the film is on this festival tour and everything is going amazing. And, you know, I’m just lucky that we picked it up where we left off — not just with my film, but other projects that I worked on, other projects that other people are working on, and just the world at hand.
“We’re in a time right now when we can finally get back to celebrating the things that we miss and the things that we left off at, so I think it’s just a blessing that we’re getting a second chance — everyone, not just this film, but everyone should get a second chance to do things differently, and treat things differently.”
Port Authority releases on Friday, May 28 in select theaters, and on VOD and Digital Tuesday, June 1.
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By André Hereford on March 7, 2023 @here4andre
READ THIS COVER STORY IN THE MAGAZINE
Margaret Cho -- comedian, actor, musician, advocate, entrepreneur, artist -- has added a new role to her impressive résumé, and in our laugh-filled Zoom chat, she lights up talking about it.
"I'm also a gamer," Cho reveals, adding with a self-deprecating smile, "I'm really bad at the games."
Strapping on her VR headset and diving into a game is one way Cho, who is celebrating 40 years as a standup comic with her new Live & Livid Tour, stays connected to younger perspectives, even if she's just watching other people play. "I'm like, 'How do you even figure this out?'" she says. "But that's why these young people are so smart, they know what they're doing."
By Charlotte Clymer on February 3, 2023 @cmclymer
I never thought I’d willingly sit through a vile propaganda film that should make my stomach turn, but when Metro Weekly offered to pay me to review 80 for Brady (★★★☆☆) I realized I could get beer money to trash Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. with an unparalleled, snarky, irrational bitchiness that would make Ben Shapiro blush, and that felt like a fair exchange of goods and services.
Based on the true story of octogenarian superfans of the New England Patriots -- and specifically, Tom Brady -- Lou (Lily Tomlin), Trish (Jane Fonda), Maura (Rita Moreno), and Betty (Sally Field) are best friends who bond over two decades through Brady’s professional career after Lou is diagnosed with cancer and the gang, commiserating with Lou, accidentally stumble upon the now-legendary game in which he took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe.
By André Hereford on March 10, 2023 @here4andre
Everyone in Hollywood can project and predict, but no one knows who will be named the winners at the 95th Academy Awards, to be presented Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Interested parties have a hard enough time just guessing who will be nominated.
“Seems to be that Viola, Michelle, Danielle & Cate are a lock for their outstanding work,” wrote actress and Academy member France Fisher in one of several controversial social media posts earlier this season, encouraging fellow awards voters to consider the performance by Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie for a nomination in the Leading Actress category.
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