You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Transgender Actors Discuss Why There’s Never Been a Trans Oscar-Winner

During a roundtable session with Variety’s New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh, Jen Richards, Brian Michael, Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Trace Lysette, and Alexandra Billings considered how long it will take until a trans person is nominated for an Oscar.

Cox, who starred as Sophia Burset on “Orange Is the New Black,” was quick to praise trans actress Daniela Vega for her performance in “A Fantastic Woman,” the 2018 Oscar-winner for best foreign-language film. She insists that in order to see a trans person win an Academy Award, the parts must first exist for trans actors to play.

“As Viola Davis reminded us, you cannot be nominated for roles that don’t exist. So, we must first be cast. And let’s just shout out Daniela Vega, who was brilliant in ‘A Fantastic Woman,'” she said. “But we need the part to be written and then that’s a start.”

Richards, co-star, co-producer, and co-director of “Her Story,” offered, “I want to write the part!”

Michael, who plays a transgender character on “Queen Sugar,” added that financing is also integral to providing parts for trans actors to play. “Like do you really know whether or not the tickets will sell with this trans actor playing this character? Or is that just what you think?”

Bono, who most recently starred on “American Horror Story: Cult,” thinks a trans actor will receive an Emmy sooner than an Oscar, since “Hollywood doesn’t make movies anymore,” he said.

But Richards has hope that eventually a trans person will hold an Academy Award one day.

“We’ve had to fight so hard so that the people behind us won’t have to fight as hard and they can focus on their craft,” she said. “And that’ll be a thrill to me to see someone who came from behind me to achieve those heights.”

More Film

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, The Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of Robert Taylor’s talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content