This one has managed to fly under our radar, but it’s just been revealed that the film Anything has finished shooting, which will feature Matt Bomer as a transgender sex worker. He’s part of a great cast that also includes, Golden Globe winner Maura Tierney, John Carroll Lynch, Micah Hauptman, Margot Bingham and Melora Hardin.
In the movie, which is based on a play by Timothy McNeil, Lynch plays a man named Early Landry who is suicidal over the death of his wife. Early moves from Mississippi to Los Angeles, where he can be under the watchful eye of his protective sister, Laurette (Tierney). However, when Early begins an intense new friendship with Freda (Bomer), a transgender sex worker, the unlikely new couple must reconcile their vastly different backgrounds as they fill the void in each other’s lives.
A couple of years ago, Bomer spoke of his interest in starring onstage in McNeil’s play, telling Deadline, “I would love to come back, and I actually read a beautiful new play by Timothy McNeil that I am going to start just seeing if there’s some interest in it. It’s a really mature, very literary piece that is very powerful and I think very timely. It’s a hell of a piece of theater. And you know, in the great tradition of the theater, I refuse to be any one thing. Or any one person.”
However, the fact a film version was coming and Bomer was starring hasn’t been mentioned too much until now. That said, one of the film’s executive producers, Mark Ruffalo, has been talking about it on social media, although not too many details have been known. He now comments, “I’m very happy to be part of this daring project. Love is at the essence of great storytelling and transcends all discrimination and politicization.”
Ruffalo and writer/director McNeil have known each other since their studies with the famed Stella Adler and together with Louise Runge, Micah Hauptman and Ofrit Peres, have collaborated to bring the play from the stage to the screen. It’s not finished shooting in Los Angeles.
Some may see Ruffalo’s comment above as an attempt to head off possible criticism about casting the cisgender Bomer in a transgender role, and also possible stereotyping around the fact the trans character is a sex worker. It’s a bit early to know if these will become issues, but there’s no doubt it’s good to see more trans characters in film.