Hit & Miss: should non-transgender actors play transgender characters?

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/shortcuts/2012/may/23/hit-miss-transgender-actors

Chloë Sevigny plays a transgender assassin in the new series. Paris Lees, who is trans, also went for the part

Paris Lees
Wednesday 23 May 2012

Chloë Sevigny had to wear a prosthetic penis for her role as Mia, the transgender assassin in Sky Atlantic’s new drama Hit & Miss. Apparently this wasn’t much fun.”I hated it. It was an awful experience,” Sevigny said at its UK premiere, revealing her worries about how frequently it would be shown – it did pop up three times in the first episode. Sounds as if she had a spot of gender dysphoria, the physical incongruence many trans people feel before transition.

Though I’m not an actor, I auditioned for the part of Mia last year. I’m trans myself, but declined to discuss my genitals with the directors (unless you’re my sexual partner, you really don’t need to know).

Should non-trans actors play trans people? It’s a heated debate in the community; many argue that trans performers shouldn’t be limited to trans roles. Yes, it’s called acting for a reason, but it would be disingenuous to pretend physical form isn’t a casting consideration. That’s not to say trans people can’t “pass”. Many do. But there’s often a physicality to being trans which greater familiarity would make less remarkable. While the audience knows Hayley on Coronation Street is supposed to be transsexual, that’s less powerful than seeing an actual trans person on screen.

Complete article at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/shortcuts/2012/may/23/hit-miss-transgender-actors

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