In a world where transgender performers are frequently only ever cast in transgender roles, Chaz Bono is breaking into new territory. The actor has recently landed a new, non-transgender role, in a film to be released later this year.
In the film, which is titled Dirty, Bono plays Jerry, “an eccentric junkie hoarder”. The film is a low-budget independent film, and stars Pretty Little Liars star Ryan Meriman, as well as Alexandra Paul, best known for her portrayal of Stephanie Holden in Baywatch.
Bono tweeted in mid-January:
2014 off to awesome start, got cast in the amazing indie film Dirty. Playing Jerry the hoarder, one beautifully twisted, crazy character.
— Chaz Bono (@ChazBono) January 10, 2014
Michael Musto of Out.com has applauded the casting, saying “Transgender actors certainly get to play trans characters—that’s a given. And non-transgender actors get to play them too, no matter what their personal history is. It’s the type of casting that’s generally regarded as brave, edgy, and admirable, especially when done well, as in those cases. So why can’t we flip the trend around and have a transsexual man or woman play a biologically born man or woman? It only makes sense.”
Here’s hoping that many other transgender actors and actresses are able to follow Chaz Bono into new and interesting roles. Dirty is set to be released later this year on July 7th, and is the directorial debut of Daniel Ringey, who has previously worked as assistant director on various projects.
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