Billy Porter sheds light on trans coming of age story in debut movie ‘Anything is possible’

Billy Porter Says His Goal Directing His New Film Everything is possible – which marks his directorial debut – was set to feature a Gen Z coming-of-age story centered around a trans girl who didn’t exist before, a romantic comedy for today’s generation made in the spirit of a John Hughes film like Pretty in pink Where sixteen candles.

“It was a dream for a long time. I’ve been working on it for a very long time,” says Porter, the Emmy-winning star of Laid (which is also three-quarters of the way to EGOT status, thanks to a Tony for the Broadway show Naughty boots and a Grammy for its soundtrack).

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With a Heart stroke-like sweetness, Everything is possible, which will be released on July 22 on Amazon Prime Video, tells the story of Kelsa. Played by Eva Reign, Kelsa is a black transgender high school student — with a supportive mother (Renée Elise Goldsberry) — who navigates friendships, falls in love with a boy (Abubakr Ali), and deals with the drama their relationship causes, all planning for college. “She’s trying to figure out what she’s actually capable of in life,” Porter says.

The film will make its world premiere on Thursday, July 14, as part of the opening night of the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival, screening at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The festival, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, also presents Porter with its highest honor, the Outfest Award of Excellence.

Eva Reign stars as Kelsa, here with Abubakr Ali as Khal, in Billy Porter's directorial debut, Anything's Possible.  - Credit: Courtesy of ORION PICTURES

Eva Reign stars as Kelsa, here with Abubakr Ali as Khal, in Billy Porter’s directorial debut, Anything’s Possible. – Credit: Courtesy of ORION PICTURES


Porter tells The Hollywood Reporter that an additional factor in signing to lead Everything is possible was that it was set in Pittsburgh, his hometown, where the movie was also shot. “It’s a love letter to Pittsburgh,” says Porter, who had 25 days to shoot the film and says he finished all of his shooting days on time. “First outing, by the way. Anyone who listens and is a movie buff knows what that means,” he adds.

The biggest challenge in doing so, however, was time. “It literally rained every day for 11 weeks. We got it working, but if you notice in the movie there’s a patina that reminds me a lot Card castle, where everything is a little blue-green. There is a tint. It still manages to be a love letter to Pittsburgh, which is cool.

For Porter, the diverse distribution of Everything is possible also represents an evolution of LGBTQ representation on screen, compared to the last time he attended Outfest in 2000. That year, he attended the festival with the cast of the gay-themed romantic comedy baseball by Greg Berlanti. The Broken Hearts Club. “That movie, working with Greg, was the first time I realized I wanted to be a filmmaker and embarked on a 22-year journey that led me to come full circle and return to Outfest. I’m really, really proud of what Outfest does. It’s portraying queer people and telling queer stories. And I have to say that back then – 22 years ago – queer stories being told were mostly about through a white lens. And being a part of expanding those stories and representing so many different types of people now is really deep.

Porter recently formed a new production company, Incognegro, with his producing partner, DJ Gugenheim and signed a first deal with FX, where Laid raced for three seasons. He also wrote six new songs for the soundtrack of Everything is possible with Justin Tranter. Porter is featured on four songs on the soundtrack, which also features Jessie J, Kim Petras and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez.

He will be the next star of the film Our son, opposite Luke Evans. “He is very Kramer versus Kramer. We’re an interracial gay couple going through a divorce and we have an eight-year-old son,” says Porter, who also recently completed a pop album, due out later this year, as part of his new joint record deal. . with Republic Records and Island UK. Said Porter, “I’m still working, honey.”

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Robert M. Larson