Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Gender Illusionists By: Karen Pilarski

Jared Leto‘s riveting portrayal of  “Rayon” in Dallas Buyers Club has earned him many accolades. From the inspirational to the amusing, here is a list of other notable gender bender roles in film.

1.       Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry , 1999)- Brandon Teena/Teena Brandon


Swank’s  emotional and vulnerable portrayal of Brandon/Teena. Brandon was a transgendered young man who was murdered in 1993. Swank won her first Academy Award for the role. 

2.       Jaye Davidson The Crying Game , 1992)- Dil


Dil was being protected by her dead boyfriend’s friend. During a passion infused scene it becomes abundantly clear that Dil is actually a man.

3.       Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975)- Dr. Frank N. Furter


Curry’s kinky and depraved role as "a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania."  

4.       Patrick Swayze (To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, 1995)- Vida Boheme


Vida and her pals make over a small town. They impart their pizazz and fashion lessons on the suffering residents.

5.       Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs, 1991)-Buffalo Bill-

A serial killer who murders obese women in order to use their skin. Remember the scene in front of the mirror? Enough said.

6.       Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie, 1982) Dorothy 

An arrogant actor who couldn’t catch a break.  That is until he created “Tootsie” and won over the sudsy sinners on and off television.

7.       Nathan Lane (Birdcage, 1996) Albert Goldman

 A flamboyant drag queen who headlines the nightclub that he and his lover own. Albert has to stifle all the glam and glitz to appease his boyfriend's son's future in laws.  

The moral of the story is to be true to yourself and don’t allow society to cage in who you really are.

8.       Anthony Perkins (Psycho, 1960 ) Norman Bates 

Managing the Bates Motel and peeping on cute blondes doesn’t set Norman Bates apart from the other names on the list. 

His hears his deceased mother’s voice telling him to murder. In true homage to the homicidal matriarch he dons a bun styled wig and a tattered dress. 

Blood shed aside, why he wouldn’t even hurt a fly.