Deep Inside Queer Hollywood

By Romeo San Vicente

March 2024

Photos: Debby Wong, PR

Russell Tovey Is a Conflicted Queer Cop In ‘Plainclothes’

The history of the LGBTQ+ community and its relationship to the police is a fraught one, embedded with generations of trauma, injustice and punishment, from well before the Stonewall riots to the present day. And that’s the backdrop for the new feature film from writer-director Carmen Emmi, “Plainclothes,” a period 1990s-set drama, inspired by true events, about an undercover police officer tasked with entrapping and arresting queer men. Russell Tovey (“Feud: Capote vs. The Swans”) stars as the cop who finds himself attracted to one of the men (Tom Blyth, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”) that he arrests. Obviously, existential and career conflict ensues, and that’s just the fallout for the guy who didn’t wind up in jail. It begins shooting in Syracuse, New York, soon, so keep an eye out for it.

Elliot Page Producing Cheerleading Drama ‘Backspot’

“Bring It On” fans, you need a little more serious drama in your cheerleader-movie-loving life, and Elliot Page is here to deliver it. He’s producing the film “Backspot,” a queer cheerleading-centered film from writer Joanne Sarazen and non-binary director D.W. Waterson. It stars rising talent Devery Jacobs — so wonderful in the great series “Reservation Dogs” — as an ambitious cheerleader, and Evan Rachel Wood as her very demanding coach. Further plot details aren’t currently known, but according to advance word this is a complex queer story that detours from the norm and pushes boundaries, and that’s always welcome news. It’s shooting right now, which probably means a 2025 release.

International Queer Cinema Alert!

What happens when an undocumented South American gay man finds himself in the North American queer mecca of Provincetown? That’s the premise of Brazilian filmmaker Marco Calvani’s feature film, “High Tide,” which took its U.S. bow recently at the South By Southwest Film Festival. The romantic drama stars queer actor Marco Pigossi as a Brazilian immigrant finding his way in a strange land full of carefree people on vacation, and the unexpected romance he finds blooming with an African American nurse. It’s queer indie through and through — think themes of loneliness and isolation while everyone around you is dancing to house music and doing shots — with a cast that includes up-and-comer James Bland as well as “Tangerine” star Mya Taylor and the legendary Marisa Tomei. Look for this one to hit streaming or your friendly neighborhood arthouse sometime in the near future.

CHICAGO-JUN 20: Jerrod Carmichael attends the “Transformers: The Last Knight” premiere at the Civic Opera House on June 20, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

Get Ready for The ‘Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show’

The perpetually low-key stand-up comic/actor Jerrod Carmichael has had a fascinating past few years. He came out on a stand-up special, co-starred in the Oscar-nominated film “Poor Things,” and now he’s doing reality TV. OK, his version of it, anyway. No stranger to turning the camera on himself for short personal documentaries, Carmichael is gearing up for “Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show,” where he’ll investigate the nature of speaking truth in front of an audience. Included in the just-dropped trailer are a previously unseen boyfriend, a masked friend with a secret identity who challenges him about the production of the special itself (our guess: Bo Burnham), and some heart-bruising glimpses at family conversations, one of which involves his mother praying for God to take away Carmichael’s queerness. It drops very soon — March 29 — on HBO and Max.

Romeo San Vicente will pray for you, bless your heart.

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