Deep Inside Hollywood: Kristen Stewart, Billy Porter, and more

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Kristen Stewart is taking it on the road to ‘Sacramento’

Kristen Stewart is at the point in her career when doing anything she wants is what she wants, and what she wants right now isn’t another prestige drama like “Spencer” (even though she was great in it). Instead, she’s signed on for a low-key road-trip comedy called “Sacramento.” To be directed by Michael Angarano (“This Is Us”) and co-written by Angarano and actor Chris Smith (“Young & Hungry”), the film follows two long-time friends — Angarano and Michael Cera — who are both married and settling into domestic life, but still decided to take a spontaneous road trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Stewart plays Cera’s wife, while Maya Erskine (“Pen15”) co-stars as Angarano’s wife. And even though that’s all we know of the plot, it seems highly unlikely that these women will be sidelined as characters. We just trust. Production begins this spring. Look for it down the road.

Hari Nef is about to do some ‘Bad Things’

We’ve gone on record about our enjoyment of Hari Nef’s ability to make whatever project she’s in stop and take notice of her (and don’t get us started about our excitement over the trans actress’s upcoming role as one of the endless stream of Barbies in “Barbie”). So we’re more than a little enthusiastic about her next film, “Bad Things.” It’s a thriller with an ensemble cast, about a group of women on a weekend getaway to a place where they commit some genuinely wicked acts. Directed and written by Stewart Thorndike — whose earlier film “Lyle” was described as a “lesbian ‘Rosemary’s Baby’” — it stars Gayle Rankin (“Glow Men”), Annabelle Dexter-Jones (“Succession”), queer artist Rad Pereira (“Betty”) and the “Breakfast Club” legend herself, Molly Ringwald. Shooting has already wrapped and, after premiering at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, the film will drop on horror streaming service Shudder on August 25. Sounds like the perfect end-of-summer rager.

Billy Porter to star as James Baldwin

You can’t stop Billy Porter’s drive to do everything he sets his mind to. The “Pose” star and collaborator Dan McCabe (“Fruits of Thy Labor”) are going to adapt David Leeming’s book “James Baldwin: A Biography” as the basis for a James Baldwin biopic, with Porter set to star. For newcomers, Baldwin was a gay Black writer and civil rights activist whose novels, plays and essays are essential texts of 20th-century Black American life, and he is a particular hero of Porter’s. This is all in the early stages, but the time couldn’t be more appropriate for a film about his life. Renewed interest in his work — and renewed bans by right-wing racists — after Raoul Peck’s brilliant, incendiary documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” and Barry Jenkins’s beautiful adaptation of the novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” means it’s always a good time to bring Baldwin into the cultural conversation.

Holland Taylor goes ‘Untitled’

This isn’t a permanent situation, but right now there’s a film in production and its working non-title is “Untitled Sandra Oh and Awkwafina comedy film.” Like we said, that’ll change, but it’s important that everyone know that elder lesbian queen Holland Taylor will also be in this movie. She’s the octogenarian legend who’s been bringing it all since the 1960s, raising the queer bar and partnering up with Sarah Paulson for good measure. Here’s the non-Holland Taylor information we have: Sandra Oh and Awkwafina are the two leads, playing a pair of chaotic sisters, the director is Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu, and it co-stars Jason Schwartzman, Tony Hale and Will Ferrell. All of these folks make us eager to see the movie, even if the plot didn’t involve a stolen dog, a game show freak, gambling debts, a cross-country road trip, and who knows what else. It drops on Hulu later in the year. Now will someone please give it a title?

Glitter & Doom and… the Indigo Girls

At this year’s 33rd annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival — rolling out queer films from 30 countries from May 25th to June 4th — there are two movies featuring music icons the Indigo Girls. We already reported on the Alexandria Bambach-directed Indigo documentary “It’s Only Life After All,” which explores the legacy of the duo’s music. But now comes word of “Glitter & Doom,” from filmmaker Tom Gustafson. Starring Canadian-Filipino queer actor Alex Diaz, newcomer Alan Cammish, Lea DeLaria, Missi Pyle, Ming-Na Wen, Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Tig Notaro and the Indigo Girls — Amy Ray and Emily Saliers — themselves, it’s a love story told through Indigo Girls song lyrics. This means it’s a jukebox musical, but we wonder if that means all the dialogue will rhyme, or be sung instead of spoken, or what. And yes, obviously, we can’t wait until it finishes its film festival life and gets itself on a local theater screen so we can drink it in and sing along.

Emily Hampshire (“Schitt’s Creek”) will star in “The Mattachine Family”.

Come join ‘The Mattachine Family’

We’re really into the current vibe of all-queer casts in films, so it’s exciting to announce that the indie film “The Mattachine Family,” about to make the film festival rounds, is serving queer in front of and behind the camera. The debut feature from the married creative team of director Andy Vallentine and screenwriter Danny Vallentine is a drama about a couple navigating foster care and defining for themselves what makes a family. And the cast is, as far as we can tell, all non-heterosexuals: Nico Tortorella (“Younger”), Juan Pablo di Pace (“Fuller House”), Carl Clemons-Hopkins (“Hacks”), Emily Hampshire (“Schitt’s Creek”), Jake Choi (“Single Parents”), and the great Heather Matarazzo (“Welcome to the Dollhouse”). In fact, it looks like producer Zach Braff might be the lone straight person in the room. Look for this one to drop into theaters or streaming (or both) before year’s end.

The Muppets Meet Lil Nas X (and dozens of other stars)

Let’s just call the Muppets canonically queer because of “Rainbow Connection.” But even if they weren’t, we’re still watching “The Muppets Mayhem” on Disney+. It’s a new series starring everyone’s favorite puppet rock band, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, alongside humans Lilly Singh (“A Little Late with Lilly Singh”) and Tahj Mowry (“Baby Daddy”). There is an unmanageably long list of guest stars who’ll be joining the band as they spend the series working toward recording their very first album, but we’ll stick to the real-life musicians in the mix: queer icon Lil Nas X will show up, as will Chris Stapleton, Weird Al Yankovic, Ziggy Marley, Kesha, Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, deadmau5, Billy Corgan, Steve Aoki, Tommy Lee and the one and only Paula Abdul. For more queer cred, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown will also guest star, though he’s not a musician. Go check out the rest of the list online; you’ll see just how overstuffed it is, and you’ll like it like that.

Intersex documentary ‘Every Body’ hitting theater screens for Pride month

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Julie Cohen (“RBG”) is back with a new documentary called “Every Body,” about the lives of intersex people. The film tells the story of three people born intersex, which is when a person displays physical characteristics — chromosome patterns or genitalia — that don’t fit traditional binary definitions of gender, often causing doctors and families to actively assign a gender to the newborn child. The adults profiled in the film share their experiences of forced surgeries, shame and secrets, and have now chosen to be public to advocate for the end of medically unnecessary interventions. Set for release this June, it’s a timely and urgently needed film to help squash the ignorance about gender that currently runs rampant in the United States. Make it a Pride Month watch and buy a ticket when it comes along.

Romeo San Vicente is finally closer to fine.

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