There are a couple of ways in which he needs to grow.”, “I want to fight for more opportunities in the industry. ", And then it happened really early and I was like, "Shit. He has a clandestine romance with Alice, in which we see them interrupted during a hook-up.
And I just was kind of like, "Yeah, yep, that's how I feel," and then it wasn't until later that I was like, "Oh, people don't like this.". So I know that my chances are a little bit lower than most people’s, and that’s because of gender stereotyping. And you know what?
“The Politician” is less overt in its inclusivity, though it’s certainly there.
“I think it’s slowly starting to [improve] a little bit, but it’s not happening a whole bunch yet,” he said. Or maybe I feel really femme that day and I'm dressed a certain way and then people will act inappropriately as such.
Then it just makes me think about capitalism and capitalizing on your identity to try to get some sort of success, and I don't want to capitalize on this part of myself to try to gain stuff.
What is the history of them?’ Because a lot of these stereotypes are based on Eurocentric standards, and that’s really racist.
I think that maybe he’s a little bit stuck in some of his old ways. But it’s part of a bigger conversation.
There was basically no diversity there, and there were a lot of very rigid gender roles and a lot of Eurocentric standards of beauty at full force. I wish that I could have been out in high school, but it wasn't really something that was an option for me.
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“I’ve always been someone who likes expressing myself through how I look, whether that’s by playing dress-up or wearing make-up. I think that my history is being a very masc person and existing on one half of this big spectrum.
OK, I've got to reassess my goals.". JM: It seems like your gender history encompasses everything, or at least that you've been perceived that way. Or people will think I'm a butch woman and they will try to do something because of that.
He found early success in the Chicago theater scene, with roles at venerated regional theaters like the Steppenwolf and the Goodman.
[Click here to listen to the full podcast with Theo Germaine.]. I know that I'm not the most masculine person and I know that sometimes I occupy a space that's a little like, "Oo, what's going on?". I honestly think that's because there was a certain part of my life that was so sheltered that I didn't learn it was wrong.
“To not have any of those things be part of the reality was like, ‘OK, how do I take that hat off and just be an actor and just get to do this thing? I just loved using my face as a canvas and turning it into an animal or something.
JM: I recently heard you say you were OK with he/him pronouns on top of they/them. Among them is Theo Germaine, a 23-year-old relative newcomer who plays James Sullivan, one of Payton’s “campaign” managers in the first season and, as Payton says early on in the series, his “best friend.” Germaine, who identifies as trans non-binary and uses they/them and he/him pronouns interchangeably, is based in Chicago and has a background in theater. There’s his buttoned-up beard Alice (Julia Schlaepfer), the engine McAffee (Laura Dreyfuss), and his morally ambiguous sidekick James (Theo Germaine), who would sacrifice his own romantic happiness to see Payton succeed — and thank him for the opportunity. With roles on The Politician and Work in Progress, this actor is breaking the mold.
So automatically I’m potentially the wild card.
That is not typical. Germaine was raised in the corn fields of Illinois, where there weren’t always a lot of opportunities for trans actors.
With breakout roles in The Politician (Netflix) and Work in Progress (Showtime), actor Theo Germaine shows two vastly different approaches to trans storytelling on TV. “Which was kinda scary at first, because I’m so used to having to label myself.”. Theo Germaine is a gender non-binary actor (they/them or he/him) playing "James" in Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series The Politician as well as guest starring as "Chris" in the SHOWTIME series, WORK IN PROGRESS. Germaine’s pointed delivery and conniving specificity proves he has been studying the Murphy ouevre for quite some time; he makes a meal out of his mostly expository lines that could easily have floated past unnoticed. All rights reserved. For many reasons, Hollywood is still figuring out what to do with trans male characters.
The school principal is played by Natasha Ofili, an African American actress who is also deaf; the comedian and actor Ryan J. Haddad, who has cerebral palsy, has some of the best scenes in the show; and one of Payton’s political rivals (Rahne Jones) self-identifies, almost with a wink, as a gender non-conforming person of color.
Both examples are vital as we see more characters across the gender spectrum on TV, though The Politician feels particularly noteworthy in an industry that's still hesitant to cast trans people in roles that are not explicitly trans. People sometimes think I'm a man, sometimes they think I'm a woman. With all of this delicious diversity, it’s no big deal that Germaine is trans — which is, itself, kind of a big deal. more characters across the gender spectrum, A Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Is a Vote for Hope and Honor, Get Ready for the Annual Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition, Nevada Looks Solid for Biden, Blocks One of Trump's Paths to Victory, 'Happiest Season' Drops Tegan & Sara's Lesbian Holiday Love Song, Study: LGB Republicans Have More Internalized Homophobia Than Dems, Lady Gaga Claps Back at Trump Over Fracking Attacks.
It's just one of a thousand ways of how it looks. Actor Theo Germaine, 28, is best known for playing high school student turned shrewd political campaign adviser James Sullivan in Ryan Murphy’s hit Netflix show, The Politician.Despite being a trans male role, the plot doesn’t revolve around the character’s gender, which is refreshing to see on screen.
When I go into auditions where, let’s say, they’re looking for a white masculine person, who’s roughly this age — I’m probably going to be one of the few non-cisgender people showing up. I remember being three years old and being in daycare and we were all lying down on our mats and trying to nap, and I remember not being able to nap because I would always just sit there and think about gender. That just how I look and that's not what all non-binary looks like. I was like, I don't really know what's going on, but my brain is starting to pick up on gender and men do this and women do this and something is wrong and I don't know what's going on.
It got really hard in middle school and high school, but I just was like, "Yeah, I know that I like everybody."
Has that decreased in your life as your public profile’s grown? My history with gender is that I was someone who started experiencing gender feelings basically as soon as I started having a personality when I was a toddler.
Also, I feel excited that people are like, "Wow, that's a cute person." JM: You occupy this unique place in Hollywood: we have so few transmasculine people on screen and you’re seen as a heartthrob.
Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! That said, Germaine, who was conditioned as a girl, and spent their late teenage years passing …
During that process, I was like, ‘Yep, I’m definitely a boy, I use he/him pronouns, nothing else.’ At the time, I still kind of felt like I was in the middle, but that space to exist in was very small.
A lot of people would be scared if it was suddenly like, ‘This thing doesn’t mean that you’re masculine and this thing doesn’t mean that you’re feminine.’ This is not to try and make everyone gender neutral, because I think that everybody’s gender is personal to them.”, “I think it would be amazing if we lived in a society where make-up commercials and make-up brands were just like, ‘Hey, whoever wants to wear this make-up, and whoever feels affirmed by this, go buy it.’ Beauty companies make a lot of money off of gender stereotypes, by saying, ‘Hey, you are a woman, you need this thing in order to be pretty.’ But you don’t. And there are so many talented people that are not [because they] don’t look that part.
I know how I look. With season two of The Politician now available on Netflix, we caught up with actor and activist Theo Germaine about the damaging effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals and how they want to fight for more trans opportunities in the industry. People will think that I'm a gay man and they will do something because of that.
I want to do sci-fi; I want to do action; I want to do Marvel. I think it's a great question about gender and people's assumptions and things like that. But I was in college and all of my environment was like, "Hey, you have to pick one or the other.
There are certain words that we're using now, but gender fluidity has existed since the beginning of time.
Consider the timeline: Within a week, trans actor Theo Germaine sent in a taped audition, landed the part and flew to Los Angeles for a costume fitting days before filming began.
Jeffrey Masters: We see your character misgendered in the first episode of Work in Progress.
“So many auditions for trans characters feel stale, or it’s all about the moment of coming out, or it’s about the point at which somebody is in their transition,” he said. Because the leading motivation for wearing make-up is that it’s fun. “I felt super welcome on set and nobody skipped a beat.
Though the casting breakdown was specifically seeking a transgender male, Germaine could very well have played James as a cisgender character.
I've been thinking about this a lot. And yeah, nothing was like those two opportunities. [Interview]
Are you aware of people's crushes on you? “I want me and all of my friends to have access to the same opportunities that every white cisgender male actor has.” As season two of The Politician hits Netflix this week, we caught up with the actor over Zoom to discuss the effects of growing up surrounded by Eurocentric standards of beauty and how they’ve since sought to dismantle them. I tried to reject them for a bit when I was 12, 13. TG: Basically, yeah. I tried very hard to fit in with the popular girls at school, seeing what they were wearing and what kind of make-up they were doing, but then I was like, ‘This isn’t working. And they admit that within days …
Theo was recently featured on the cover of TEEN VOGUE as part of their Young Hollywood Class of 2020.
Theo is a graduate of University of Illinois and has appeared on Chicago's most …
James’ gender identity is never directly addressed in the show’s eight episodes, and all the characters embrace a laissez faire attitude toward gender and sexuality.
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