Transsexual Star Scores In Wheelchair Dancing Movie

Categories: Film

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Laverne Cox and I. Photo by William Love
"Life as a black transsexual cripple--it's way too interesting to me," deadpans Laverne Cox as Chantelle in Susan Seidelman's Musical Chairs, a really warm, expertly done flick that brings us into the world of "chair dancing," ballroom style.

I saw the deeply romantic dance-ical at the Miami International Film Festival the other night and was delighted to find Laverne (known from VH1's Transform Me) in a major role, as a disabled transsexual who learns all new moves.

She's "ready to roll," if you catch my drift.

Laverne is fabulous as she tells off a hater, inspires a new cripple to shine, and brings on the costumers (like drag comic Hedda Lettuce), whose big line is "Can you direct me to your ballroom?"

"I wanted to get up a lot [during filming]," Laverne revealed at the festival, "but I tried to stay seated, to commit to Chantelle's experience."

DeNiro would be proud. (And I bet he'd like Laverne, by the way.)

At an after-dinner, Laverne and I were seated together--as it were--so I asked her how she convinced Seidelman she could chair dance.

"I'd never done it before," Laverne admitted, "so it was one of those things of faking it."

That's how I've gotten most of my jobs.

Laverne's mother happened to be seated there too, so I asked what Laverne was like a child.

"Nerd!" she blurted.

Unbelievable. It's amazing what pumps and the right shade of blush can do.

Anyway, do see this film if you like a formula show biz/love story with several lovely twists.

It got a teary standing ovation at the festival. Everyone leapt to their feet, cheering those who can't do so.

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castors
castors

Every disabled person has some talents despite of their conditions.We shouldn't discriminate them for they have some special something inside them too.

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

Susan Seidelman hasn't done a non-TV movie in 20 years. To me she'll remain remarkable for having done Madonna's first good movie (and the best one for both of them as well). It also had a disabled-person theme, with one character suffering from amnesia, and a sweet women-bonding angle. Hope this new one enables her rep to rise again, pardon the pun.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

I have a friend, psychologist Marion Wikholm, who at night becomes a "sit-up comedian" in  her wheelchair.

"I'm a polio survivor," Marion says. "First I was crippled, then I was handicapped,  then I was disabled and then I was 'differently-abled' -- I figure pretty soon I'll be cured."

She fantasizes about a remake of "Gone With the Wind," with herself as Scarlett.

"Most of the movie," she says, ""would be Rhett trying to get me up the stairs."

"I'm not a victim, I'm an opportunist," she says. "If something goes wrong, I learn from it, correct it, or blame it on my husband."

Marion would be perfect as a "chair dancer."

Musto
Musto

She sounds fab. Reminds me of Dame Edna, who told me, "I'm not a standup comedian, I'm a sit-down comedian."

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

"DeNiro would be proud. (And I bet he'd like Laverne, by the way.)"

Be-dum-pum!

mia
mia

As a transexual paraplegic  my friends think this  is just like me. I love to dance and believe me you havent danced until you have on the lap of a para  in a chair

Sextette
Sextette

You were together in the Out100. Glad to see the reunion photo.

Pata
Pata

I love Laverne! Thank you for this.

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