Billy Porter On Playing “Genderless” Fairy Godmother In Cinderella: “The Kids Are Ready” But The “Grown-Ups That Are Slowing Stuff Down”
Actor Billy Porter recently revealed he will be playing a “genderless” Fairy Godmother in Sony’s upcoming Cinderella film.
The live-action adaptation by Kay Cannon will attempt to modernize the classic tale with an all-star cast and some social messaging.
Porter let the cat out of the bag that the Fairy Godmother would be “genderless” in an interview with CBS News.
Porter told CBS News, “It hit me when I was on the set last week. How profound that I am playing the Fairy Godmother. They call it the Fab G. Magic has no gender.”
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He continued, “We are presenting this character as genderless. At least that’s how I’m playing it.”
He added, “And it’s really powerful. You know this is a classic. This is a classic fairy tale for a new generation. I think the new generation is really ready. You know the kids are ready. It’s the grown-ups that are slowing stuff down.”
Porter also discussed how his role as Lola in the Broadway stage play Kinky Boots set him on a path to challenging gender norms.
He stated, “Playing that role made me feel grounded and more powerful.”
He continued, “Putting on those heels, putting on those dresses, putting on those wigs, made me feel more powerful, grounded and — dare I say — masculine, than I’ve ever felt in my whole life.”
Porter then detailed how playing the role encouraged him to challenge gender norms in his own life.
“It never occurred to me, though, in that process [of doing “Kinky Boots”] that I would carry that energy into my own life by challenging gender norms and gender stereotypes with my clothing. That came two years after I left the show.”
He also commented on what he views as limitations people place on themselves when it comes to how they dress and the roles gender play in those conversations. He says, “This idea that pants are strong and dresses are weak – I’m not interested in that conversation anymore.” He continued, “So, hopefully, I can be at the forefront of having a new conversation.”
Sony’s Cinderella film will have singer Camila Cabello as the title character, Cinderella. The cast also includes some very well known names such as Minnie Driver, former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, Rapper Missy Elliott, James Corden, and many others.
Cinderella is expected to open in theaters on February 5th, 2021.