Actress Michelle Rodriguez slams members of the transgender community who have condemned her latest film ‘Re (Assignment)’ for transphobia as it premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival.
It seemed like another star-studded premiere of another Oscar hopeful at the Toronto International Film Festival as Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez turned out to support Walter Hill’s ‘(Re) Assignment’ on Wednesday (September 14).
However, the film, a B-movie about a male assassin forced to undergo a sex change, appears to be anything but an awards contender after being labeled “offensive”, panned by critics and attacked by members of the transgender community.
“Why? Are they mad that somebody decided to take their branded transgender operation and use it on heterosexual people?” said Rodriguez at the premiere. “That’s the thing – what is transgender? Is it a psychological thing or is it an operation and does the LGBT community own the operation? If they do, would they want to fire the person that uses it to revenge somebody? Do they have a branding right over a sex change? At the end of the day it’s a philosophical question, it has nothing to do with this movie.”
Rodriguez also defended her casting in the film as the gender-changing assassin named Frank, saying “For a transgender person to play that role, now you’re talking about is that person bankable? Are they going to sell the movie? Are they going to be able to get the funding necessary? Banks want Instagram followers, banks want an actor that can return money on an investment so try hiring a transgender actor today without having an artist director who was able to find the funding for it? It’s tough out there, it really is.”
She added “I’m an LGBT community friend, I’m bisexual, I do guys, I do girls, you can’t really argue with me because I’m you so if I do a movie, I’d never do a movie with the intention of offending anybody in the LGBT community because I’m a part of it so they can’t say shit to me.”
Director Walter Hill, who wrote the screenplay and was behind 1980s classics like ’48 Hours’ and ‘The Warriors’ defended the film by telling reporters “There’s been any number of film makers that have dealt with altering biological organs in one story after another. I don’t know why this one stirred up such interest in a way that those didn’t, except that I think the transgender situation has been more in the headlines the last couple of years and possibly sensationalized.”
Sigourney Weaver, who plays the doctor responsible for the sex change said “It’s not a Disney movie, it is noir, but I think it will be a juicy experience for people, let’s put it that way.”