Model and Trans actor Laith Ashley is playing a cisgender stripper in a new film, and we love to see it!
In a recent interview with Attitude Magazine, the sexy idol, who has appeared in POSE and as a Pit Crew member in RuPaul’s Drag Race, discussed his role in the upcoming feature film My Divorce Party, where he will get to play a type of role that many Trans actors rarely given.
“I’ll be playing a cisgender character, which isn’t a common occurrence in film and TV for a trans person,” Ashley told the magazine. “We are just now getting the opportunities to appear in the media in a positive light as a whole, and having the chance to just be a performer telling a story is huge.”
The film will follow a woman named Xan, who is gearing up for a divorce by bringing her friends to Joshua Tree for an epic party to say goodbye to her marriage. Chaos then ensues when she reveals to everyone that she brought her divorce settlement money to the party and intends to blow it all by the end of the weekend.
Laith Ashley will be playing a stripper that they go to see in the film. To prepare for the role, he says he would like to get back into the gym to get a little more buff. “I actually need to start working out more consistently and build up my body,” he said.
“To someone who’s not really looking, you probably think I look the same, but not at all. I’m a lot smaller than I was when I was working out six days a week…To prepare for the role, I’d ideally like to be in the gym five days a week.”
By playing a cis character in a film, Laith Ashley is following in the footsteps of other Trans actors, such as Rebecca Root and Jake Graf in the film Collette, and Patti Harrison, who recently played a pregnant surrogate in Together Together. Hollywood seems to be giving more Trans people the chance to play cis characters in films.
However, he is clear in saying that he would like to see Trans actors and creatives still create the type of content that they want to see, and not to just depend on Hollywood to create opportunities for them.
“I can’t put it on other people to write these stories,” he said. “I always say, if you’re a trans person and a writer, actor, or creative, make your own.”
My Divorce Party is set to start filming this fall. No release date has been announced.