Bruno Gagliasso to Play Transsexual Character in Mundo Que Me Fascina

By | 09 October, 2017

The thirty-five-year old Brazilian actor, producer and partypoker ambassador Bruno Gagliasso is a household name in his country. Since his TV debut at the age of seventeen, in Chiquititas Brasil, he has rarely been off the screen and as the years have passed his roles have grown, with his preference for challenging roles often sparking national debate.

In 2005 his ‘gay kiss’ in the series America was deemed inappropriate for broadcast and was cut before transmission. Gagliasso is reputed to have wept with frustration. In an interview with Leda Nagle on his YouTube channel he says: “For me, being an actor is being able to make a difference in my life and in the lives of others. If I can make society open its eyes to a certain subject, why would I want to make them just laugh? I love making comedy but, in fact, I love being an actor so I can talk politics, schizophrenia, psychopathy, homosexuality. That’s what moves me. If tomorrow you tell me: ‘Bruno you’ll only do comedy and entertainment’, I cease to be an actor. I like to problematise.”

Gagliasso has been researching his new project for two years and has bought the film rights to an, as yet, undisclosed narrative. A director has already been chosen for the project. The film’s proposed title, Mundo Que Me Fascina, translates as ‘The World Fascinates Me’, a quotation from Andy Warhol. The subject that Gagliasso has chosen to ‘problematise’ is not exactly a new one to cinema. Ed Wood’s 1953 Glen or Glenda may be famous for its risibly-bad film-making but its adaptation of the life of the famous American transsexual Christine Jorgensen was at least sympathetic, whereas most sixties representations of transsexuality saw transsexual men as dangerously psychopathic, Hitchcock’s Norman Bates being a typical example.

Since the seventies there’s been no shortage of films with transgender characters and there’s been a slow shift to more sympathetic representation. Fassbinder’s In a Year of 13 Moons from 1978 is brutal and harrowing, whilst Neil Jordan’s 1992 The Crying Game uses transsexuality merely as a plot twist. It’s not until the turn of the century films of Almodovar, All About My Mother (1999) and Bad Education (2004) that we get fully realised, positive transsexual characters. Since then there’s been dozens of films of widely varying quality with transsexual central characters. In fact, critics have now become very righteous in their response to transsexual cinema: The Danish Girl (2005), despite its tremendous central performance from Eddie Redmayne, was unfairly criticized for ‘looking too good’ and for failing to adhere to the historical details of the real-life events on which the film was based.

Brazil has already produced two fine films featuring transsexual characters, Babenco’s 1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman and the lesser known Vera (1986), which was nominated for Best Film at The Berlin International Film Festival. Whether Gagliasso’s project can contribute anything new to this well-established genre remains to be seen.

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