Anything’s Possible Director Billy Porter On Bringing Social Media To Life On Screen For The Trans Love Story

Billy Porter has had a long and celebrated career in stage and film, having won both a Tony for his work in Kinky Boots and an Emmy for playing Pray Tell in FX’s groundbreaking drama Pose. Now Porter is adding another category in his extensive resume: director. He made his filmmaking debut with the new romantic comedy Anything’s Possible, and recently spoke to CinemaBlend about bringing social media to life on screen for the trans love story.

Anything’s Possible (opens in new tab) is a sweet new romantic comedy surrounding a transgender teenager Kelsa (Eva Reign), as she navigates friendships and young love. And as is the case for many young people, much of her communication is done online via texting. What’s more, Kelsa also has a YouTube channel where she shares her experience as a trans woman, forming an online community in the process. As you can see in the video above, I had the privilege of speaking with Billy Porter about his work on the film ahead of its release on Amazon. I asked Porter about the process of bringing the characters’ online life to the screen, and he told me:

When you are working with the younger generation, one must embrace how they communicate. I’m older, I don’t really communicate that way unless I have to. But one of the things that I really researched was that communication. It’s really different. And this generation has not known what it is to live without a device in their hands. And so I just tried to really make sure, and Ximena our screenwriter, was really instrumental. She’s young, she’s like 22 maybe. So a lot of it was in the script. And my lovely editor and our special effects people, we really did the research to try and make that authentic.

There you have it.While Anything’s Possible is set very much in the real world, movie magic occurs courtesy of the characters’ online presence. On top of texting, protagonist Kelsa expresses herself through videos on YouTube. Meanwhile, leading man Khal (Abubakr Ali) uses Reddit to help him work through his feelings. Clearly bringing this to life was a specific endeavor for Billy Porter and the movie’s cast/crew.

Billy Porter directing Eva Reign in Anything's Possible

(Image credit: Orion Pictures/ Amazon)

On top of giving energy to certain scenes, focusing on Kelsa’s online presence allows the audience of Anything’s Possible to get an intimate view into her perspective, and her experience as a trans woman of color navigating high school. And as such, we’re instantly able to empathize with the movie’s protagonist during the ups and downs of her life. Although the movie is truly about Black, trans joy at its heart.

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