Film / TV



Deep Inside Hollywood

Romeo San Vicente | June 14, 2004

� 2003 Focus Films Paltrow Wears Dietrich's Pants

Baby Apple's mommy is turning bisexual. Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow has just signed on to play legendary gender-bending screen diva Marlene Dietrich for DreamWorks. Based on the memoir of Dietrich's granddaughter, Maria Riva, the film was pitched by Paltrow to Steven Spielberg and other DreamWorks executives. And though there is no timetable yet, it will most likely go into production after the star finishes her current postpartum sabbatical. Dietrich, a screen icon to lesbians and gay men, embodied sexual freedom and rule-breaking in the first half of the 20th century, both onscreen and off. She had affairs with men and women – including a rumored dalliance with Greta Garbo – and, along with Katharine Hepburn, was famous for always wearing trousers. As for Paltrow's Dietrich-impersonating chops, she's got the Euro-aristocrat thing down; now all she's got to do is work on that lady- and man-killing smolder.

Neil Jordan Neil Jordan Eats Breakfast on Pluto

Irish director Neil Jordan has a thing for secret identities. From his early films like Mona Lisa and The Miracle, in which people were not who they seemed to be, to hits like Interview with the Vampire and The Crying Game, in which people were really not who they seemed to be, he's made a career out of characters who surprise and transform. His newest project is no different: Breakfast on Pluto, based on Patrick McCabe's 1998 novel, will star Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) as a boy in 1970s small-town Ireland who runs away from his foster home, heads to London, and becomes a drag queen. As soon as Jordan's plate clears – he's shooting a untitled thriller now and then Me and My Monster with Jake Gyllenhaal – he can begin deciding whether to repeat his famous full-frontal, gender-revealing scene from Crying Game. Romeo predicts a pants–on turn for Murphy.

Marissa Jaret Winokur Winokur is Always a Bridesmaid

Her time in Broadway's gayest nongay show, Hairspray, may be over (save for an upcoming limited-time Los Angeles run), but Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur is dancing as fast as she can to keep herself locked in the public's adoring gaze. The actor is executive-producing a feature film for New Line, Always a Bridesmaid, a romantic comedy in which she will also star. If all goes as planned, it will be Winokur's first nonsupporting screen role. She's also involved in an American version of the British TV series The Royle Family. Called The Furst Family, the show is about a blue-collar family whose daughter (Winokur) causes a stir when she prepares to marry; right now, the series is bucking for a time slot on ABC's fall schedule.

Matt Lescher Trading Drag for a Straight-Jacket

After clubbing the conventions of drag over the head and, well, dragging them into the 21st century with his wildly irreverent indie comedy Girls Will Be Girls, director Richard Day has set his sights on the Hollywood closet. Welcome to Straight-Jacket, a hilarious take on what it means to be man's man – as well as a man who's into men – in 1950s Tinseltown. Matt Lescher (Good Morning, Miami) stars as a Rock Hudson–esque movie hunk with a secret. To keep it, he has to marry a clueless studio secretary whose love for him is pure – not to mention pure torture. The film also stars two of the "girls" from Girls – Clinton Leupp and Jack Plotnick, although Leupp (aka Ms. Coco Peru) is the only one wearing a dress this time around. Look for Straight-Jacket at a queer film festival near you this summer.

Romeo San Vicente can think of several more effective ways to put straight reality-show contestants to the test.

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