Duncan Tucker on making Transamerica

10 years ago film maker Duncan Tucker received awards and accolades for his film Transamerica in which the protagonist (Felicity Huffman) is a transgender woman who goes on an unexpected journey after she learns that she fathered a son, who is  now a teenage runaway.

In addition to winning awards for the film itself, Tucker received praise from transgender advocacy groups who praised his portrayal of trans issues in the film.

Tucker says Hollywood still struggles to accurately portray transgender people in movies, and he made a decision to cast a cisgender woman in the role after trying to find a transgender actress to play the part. “At the time, and maybe still, it’s sort of revolutionary, at least in terms of Hollywood producer land, to cast someone who represents where the person is going to and not what they’re leaving behind. You put a great actor like Daniel Day Lewis in a dress and he looks like Daniel Day Lewis in a dress and not like somebody who has undergone a few years of hormone therapy and electrolysis and maybe some facial reconstruction surgery, it’s just not the same at all.”


Transamerica will be screened this Friday evening at E Town Hall as part of Boulder Pride Week, it’ll be followed by a q and a with director and writer Duncan Tucker.