WATCH: Peter Drouyn's Transformation Into Westerly Windia
By Jerry Portwood
Photo of Westerly Windia by Paul Harris via Sydney Morning Herald
Although not as well-known outside the surfing community, Peter Drouyn was one of the first surf superstars in the '60s and '70s. He drifted away from competitive surfing, however, and is now forgotten by many. But a documentary team—comprised of writers/directors Alan White and Jamie Brisick, along with producers Beau Willimon and Jordan Trappis—wish to change all that by telling the amazing journey Drouyn is on to reinvent himself as Westerly Windia.
A current Kickstarter campaign explains that the documentary, which is still in its infancy, will follow "Westerly's big dream to undergo gender reassignment surgery, to become an entertainer in Hollywood, to become an international superstar."
We asked Willimon, who is also the creator and showrunner for the Netflix original series House of Cards, why these four straight men are so dedicated to telling Drouyn/Windia's story as a 90-minute documentary.
"Westerly's a very large personality, an outlier, who has given so much to his vocation, who was an iconic figure, but never fit in. Peter never got the respect that, he deserved," Willimon explained in a recent phone interview. "We wanted to know what happens to these people who are so forward-thinking and revolutionary. Plus, how does a man come to a realization in advanced middle age that he is, in fact, a woman. It's fascinating." Willimon also points out that the personal journey—we aren't the same person at 42 that we were at 22—is a universal one that any audience should be able to relate to.
To put Drouyn into context, a recent profile in the Sydney Morning Herald explained that "When Drouyn was at his peak and the westerlies blew, crowds of admirers gathered at Kirra Point to watch him, often alone, take on the towering winter storm swells that broke far out to sea - a spectacle described by 1978 world champion Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew as 'the best display of surfing I've ever seen' '' and went on to explain the transformation by stating, "Given Drouyn, the seemingly fearless surfer, was shaped like a 'square gorilla,' Westerly Windina is disconcertingly slim and graceful."
As of today, the Kickstarater campaign is less than $7,000 away from the goal of $50,000 and the team still has four days to go. Check out the Kickstarter page for more information. And view the teaser clip that explains the project below: