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Billy Porter’s High School Trans Romance Film Casts Eva Reign As Lead

Eva Reign and Billy Porter

Billy Porter has found his leading lady. The Emmy-winning Pose actor is set to make his directorial debut with the upcoming film What If?, and now, he has his stars

The film will star Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, and Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldsberry. Courtnee Carter, Kelly Lamor Wilson, and Grant Reynolds, according to Deadline.

What If? is a coming-of-age romance film about Kelsa, a trans high school senior, and Khal, a cis student at her school who has a crush on her. When he posts online about his crush, the internet encourages him to go for it, and the movie follows their relationship.

The script, written by Alvaro García Lecuona, is based on an adorable Reddit post that went viral in 2018. In the post, a 17-year-old boy asked for advice about a crush he had on a trans girl in his school. He was afraid that asking her out would be social suicide and that it would draw unwanted attention to her at the school, but at the same time, he couldn’t resist his feelings.

"Ladies and gentlemen of Reddit, I can't even begin to explain how absolutely and painfully beautiful this girl is," he wrote in the post. "She totally makes me feel lovesick. If I were a cartoon my eyes would turn into hearts and leap from their sockets whenever I see her. She makes me feel weak in the knees...the butterflies in my belly are aggressive and many...I could write poetry about this woman."

Thankfully, Reddit stepped up and gave great advice, encouraging him to ask her out, and helping him do it in a way that wouldn’t draw too much attention to her.

Originally, the film was supposed to star 17-year-old British newcomer Yasmin Finney, but because of the pandemic, she was unable to secure a work visa in time.

This will be Reign’s first starring role. She has also appeared in Sideways Smile, Tourmaline’s Salacia, and Pantene’s 2019 Summer Pride commercial, and is one of our favorite writers and artists. You can check out her writing at Them.

Her costar, Ali, has appeared in the CW’s Katy Keene, and on the Starz show Power Book II: Ghost.  He’s a recent graduate from the Yale School of Drama.

What If? will be released by Orion Pictures and looks like it’s going to be one of the cutest movies ever! Now with this cast and crew, we couldn’t be more excited for it! 

RELATED | There Was No Trans Representation in 2020 Wide-Release Films

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