Kinky Boots and Pose legend Billy Porter has stepped into the director’s chair for the first time in his career, and we’ve got an exclusive first look at his hugely-anticipated first film, Anything’s Possible!
The project, previously known as What If, is written by Ximena García Lecuona and is a truly heartwarming coming-of-age story “about the universal experience of growing up and falling in love.” It follows Kelsa (newcomer Eva Reign in a spectacular debut performance), a Black trans girl in her senior year of high school, and Khal (Abubakr Ali) as they navigate the ups and downs of their final year of school and enter into a relationship that will forever change them both. Renée Elise Goldsberry also stars as Kelsa’s mother.
Anything’s Possible was produced and greenlit by MGM’s Orion division, which “is dedicated exclusively to underrepresented voices and authentic storytelling in film with a focus on developing, producing and acquiring feature films that amplify underserved voices, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Anything’s Possible is rated PG-13, and will launch globally on July 22 exclusively on Prime Video.
“This is an aspirational film. This is an aspirational story. We're not here yet,” Porter says. “This movie might look foreign to people because we're not really there yet, but that's the point. We're not there yet across the board. We're there sometimes. We have some cases of this, but it's not commonplace yet. And my hope is that we can move more towards that.”
“I want everybody to feel seen,” he continues. “And I don't think it's just trans people because this character stands in proxy for a lot of communities going unseen, being silenced. There are a lot of energies and forces out there right now, trying to erase entire groups of human beings from this planet. It's not going to work. The answer is ‘no.’”
Porter and Reign make an excellent pair, and bring a unique perspective to this film. “Working with Billy was just amazing every day. I told him when I was younger, I wanted to go to Juilliard. I didn't get that chance just because life happens. He said, ‘Well bitch, this is your Juilliard now and you're getting paid to be here.’”
While Reign wishes a movie like this had come out 20 years ago, she’s beyond excited to get to be the kind of representation she always wished she had when she was a younger Black girl. “I needed someone like Kelsa to look up to. Just to know that I wasn't just the weird kid in school – which obviously there's nothing wrong with being weird – but I felt like such an outcast. I think seeing a narrative about this girl who's living a happy life who is very firm in who she is and no one can take that away from her would have made a major difference.”
Porter says that directing has been a decades-long goal of his. “It’s magical, it really is,” he says. “And it’s almost unbelievable, while at the same time it’s very believable because I manifested it. So the good news is, Daddy’s a director!”
“I know in my heart of hearts that this is new. This is something that we haven't seen before. And it was my goal,” Porter says of telling a story that centers on trans joy. “We are so used to – in trans storytelling – leaning into the trauma of it. That was the first introduction that the world has had to trans storytelling, including Pose… But here we start with joy. We start with a Black high school senior girl who is already out. She's not coming out as trans. It's not about that.”
“I think if anything, this movie is super, super overdue,” Reign says. “I was always searching for mirrors of myself growing up, and trying to find myself in cinema and books, just in something. And especially with all of the anti-trans bills at mostly the state and local levels, I think people need to see that trans kids are real, and that they're valid, and that it's not just some phase that someone's going through.”
“I think because it is just a film about joy and about happiness and about family and friends and love, it's going to really shift a lot of mindsets. At least that's my hope,” she adds.
Once again, Anything’s Possible will debut on Amazon Prime July 22.