Actress Candis Cayne, showrunner Andrea Metz, and director Michelle Peerali have joined forces to produce a hilarious comedic short film titled "Candis for President,” just in time for Election Day. In the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development, the short follows Cayne on her quest to become America’s next POTUS.
“All three of us who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community have been feeling the urgency to express ourselves and thoughts to the masses, and well comedy seems to be much needed in this political climate for relief and ultimately change,” Peerali, who recently worked on the docu-series Citizen Rose, tells Out. “Given Trump’s recent anti-transgender proposal and Election Day looming, we felt that timing is of the essence and we need to do everything in our power to elicit some sort of conversation which hopefully will spark inspiration for people to vote and take action.”
“This project is very close to my heart because there’s a lot of truth in what I wrote,” adds Metz, known for her work on reality series like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and I Am Cait. “Michelle, Candis and I birthed the idea for this project over a weekend, the premise stemming from the fact that Candis and I were hitting transphobic walls in our real life with trying to sell a scripted show titled Lady Parts. So naturally, I did what any comedy writer would do, I used the disappointments in my real life and tried to transform them into something relatable and laughable.”
Metz makes an interesting comparison, one that shines a light on a lack of transgender visibility and tokenism taking place in Hollywood today. “When you're hearing day after day from network execs that their audience can’t relate to your show and they ‘already have a trans character on their network’ you can’t help but laugh," she says. "I mean, do you think David Caruso ever heard, ‘I’m sorry, we already have one white male detective on our network?’ I just want to use comedy to help elicit change and help move the conversation forward and I’m hoping this project can get that ball rolling.”
Peerali, Cayne and Metz behind the scenes
Cayne, best known for her role as Carmelita on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money that made her the first transgender actress to play a recurring trans character in primetime television, echoes their sentiments. "I love this project," she says. “It’s a perfect mix of creating and doing what I love to do while working with amazing, creative friends. It's a dream job."
But this project just isn’t a fun, creative venture taken on by a group of friends. It’s also meant to say something in these troubling times for trans and gender non-conforming people. “Our community had come so far and has had to suddenly stop and start to face an all new homophobia and transphobia which is daunting," Cayne explains. “But if there is one thing that our community knows how to do... it is to fight.”
Editor’s Note: Vote November 6th.