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That Time Maria Bello Spotted a Head in the Hudson River

Maria Bello / Marsha P Johnson collage

The out actress wants to make a movie based on the life and death of noted LGBT activist Marsha P. Johnson

On Monday Michael Musto reported in his column on Out.com that Maria Bello, the noted movie and TV actress (A History of Violence, Touch) is "fascinated with the story of fiery drag activist/entertainer Marsha P. Johnson, a beloved figure who was found dead in the Hudson River in 1992."

Marsha is already the subject of a documentary directed by Michael Kasino titled Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson. ("Pay it no mind" is how Marsha always explained the middle initial P. in her name.) It turns out Bello has a close connection to the story.

Maria was sitting with her then-boyfriend by the Hudson in '92 when she looked out into the water and wondered, "What is that? A head?" "No, it's a log," the boyfriend assured her. "It's a head!" insisted Maria. It was indeed the remains of the missing Johnson. Someone called the cops, leading to the retrieving of the body parts and an investigation, which concluded, controversially enough, that Johnson had committed suicide.

One of the chapter's in Bello's upcoming book, Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, is titled, "Am I LGBT or W?", the "W" standing for "whatever."

It turns out that made her think of the "P" for "Pay it no mind." And, according to Musto, Bello wants to pay it some mind and write and direct a loving feature film about Marsha through her personal production company. She even has a big-name male actor in mind for the part--and a medium critic (me) vowing to help her get this off the ground. I'm sure it will capture Marsha in all her baubles, bangles, and beads.

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