Netflix’s live-action adaption of the groundbreaking anime Cowboy Bebop just announced six new cast members, and in the announcement, we found out that one of the classic characters, Gren, will be nonbinary and played by nonbinary actor Mason Alexander Park!
Gren, who in the original anime was an androgynous war veteran who took an experimental drug that caused them to grow breasts, will be updated in the new series to be running the front of house for the hottest underground jazz club on Mars. They’re described as being “as capable with their wit as a glock, as confident in a dress as a suit, they are a Bowie-esque embodiment of 22nd century handsome and seductive beauty.”
“Revolutionary as the original amine was, the vocabulary we have today for LGBTQ+ people didn’t quite exist when it aired," Netflix tweeted of the announcement. "For the upcoming live action adaptation, the character is being reimagined as nonbinary with a nonbinary actor.”
That actor, Mason Alexander Park, filmed a short video for the tweet talking about their role. “I wll be playing my favorite role from the anime, Gren, who is a sexy nonbinary icon, who in our version runs the front of house for Ana’s Jazz club,” they say in the video.
“Now being a nonbinary actor who is givin the opportunity to breathe new life nto an existing nonbinary character has been the thrill of a lifetime,” Park continued, “It’s remarkably meaningful to me because I didn’t grow up with a lot of gender-variant representation in the media. There weren't a lot of other characters that spoke to my experience with gender or my experience with queerness, and representation matters.”
“I’m really psyched to be a part of the new crop of nonbinary and trangender artists who are given such big platforms to tell their stories, so that hopefully the next generation of queer kids don’t question the validity of their experience in the same way,” Parker added.
Parerk, who is known for playing the title role in the National Broadway Tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, tweeted out how important this character is to them as a nonbinary person. “Gren’s line from the anime ‘I am both at once, and neither one’ is possibly one of the most poignant non-binary quotes in television history,” they wrote, “I’m so pleased with Bebop’s decision to continue to hold space for that story to be told with care and intense thoughtfulness.”