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Who is 'Pose' star & fashion icon Billy Porter? It's been announced he'll be making a directorial debut. Here's what you need to know.

Who is Billy Porter? Peek inside the fashion icon’s directorial debut

It’s been an exciting week so far, as Pose star & fashion icon Billy Porter was just announced to make his feature directorial debut. Porter’s new film What If? is described as being a cross between Booksmart & Love, Simon – both films stole our hearts with their witty, youthful attitudes. 

The film’s tagline reads: “When high school senior Khal posts on r/relationship about his crush on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school, the internet encourages him to go for it. What follows is a modern coming-of-age story as the two navigate a high school senior year relationship that neither could have expected.” Count us in! 

The film is being produced under the recently relaunched MGM label Orion Pictures, as well as by Christine Vachon & David Hinojosa under their Killer Films Banner. 

Representation matters

When Orion Pictures relaunched, it was with a focus on amplifying underrepresented voices. The head of the label, Alana Mayo, commented on the upcoming release. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Billy Porter on his feature directing debut and are privileged that he, Alvaro, and the producing team behind this special film have entrusted us with their vision for this beautiful, contemporary love story.”

Billy Porter added: “I’m thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people. I am grateful to be in a position to usher some of these stories into the mainstream and I am humbled that heavy hitters like Christine Vachon and Alana Mayo have entrusted and empowered me in this insane time we all find ourselves in.”

Billy Porter has always attested to the power that art has to change & inform the world. He once said in an emotional speech: “We, as artists, are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that. Please don’t ever stop telling the truth.” 

Billy Porter’s history

Billy Porter is an award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright. In 2019, he won the Emmy Award for Lead Acros in his role in FX’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated show Pose. He won his second Emmy nomination for this role in 2020. 

In addition to his awards and nominations for Pose, Billy Porter is also a Hollywood Walk of Fame member and has numerous theater credits, such as Lola in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, which earned him an Emmy, and the Fairy Godmother opposite Camila Cabello in Sony’s take of Cinderella. Is there anything he can’t do?

More info on What If

Killer Films, What If?’s production label, also boasts an impressive portfolio of independent films. They produced many Academy Award-winning & nominated features, such as Boys Don’t Cry, Still Alice, Carol, Far From Heaven, and I’m Not There. We can only expect that What If? will bring the same kind of award-winning energy to Killer Films. 

What If? was written by Los Angeles & Mexico City-based screenwriter Alvaro Garcia Lecuona. They pride themself for penning accessible & diverse stories, and this one is no different. The screenplay was on the first-annual GLAAD list, and placed on the 2019 HIT LIST, so we have no doubt that it’ll be pretty great. 

When it comes to film, it’s been a pretty crazy year with movie theaters & live stage productions shutting down due to COVID. But if anything provides us a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s exciting, diverse new stories like Porter’s What If?. And we personally cannot wait. 

Are you excited for Billy Porter’s directorial debut? Are you going to see What If? When it’s released? Let us know in the comments!


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