Natasha Lyonne And Melanie Lynskey Reflect On Their Roles In ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’
In an episode of Variety‘s Actors on Actors released on Thursday (June 15th), longtime friends Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey reflected on their roles in the 1999 film But I’m A Cheerleader. Both actresses play lesbians who are forced to go to conversion-therapy camp in the movie.
When Lynskey asked Lyonne, who was 19 at the time, if she was hesitant about playing a gay character, the Poker Face actress said, “I was not hesitant at all. I’m consistently shocked by the things we consider shocking. I find it very patronizing when we say something like, ‘Oh, did you see that this straight male actor is playing gay? Bravo.'”
Speaking about the backlash the film received, Lynskey said that it was “ahead of its time.” Lyonne agreed. “When Clea DuVall and I were on the cover of Out magazine, it just seemed so weird to me that people would care,” she said, referring to an issue that came out in 2000. “It felt like what you’re supposed to care about is the conversion-therapy part, and we’re supposed to try to stop that.”
The Russian Doll actress added, “I remember Clea and I were at Sundance with But I’m A Cheerleader … and these kids would come up to us and be crying and just saying, ‘Thank you for putting this on film. Now I feel, like, 10% less weird.’ That, for me, was very heavy and continues to be very much what I’m about.”