The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Billy Porter, who makes his featured directing debut with Anything’s Possible, which debuts today on Prime Video. The pic tells a groundbreaking high school story, in that its heroine Kelsa, (Renee Elise Goldsberry) is a trans student trying to navigate life when a handsome student has a crush on her and wants to go on a date, knowing the drama that might ensue.
As he details in this rather poignant installment of Fuse, Porter has held on to his identity and values after graduating from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and making his way into the industry. While his insistence on being himself might have delayed his arrival, Porter has made it as an actor, singer, writer, along with a fashion icon, and now as a filmmaker. Porter won the Tony Award in 2014 for Best Actor in a Musical for the role of Lola in Kinky Boots, and the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for the musical. He really broke out and hit the zeitgeist on the FX series Pose, playing the role of Pray Tell and winning the Emmy in 2019 for Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Porter also played the Fabulous Godmother opposite Camila Cabello in Cinderella for Amazon, leading to Anything’s Possible for the streamer. He won his second Tony Award for producing A Strange Loop. Here, Porter traces the formative influences that have gotten him here.
Billy Porter Finds His Spark From Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’ & ‘Schindler’s List: The Film That Lit My Fuse