Duncan James opens up about starring in ‘powerful’ transgender film
Duncan James has opened up about his role in a “powerful” film about a transgender man.
The Hollyoaks actor stars in Dusk, the second in a trilogy of short films about a trans man’s journey from being a child into adulthood which started with Dawn.
The former Blue singer, who came out in 2012, said he was enraptured by director and writer Jake Graf’s script, adding that he wanted to help launch what is a rare film about trans men.
Speaking on ITV show Lorraine this morning, James said the spark for his collaboration with the director came a while back.
“I met Jake a couple of years ago; we did an awards show together; we just started talking and he told me about some of his films that he’d done.
“I went online and saw a film called Dawn, and then he sent me the script.
“I just thought it was a really thought-provoking, powerful movie,” he recalled.
“I just really liked the message that came across, and I think there are not many films for trans (men).”
The striking trailer for Dusk, which has been screened at multiple film festivals over the past year, features sex, blood and vicious abuse.
The film focuses on Chris Winters, a young trans man who meets his dream woman, but is dogged by the feeling that he is not living his truth.
Graf, who is hoping to turn Dusk into a feature-length production, said the film is meant to highlight struggles endured by people like James, who came out in his 30s.
“When you see guys like Duncan and myself who could only be their real selves in their 20s and early 30s, and then you think of those who’ve grown up, are now in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and will never get to be their real selves and come out and face the world as who they are, it’s tragic,” he said.
Earlier this month, James said coming out was the “best thing he ever did”.
The singer told the Loose Women audience that he spent years “living a lie” before coming out as gay.
James also discussed the evolution of his Hollyoaks character Ryan Knight, who was revealed to be bisexual earlier this year.
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He said: “My character started off as straight then on the night of his wedding his lovely wife was killed.
“And he was off sleeping with Adam Rickitt’s character Kyle.
I was a bit shocked as I didn’t know they were turning my character into a bisexual.”
There has been an increase in transgender people’s stories being told on film in recent years, though Hollywood has attracted criticism for casting cisgender actors to play trans parts.
Watch the full interview below: