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Queer as Folk reboot casts trailblazing non-binary actor Jesse James Keitel

Maggie Baska August 18, 2021
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Queer as Folk reboot casts non-binary actor Jesse James Keitel

Jesse James Keitel attends the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival at Orpheum Theatre on 18 July 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty/Rodin Eckenroth)

Trailblazing non-binary actor Jesse James Keitel will be joining the cast of the upcoming modern-day reboot of Queer as Folk.

The Big Sky star will be joining the cast of Peacockโ€™s reimagined version of the British queer drama as a series regular, according to Variety. The outlet reported Keitel will play a trans, somewhat reformed party girl who is struggling to grow up.

The new Peacock series is a reboot of Russell T Davies’ groundbreaking series which followed a group of gay men living in Manchester, England. It was followed by a US remake set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that ran from 2000 to 2005.

The upcoming American spin-off will explore the lives of a modern-day, diverse group of friends in New Orleans, Louisiana. The straight-to-series order for Peacock will throw viewers into the group’s lives as they are transformed in the wake of a still-unknown tragedy.

Jesse James Keitel appeared joyful to finally share the news that they are joining the Queer as Folk cast. She wrote on Twitter that she is “still so gagged”, “honored”, “thrilled” and “in genuine disbelief to be joining this iconic show”.

“Let’s make some magic,” Keitel added.

According to NBC News, Jesse James Keitel was the first non-binary series regular on primetime television after they cast as Jerrie Kennedy on the first season of ABC’s popular crime thriller Big Sky.

In the show, Kennedy is a transfem, non-binary musician and sex worker who is abducted at a rest stop by a truck driver for a potential sex trafficking ring.

The non-binary actor told NBC News in 2020 that she was initially hesitant to audition for the role because she felt there was something “murky” about the character breakdown. They said that resulted in them questioning if the show could properly represent a trans character.

Keitel explained that she has brought her own lived experiences to the character and worked with producers to tell more well-rounded LGBT+ narratives.

“There have been times when something just didn’t sit right with me in the script, and the producers have been amazing at listening to what I had to say and tweaking the script to be more of what I would want to see on TV,” Keitel told NBC News.

They continued: “Across the board, the whole team has been great.

“I’m not the only queer person on this show, but it certainly is a very straight, cis space, so being allowed to have those conversations has been really a breath of fresh air.”

Deadline reported Keitel was listed as a series regular on the first season of Big Sky, but her status recently changed to recurring for the upcoming second season.

Related topics: non-binary, queer as folk

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