January 17, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Kita Updike Talks “The Misandrists” and Working with Bruce LaBruce

When Bruce LaBruce’s “The Misandrists” came out just in time for this year’s L.A. Pride, we knew it was going to be one of the most important queer films of the year. Focused on a group of proudly violent feminists who are fed up with the patriarchal order, “The Misandrists” puts actor Kita Updike front and center as Isolde, a woman in a feminist terrorist cell who must make a controversial choice.

We caught up with Kita to talk about her breakout role, and the possibility of a feminist future.

Tell me a bit about how you learned about the film, and about Bruce’s work.

I am a bit obsessed with trans, drag, and queer history in that order! Aha! While researching one of those subjects Bruce’s name and work had surely come up. Though I had never fully seen his work before that, I was familiar with the importance of his work through things I had read. At that moment I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of as he had been a part of the queer film history I had enjoyed, and I could possibly have my own little piece of that. He had put out a casting call, as they were still searching for the role of Isolde, so I figured I had nothing to lose!

How did you get into character for this role? 

Getting into the role of Isolde was fairly easy, as a lot of the things she is feeling are similar themes to my own experience of being a young trans woman. I have been in the place of searching to be accepted amongst my female cohorts, and that is something I continually have to work on at this particular time in my life. The more satirical bits happened to be quite opposite from who I am so that took a little bit of searching within myself to find.

Are you sympathetic to the character and her struggle, or do you view the story as fantasy?

I am very sympathetic to her particular struggle. As I mentioned before, I see a lot of her in me on some parts. Although the combination of feelings while dealing with transition are personal to the individual, there is a large amount of trans individuals who dealt with the main issues the character deals with in one way or another.

How do you think audiences will respond to “The Misandrists?”

Well… I have had the privilege to see the film during its world premiere at the Berlinale in 2017 a few times with an audience. From that festival alone, there was an immediate backlash against Bruce for making a Feminist film with overriding lesbian themes, as he is neither a woman nor a lesbian. This has caused some of the most popular queer film festivals like Frameline and OUTfest to refuse the show the piece. One of the reasons was complaints of transphobic themes within the film. I personally am not offended by what took places during filming, as I know the vein in which it is intended. I think many times we as people are so overbearing with censorship because they are afraid of missteps or “setting back a movement”. I completely understand that sensibility, but in this instance I find it silly, and not very different from uber-conservative censorship practices. On the other hand, we will have people who get where we are coming from, and they will enjoy that.

How do you think “The Misandrists” relates to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp?

The film takes an imaginary romp through a timeline where women are taking these issues into their hands violently. It’s ridiculous and it breaks the tension in the room. This is a voice saying what a lot of female-identified individuals have felt for eons about the male population. You watch it, you laugh and then you laugh, and commiserate with what the characters are feeling, and then you move on to more constructive ways of dealing with these issues. It is not a call to arms for lesbo-centric femme misandry as some are thinking… or is it? (Insert cackle here!)

What kind of change (political or otherwise) do you want to see in the next year? 

This is a difficult question, as I personally have tried to keep political talk to a minimum recently. I am feeling a bit of burnout from the last year or so. I would say something that I recently have been thinking about is the negligent reforms being made by the US Department of the Interior. State and National parks have already long been suffering attendance for years, as people find other pastimes more stimulating. Proposals such as raising entry fees, and allowing hunters to kill baby bears and wolves are nothing but destructive. When you grow up with a grandfather who hunts for a living and takes you to government-protected parks for fun as a child, you develop a strong appreciation for what they offer. The mission statement of the department is: “Protecting America’s Great Outdoors and Powering Our Future.” It would be nice if they actually started to do this.

You can follow Kita on Instagram at @chippewajane.

 

Related Posts

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

5 Holiday Movies and TV Episodes Featuring Happy Queer Plot Lines

December 22, 2019

December 22, 2019

Christmas is just around the corner and yet, you’re still searching for more holiday cheer? Flip on Lifetime or Hallmark...

Hallmark Apologizes, Reinstates Commercials Featuring Same-Sex Couple

December 16, 2019

December 16, 2019

Hallmark Channel faced a wave of social backlash after its parent company – Crown Media Family Networks – quietly removed...

‘Tis the “Season of Love” in Queer Holiday Rom-Com

November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

Every holiday season traditional and streaming networks create a ton of holiday romantic comedies but they consistently fail to create...

Documentary Honors Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ Vets for Veterans Day

November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

In honor of Veterans Day, some LGBT Senior Veterans at the Los Angeles LGBT Center shared their stories and experiences...

GAY LA: Judy Never Really Left Los Angeles

November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019

How the queer Icon has shaped L.A. There’s no doubt about it: 2019 is the year of Judy Garland. In...

More Than Just Another Gay Character

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

In Hollywood, LGBTQ+ characters that are more than just — well, LGBTQ+ — can be hard to come by. Most...

LGBTQ Youth Encouraged to Create Video Shorts for The Trevor Project

September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

OUR PRIDE Video Fest announced a Call for Entries for videos about metal health, suicide prevention Calling all LGBTQ+ youth...

“Killer Unicorn” Film Slays in LA

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

Danny is your average Brooklyn party boy. This year, he and his friends couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming...

Going Bak in Time with a Photographer

May 30, 2019

May 30, 2019

Spying a thirteen-year-old Sunny Bak, amongst a crowd of New York paparazzi, Elizabeth Taylor showed concern that the young photographer...

The Revolution Will Be Televised

May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

For the first time ever, the L.A. Pride parade will air on live television.  When the first Los Angeles Pride...

Getting in Synch with “Synchronicity”

May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

To celebrate the completion of an all-female cast LGBTQ+ short film, The Abbey is hosting a wrap party for “Synchronicity.” ...

Clexacon Gives a voice to Queer Womxn

April 7, 2019

April 7, 2019

What started as a simple meet-up to unite fans of LGBTQ+ pop culture three years ago, has now evolved into...

Hollywood’s First Out Gay Star Was So Much More

March 31, 2019

March 31, 2019

 In the 1920s and 30s, William Haines refused to play by society’s rules.  In the studio system of the silent...

In 30 Years, GLAAD Has Come a Long Way

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are coming to L.A. on March 28. Rich Ferraro has been working with GLAAD for...