Billy Porter, unforgettable as Pray-Tell on the groundbreaking Pose, is starring as Fab G, the Fairy Godmother, in the reworked version of Cinderella now streaming on Amazon Prime.
He spoke to DNA for the launch of the movie about the “magic” of being asked to embrace his queerness and all things fabulous in this new version of the fairytale.
“Finally, to be the human being I’ve set up in my real life, it’s a magical mash-up, a confluence, to have been called for this role, in this particular adaptation. It’s some change-the-world shit! And I’m proud to be a part of it.
“With Pose, things began to exceed my expectations. To be living inside the literal impossibility of something like Pose, and a character like Pray-Tell, and all the characters that inhabit that show, for that to ever be possible!
“And then how me, Billy, was able to live inside of my truth and my authenticity, and really change the landscape and become the very thing that everybody said would be my liability.
“My queerness, that was my liability for so many decades, and all of a sudden it was not.”
Billy explained that this Cinderella needs no prince, or princess, to validate her and she sets the tone for the way people must love and treat her — not the other way around.
On the score he explained the biggest “No” voice in his own life had been the Pentecostal church in which he grew up and he relates what he kept and what he threw away.
He also described the most soul-destroying time in his career was when he was the only one who believed in himself and that he almost gave up.
He was most revealing when he admitted that, despite the theme of Cinderella, sometimes as an artist you have to compromise. But there is a line not to be crossed. Like the time he walked out of his record company arguing that “I did not come to New York to be a demo singer for Celine Dion!”
Read the full interview with Billy in DNA #261.
Cinderella is streaming on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com.au/prime
Cinderella trailer: https://youtu.be/T1NeHRuPpoM