Michelle Hendley is a debutant actress of wonderful movie Boy Meets Girl, directed by seasoned indie filmmaker Eric Schaeffer. Art Shrian from myNewYorkeye spoke to Michelle and we have to say that she was quite chatty and really fun to talk to.
Art Shrian: Congratulations on this great movie and your amazing performance. How was experience of being a first time actress?
Michelle Hendley: It was a little overwhelming. I was more excited to learn what happens behind the movie. And it was fun to watch the process.
Art Shrian: What kind of training did you go through for the role?
Michelle Hendley: Eric sent me to an acting coach, in St Louis. It was eye opening for me, to learn how to approach a script and deliver a line. We did fun silly exercises. It was lots of fun!
Art Shrian: What was the most challenging part while on the set?
Michelle Hendley: Taking take after, take after, take of same line and STILL BE FRESH. And of course shooting 13 pages a week. But STAYING FRESH was hardest!
Art Shrian: How much of this is your story? And how does it feel to have this story out there for everyone to see?
Michelle Hendley: There are lot parallels between Ricky and me. I can relate to her about being a trans girl, trying to get outta the town, but I wouldn’t say she and I have the same story. But I was very happy to play a positive role of a trans girl, which I feel is lacking in current media. I’m glad to do something that will resonate with audience and open some minds.
Art Shrian: The movie definitely does that, it’s great. So about your personal life journey, what is your real story?
Michelle Hendley: Similarly I come from very supportive and loving family. I live in a very liberal town here, where people don’t really bug you for being different. For most part I have had a great childhood, without facing lot of problems. I know that’s unfortunately not the story of lot of trans women, but my experience has been largely positive.
Art Shrian: That’s great to hear. So, was it difficult for you doing the sex-scenes with girl?
Michelle Hendley: It was more difficult than I thought. I got to live with Alexandra Turshen and to be friends with her. But sex scene was very difficult. I just thought I’ll pretend she was a guy, but that didn’t work at all. It had to be choreographed. But I think our chemistry showed and I’m happy with our work.
Art Shrian: What’s your favorite sex scene in the movie?
Michelle Hendley: (laughing) Really? Probably with Robbie, because he was so sweet!
Art Shrian: Did you have any apprehensions about the nude scene, coming out of the lake?
Michelle Hendley: Pretty much throughout the process from auditioning to shooting, I just threw myself out there. It was all so new to me, I just wanted to embrace the moment and do the best I could.
Art Shrian: What’s next for you?
Michelle Hendley: I would love to pursue acting. There is work coming my way, and I want to see how far I can go and what kind of work I can do. I’m willing to try most things. However I’m getting lot of trans roles, but I hope not to not get type-casted. I think I can do lot more. For now, I’m looking for whatever comes my way.
Art Shrian: You're beautiful and quite talented, I think you can do a lot more. So, who are your favorite actors?
Michelle Hendley: Laverne Cox is a huge idol of mine; I hope to meet her some day. I have always loved Uma Thurman. And I often get compared to Jennifer Lawrence, which is flattering and ridiculous at the same time. I love Meryl Streep. The list will probably go on… And I love me some Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, Bruce Willis but he’s not so active any more.
Art Shrian: Any favorite movies or shows? And do you binge watch?
Michelle Hendley: Garfunkel & Oates, it’s so funny, that’s all I’m watching. And no, I don’t watch TV much, I’m so busy. I don’t even have a television, just my laptop.
Art Shrian: Where are you living now?
Michelle Hendley: I’m currently in my hometown in Missouri, working a couple of jobs, saving money to move to New York this summer. Just like the movie!
Art Shrian: New York is a very different town. What do you love about New York?
Michelle Hendley: I have been to New York a few times, and every time I come to New York I don’t want to leave. My favorite part is how old it is. I’m a history nerd, and New York has so much history compared to most other cities in the US. There is such a culture about it and New York is so unique. And it’s also great to not have car!
BOY MEETS GIRL is an authentic Southern romantic-comedy starring the newcomer Michelle Hendley as Ricky, a young transwoman trying to navigate life and looking for romance in her small Kentucky hometown. Will she find love with the beautiful rich girl Francesca (Alexandra Turshen, RED OAKS) or with her lifelong best pal Robby (Michael Welch, TWILIGHT franchise)? Authentically written and directed by accomplished indie filmmaker Eric Schaeffer (IF LUCY FELL starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, Elle Macpherson, NEVER AGAIN starring Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh), BOY MEETS GIRL simultaneously exemplifies and transcends the category of "LGBT film" to present the very human story of the blurry and complicated lines between friendship and romance, gender and sexuality.
AVAILABLE TODAY (April 7) ON iTUNES, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON INSTANT, VUDU, WOLFEONDEMAND.COM + ON CABLE VIA TIME-WARNER, COMCAST, CHARTER & COX. DVD WILL BE AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON, NETFLIX, BESTBUY.COM,BARNESANDNOBLE.COM, FAMILY VIDEO, WOLFEVIDEO.COM, AND MANY OTHER RETAILERS.