Anything’s Possible star Eva Reign hopes the romantic comedy will inspire Black trans women around the world to pursue the life they deserve. 

The Billy Porter-directed coming-of-age film, which launched 22 July on Prime Video, shows the “joy, tenderness, and pain of young love” as Reign’s character Kelsa, a trans high schooler, embarks on a relationship with fellow student Khal (Abubakr Ali).

Also starring Tony Award-winning actress and Girls5Eva star Renée Elise Goldberry as Kelsa’s mother, the trailblazing story of Anything’s Possible and its authentic casting is proof that “the world is changing,” according to Reign. 

“When I was in middle school and trying to figure out who I was, I was trying to find the language that wasn’t super popular at the time, especially where I was growing up in Missouri,” the rising star tells GAY TIMES. “I was always trying to find some sort of mirror of self, whether that was in the physical world or through fiction and media. 

“Now, we have a movie like Anything’s Possible where a Black trans girl figuring out who she is can watch this cute movie and think, ‘That’s me. I can find love. I can have a career. I can have friends. I can have a loving family. I can just be myself.’” 

While Reign anticipates that viewers will perceive the romantic comedy as “corny”, she stresses that it’s “very true to life” and “what’s possible”, adding: “I just hope that everyone out there who needs it can find it and feel seen and heard.” 

Anything’s Possible marks the directorial debut of Porter, who is best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Pray Tell on FX’s acclaimed drama Pose. The series memorably made history with the largest cast and crew of trans actors in TV history. 

“The script found me. It’s because of the work that I’ve done in my life and the intentional decisions that I’ve made that the script came to me,” Porter says. 

“I made the decision to do the work that supported the intersections of the communities that I stand in and to voice the voiceless. That was important to me a long time ago, so this film came to me as an outgrowth of that because action had already been taken.” 

Although the casting process was conducted on Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic, where a “plethora” of stars auditioned for the lead roles, Porter admits that Reign was “first on the list” and his “first choice” to embody Kelsa. 

Reign, a former Assistant Editor at LGBTQ+ publication them, recalls: “That was the best day of my life. Billy Porter was telling me I was beautiful and talented and I was like, ‘Oh, I made it. Whether I get this part or not, I know that I’m that bitch.’” 

The casting process, which was led by Alexa Fogel (Pose, Atlanta, The Prom), was conducted in “such a tender sweet way,” Reign continues, because the team “wanted to find people who did fully embody the lives” of the two leads.

“Kelsa’s a Black trans girl from Pittsburgh, I’m a Black trans girl from St. Louis. Khal is an Iranian Muslim guy from Pittsburgh, Abubakhr Ali is an Egyptian guy from LA. So, they cast people who are these lived experiences,” she explains. 

“I think that’s necessary when you want to tell a story in an accurate, intentional way. Otherwise, you’re just putting on a costume and you could just turn it into a caricature. Also, who is this narrative meant to serve if you’re casting a cis man as a trans woman?” 

Reign says casting actors whose sexuality and/or gender identity doesn’t match the character – which has been a controversial topic in Hollywood in recent years – ‘doesn’t need to happen’ when there’s “so much LGBTQ+ talent out there”. 

“I’m super happy to have this part, but I want to see all my [trans] sisters and brothers have their moment under the sun too. There’s so much talent that hasn’t been tapped yet, so the future is bright when it comes to telling [queer] stories.” 

For viewers who are yet to immerse themselves in LGBTQ+ culture, particularly when it comes to trans issues, Porter hopes their take away from Anything’s Possible is that “love is love, we are who we are and humanity comes first”. 

“Respect for humanity comes first, period,” he passionately states. “We don’t need acceptance and tolerance, we demand respect. That’s it. We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it and… get over it. We have to add the ‘get over it’. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. Get over it!” 

To “cis, white and straight” people who may not enjoy the film because they don’t identify with its story, Reign highlights how queer people have historically had to endure narratives “that have nothing to do with the intersections we reside at”. 

“People who are part of that status quo will look at a narrative like this and think, ‘There’s nothing there for me to look at it.’ Yes, there is, because this is a story about humans. We all have something to learn from each other. We all have something to gain,” she says.

“This is a movie that truly shows what a loving world can look like. Queer and trans narratives, and queer and trans people, have always shown the world how it can expand and grow. In a lot of subtle, nuanced ways, this film also exemplifies that so there’s something for everyone to gain from this.”

Reign adds: “Honestly, for anyone who walks away and doesn’t feel happy watching this… I really don’t know what to tell you. You gotta take that up with God.” 

Anything’s Possible is now available on Prime Video. 

Written by Ximena García Lecuona, the film also stars Courtnee Carter, Kelly Lamor Wilson, Grant Reynolds, Caroline Travers, Lav Raman and Tordy Clark. 

You can watch the trailer here or below.