Content warning: This episode contains conversations about sex work and also contains unbleeped swear words. A heads up in case you or someone you’re listening with is sensitive to these kinds of things.
You may or may not have heard about a new movie called Monica that came out last year. It wasn’t a blockbuster, but it did get a record-setting standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. The film is up for a few awards this year, too.
The star of Monica is Trace Lysette who plays the title character in the film. Monica is on her own in the world. She’s early middle-aged and doing sex work just to get by.
One day she gets a phone call that her mother is sick and doesn’t have much time left. Monica is estranged from her mom, and has been since she came out as trans.
So Monica returns home to help care for her mother, and when she gets there her mom doesn’t recognize her. Monica doesn’t tell her mom who she is. She just cares for her.
Monica could be a big melodrama, but it’s the furthest thing. It’s a quiet, intimate, beautiful movie about family love.
Lysette has been a professional actor for the last decade. You might have seen her on Law and Order or Transparent. She is up for a best lead performance award at the Independent Spirit Award for her role in Monica.
Trace Lysette joins the show to talk about Monica, and how she not only starred in it, but helped produce it as well. She also talks about how her years as a drag performer helped her find her gender identity. We also get a chance to listen to a few of her rap tracks.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.
Get in touch with the show
How to listen
Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!