Words: Steve Brown
Billy Porter says no one paid attention to him until he wore that tuxedo dress to the Oscars.
It’s hard to not think of Billy Porter as being one of the most celebrated LGBTQ stage and TV actors after starring in the likes of Kinky Boots, American Horror Story and most recently Ryan Murphy’s new series Pose.
However, the Tony and Grammy-award winning actor has told The Hollywood Reporter that although he has been in the business for 30 years, it was only when he turned heads in that fabulous tuxedo dress at the Oscars.
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When you come to the Oscars, you must dress up. Thanks @csiriano for creating this custom couture masterpiece. @oscarheyman you have outdone yourselves once again with your iconic jewels. Style by @sammyratelle / @rrrcreative Styling Associate: @ashleymarienyc Grooming by @heyannabee @TheAcademy #AcademyAwards2019 #oscars #oscars2019
When asked when he knew he had ‘arrived’, he said: “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, but they just started paying attention.
“I wore a tuxedo dress to the Oscars, that’s when I arrived.”
In the publication’s annual Drama Actor Roundtable, Porter – who was joined by Hugh Grant, Richard Madden, Sam Rockwell, Diego Luna and Stephan James – also confessed he fought to remove the label of ‘flamboyant’ when he auditioned for roles.
“I was labelled very early the flamboyant clown and I fought that for decades,” he continued.
“Nobody minds stopping a show, let’s get that straight – it’s fun and fabulous – but I’m finally in this moment in my life where I’m able to play that character as a fully developed human being and not just the two-dimensional version that is set up to entertain.
“And to have lived long enough to see that happen on my terms is fabulous.”