This blog contains spoilers about the film The Crying Game, which is well worth your time, whether you are a crossdresser or not. Trust me, you will enjoy the film a lot more if you don't read what follows. If you haven't seen it, put this blog off now and go and watch it. Then come back and post a comment.
But if you have seen it, or you have figured out that there is a transgendered theme to the film, then do read on.
Before we consider Jaye, let's look at the Royal Wedding. I watched it all the way through, as I had done many years earlier for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. It occurred to me that William had spent some considerable time as Britain's most eligible bachelor. During that time, he almost certainly availed himself of the endless tide of upper class totty who made a play for his affections; he would have been insane not to!
As William and Kate walked up the aisle of Westminster Abbey, I found myself thinking about that handful of women who were watching the same thing, hiding behind a tear-stained cushion, knowing that, had the dice fallen a little differently, it might have been them standing beside William instead of Kate. But more interestingly, I found myself thinking about the ones who had dallied with William, before realising that life as his wife, though undoubtedly rewarding, would come at too high a price. In other words, having dipped a toe into that water, how many of them are glad they didn't plunge in over their head? I wonder if Chelsy Davy feels like that? Media reports suggest she does.
|Jaye Davidson as Dil|
I don't have a brilliant body at all. I've got very broad shoulders. I've got very big feet. I've also got a very muscular neck. But I know people take me for a woman. It happens all the time.Though his father was Ghanian, I am surprised at how many articles (including the Wikipedia one here) describe him as Black British. Wikipedia points out he is the first Black British person to receive an Oscar Nomination (for Best Supporting Actor for The Crying Game; he did not win). In any case, I would not describe him as black. However, The Crying Game was Davidson's first acting role: it says much for his talent as an actor that on his very first attempt he made it to the Oscars!
It's not because I'm good, it's because it was an interesting role. It was the role that was nominated, not me. I really think that most of this is a fluke.The film itself is a powerful story. It currently has a 100% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. Roger Ebert gave it four stars (out of four) and said it "involves us deeply in the story, and then it reveals that the story is really about something else altogether." I can't help watching it with my transvestite glasses on, and it's very hard for me to see anything other than the relationship between Fergus and Dil. The turning point of the story is the "reveal", where Dil, whom we have never considered to be anything other than a woman, reveals in no uncertain terms (after intimacy with Fergus) that she is genetically male. Fergus's reaction is of revulsion, but he later develops romantic feelings for Dil. The ending of the film is complex: neither a happy-ever-after ending (which would have infuriated us after the intelligence and subtletly of what has gone before) nor a definitive separation of the two.
It's entertaining to see Miranda Richardson play the villian with real menace, having previously seen her squawking around as Queenie in Blackadder II.
|Oooo... those scary eyes. Davidson in Stargate.|
As a result of the film, Davidson became really hot property internationally. His next film was much better known. He played a young shepherd boy whose body was occupied by the spirit of Ra, the alien villain of Stargate, (1994) opposite Kurt Russell. I managed to watch this film with two sets of glasses on: my geeky, sci-fi nutcase glasses (where it was a pretty reasonable film) and my transvestite-spotting glasses, where I appreciated Davidson's appearance and noticed again his androgynous beauty. The Stargate movie spawned a whole franchise of TV shows, none of which I have troubled myself to watch.
In any case, it seems clear that Davidson's star was in the ascension. He must have found himself inundated with offers of all kinds: to appear in photoshoots, to appear in other movies, to become a darling of Hollywood... and he decided not to bother.
The Oscars were madness; I spent half the time being blinded by flashbulbs because I didn't have the sense to take a pair of sunglasses with me.
Somewhat like the women that might have married Prince William, Davidson, having dipped his toe in the water, and tasted Hollywood adulation, decided not to take things any further, but return to a career in fashion, which (as far as I know, based on what's on the web) he is still doing.
My dream come true would be to be an architectural historian and work with the royal palaces and all the fabulous art collections. But I'm not committed enough. I'm too trashy. I like to go out and get drunk.
I've sold a very small part of myself, but certain people think they're entitled to the rest of me. Of course, I am an incredibly strange person for the norm, so strange that I'm more normal than they'll ever be
|Eww... will you put that away?|
I knew that I was gay from the age of seven. It's one of my earliest memories. It was never a problem for me and it was never a problem for my family. I was always allowed to do what I wanted to do.It's been twenty years since The Crying Game was released. During that time, I wonder what's happened to Jaye Davidson. He is now 44, fairly similar to my own age. In the interviews I've read, he was absolutely certain he didn't want to pursue fame; I hope the last two decades have confirmed that was the right decision for him. He probably isn't too old that he couldn't return to acting if the inclination overtook him. He must know the upsides and the downsides pretty well.
A beacon of reserve, Jaye’s been retired from acting for over 10 years. He’s probably getting by, having left the public eye at exactly the right moment to be remembered indefinitely.I agree with the above commentator. By appearing in one, amazing, tantalising film, then another completely different, Davidson has given us precisely enough to whet our appetites for him for ever. I hope he is happy and making a fortune.
I haven't come across much on TV or in the movies where a man is deliberately cast to play the part of a woman. Other offerings I am familiar with include comedy, such as the BBC series Terri McIntyre- Classy Bitch, where the main protagonist was a woman played by a man (Simon Carlyle), and Lily Live! where the protagonist Lily Savage (played by Paul O'Grady) was depicted as a woman, rather than a drag queen. Comedy is all well and good. As I have posted elsewhere, I think crossdressing as a vehicle for comedy just isn't that funny. In addition, I find it quite uncomfortable when (say) a person whom the audience well knows is a man in drag is addressed as "Mum" by another character.
Some of my other posts are dedicated to my crossdressing heroes. Jaye Davidson doesn't quite make it as a hero of mine; his situation is very far removed from my own. On the other hand, as someone who has decided what is right for him (rather than chasing fame, that fickle mistress), I admire him enormously for taking that choice. He has passed up a lot of money and fame, in favour of (what I hope is) a more normal and manageable (and happy) life. I hope it has been worth it, and I wish him nothing but the best.
Some of the interview quotes were taken from this beautiful fan site, which seems to be designed by Jules Scott. Thanks Jules. I love your style. If you feel like giving this site your magic touch, please contact me!