“They celebrate, to some degree, different kinds of LGBTQ storytelling,” argues producer Christine Vachon about two of her latests projects: the Netflix limited series “Halston” and the FX docuseries “Pride.” Vachon is the co-founder of Killer Films, the independent film company behind the Oscar-winning films “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Still Alice,” as well as groundbreaking LGBTQ films like “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Velvet Goldmine.” Check out our exclusive video interview above.
It took over two decades for Vachon and series director Daniel Minahan to bring “Halston” to television. Both Vachon and Minihan were at the beginning or their careers when they optioned the book on which the series is based, but Vachon says that only recently did the relevance of the legendary designer’s story become apparent. “I think it almost took all those years for us to figure out what the best part of the story was, what the most relevant part of the story was,” she explains. “When I look at it now, what was so extraordinary to me about the story continues to be that collision of art and commerce.”
Vachon never had any doubts about actor Ewan McGregor‘s ability to inhabit the role of the mercurial Halston. The two had previous worked together on “Velvet Goldmine,” and Vachon says the actor’s fearlessness was the key to making Halston a sympathetic character. “Ewan manages to walk that line where I believe you have tremendous sympathy for him even while he is behaving horribly.” she says. “You have such a sense always of where he’s coming from and Ewan was really able to bring that to that character.”
In putting together “Pride,” a six part series about the LGBTQ experience in America, Vachon had the idea of giving different directors the task of chronicling the queer experience throughout a single decade in the 20th century. “It was a great idea. It was just a difficult idea sometimes because it means that every single episode what sort of its own kind of startup,” she explains. “Some of [the directors] had no experience whatsoever in documentaries, but where it led was to really great places.”
Vachon finds it difficult to say just where the queer movement stands today, but she believes that the pandemic has refocused attention of LGBTQ rights. “I think as we’re sort of crawling out of this pandemic, there’s a lot of examination about how we make things better,” she claims. “I always say that times of great disruption bring great opportunity.”
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