There's a dearth of transgender people in popular culture, which is why Cloud Atlas and Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski's candid approach to her own transition was such a monumental moment in LGBT progress.
Wachowski spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about her life leading up "this moment" of transition. "I wasn’t talking so much about myself," she said. "I was thinking about someone who was like me when I was young, feeling that I was fulfilling the example that I was looking for when I was young."
Lana Wachowski (born Laurence "Larry" Wachowski; June 21, 1965) and Andrew Paul "Andy" Wachowski (born December 29, 1967), known together professionally as The Wachowskis, and formerly as the Wachowski Brothers, are American film directors, screenwriters, and producers.
They made their directing debut in 1996 with Bound, and reached fame with their second film The Matrix (1999), for which they won the Saturn Award for Best Director. They wrote and directed its two sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003), and were heavily involved in the writing and production of other works in the franchise.
Following the commercial success of the Matrix series, they wrote and produced the 2006 film V for Vendetta (an adaptation of the comic of the same name by Alan Moore), and in 2008 released the film Speed Racer. Their most recent film, Cloud Atlas, based on the novel of the same name by David Mitchell and co-written and co-directed by Tom Tykwer, was released on October 26, 2012. They are currently filming Jupiter Ascending, based on an original science fiction adventure screenplay.
Rumors that Larry (Lana) Wachowski, then still presenting as male, was transitioning from male to female spread in the early 2000s, though neither sibling had spoken directly on the subject. In 2003 Gothamist.com mentioned the possible sex change and suggested that "the Matrix films could be read with a sadomasochistic subtext with the news of Larry's companionship with a dominatrix [companion seen with Larry (Lana) at film premieres]." Though neither Wachowski sibling commented directly on the matter, sources close to them denied the rumors. In a 2007 interview Joel Silver, the producer of numerous Wachowski films, stated that the rumors concerning Larry's sex change were "all untrue", further explaining, "they just don’t do interviews, so people make things up." Similar statements were made to Fox News by crew members working on the Speed Racer film, with one employee pointing out, "on the call sheets, it still says Larry."
According to Rovi, Larry (Lana) completed her transition after Speed Racer (2008). The Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times have referred to the Wachowskis as "Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski", and Deadline.com has referred to the duo as "Andy and Lana Wachowski." On some documents she appears as Laurenca Wachowski. In July 2012, Lana made her first public appearance after transitioning, in a video discussing the creative process behind Cloud Atlas.
In October 2012 Lana received the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award. In her acceptance speech she revealed that she had considered committing suicide once in her youth. Lana's acceptance speech was one of the longest public appearances that either of the notoriously reclusive siblings has ever given. She began by explaining that while she and her brother had not publicly commented on her transitioning during the past decade of rumors about it, this was not because she was ashamed of it, nor had she kept it a secret from her family and friends. Rather, Lana had not commented about her transitioning due to a general shyness about the news media that both she and her brother Andy possess. Comparing it to losing one's virginity as an event which only happens once and is irreversible, the Wachowskis had tried to stay out of the public eye and avoided giving interviews due to fear of losing their personal privacy, fearing that they would never be able to go to a public restaurant again without being noticed and harassed as celebrities.
Actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess
Directors: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski
Writers: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski
Producers: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Grant Hill, Stefan Arndt
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013
Run Time: 172 minutes
Amazon: Cloud Atlas
Future. Present. Past. Everything is connected. An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.The story is a time-shifting weave of six interlinking narratives, with diverse settings from the savagery of a Pacific Island in the 1850s to a dystopian Korea of the near future. Based on the New York Times best-selling novel "Cloud Atlas" written by David Mitchell.
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