Trace Lysette : Bullseye with Jesse Thorn Trace Lysette is an actor, rapper and former drag performer. Last year, she had her first lead role in a film called Monica. It is a wonderful, quiet, haunting drama about a trans woman caring for her estranged mother who is terminally ill. We talk with Trace about her work in the film and about how her years as a drag performer helped her find her gender identity. Plus, we also take a listen to a few of her rap tracks.

Trace Lysette

Trace Lysette

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Actor Trace Lysette at Maximum Fun HQ. Kevin Ferguson hide caption

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Kevin Ferguson

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.

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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. Plus, we also take a listen to a few of her rap tracks.