Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey talk But I’m A Cheerleader


Images: Variety/YouTube, Lionsgate Films

Actresses Melanie Lynskey and Natasha Lyonne have reflected on the 90s lesbian cult classic But I’m A Cheerleader.

The 1999 satirical comedy following Megan, a lesbian high school cheerleader shipped off to conversion therapy camp, is now a cult classic and is one of the best lesbian films of all time.

Lynskey played a fellow conversion therapy camper Hilary. Clea DuVall, who came out in 2016, played Graham, Megan’s love interest.

In a great chat together for Variety, New Zealand-born Melanie Lynskey, who’s now in queer TV favourite Yellowjackets, asks Natasha Lyonne if she had any hesitations about the lead role at 19.

“I was not hesitant at all. I’m consistently shocked by the things we consider shocking,” the actress responded said.

“I find it very patronizing when we say something like, ‘Oh, did you see that this straight male actor is playing gay? Bravo.’

“I find it really patronizing and very weird. And maybe in some ways times are changing but it didn’t occur to me, is my genuine answer.”

But I’m A Cheerleader

Natasha Lyonne told Melanie Lynskey she’s still “so proud” of But I’m A Cheerleader. The actress said she was focussed on exposing the “insanity” of harmful “conversion” practices, but it was the romance that resonated with queer audiences.

“I remember Clea and I were at Sundance… These kids would be crying and saying, ‘Thank you for putting this on film,’ and ‘Now I feel like 10% less weird.’

“That, for me, was very heavy and continues to be very much what I’m about.

“In general, I really believe in making people that society wants to ‘outside’ and ‘other’ feel safe and [at] home. It’s very important to me. So I remain so proud of But I’m A Cheerleader.

“My biggest beef with the world is how insane it seems to me that certain people think they have a God-given right to tell other people how to live.”

In 2020, director Jamie Babbit put out a longer director’s cut of But I’m A Cheerleader.

Watch Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey’s full chat below:

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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