The Assignment, the latest film from legendary director Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hours) tells the story of Frank “Tomboy” Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez), a male hitman forced to undergo gender-reassignment surgery against his will by a crazed Shakespeare-obsessed doctor, played by Sigourney Weaver. Now female, Frank makes a desperate effort to reverse the process and become his former self – and enact revenge against those who did this to him.
While reviews on the actual film are mixed, some have called it an authentic nod to exploitation genre flicks, others have labeled the forced-feminization revenge thriller as transphobic – often before even seeing the film.
On this fluid episode of the Popzara Podcast Nathan Evans talks with veteran novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Denis Hamill about why his film is decidedly not transphobic, the perils of bad journalism, changing politics in mainstream LGBTQ and transgender representation, and even what it was like working with Richard Pryor in the 1980s. Today’s Lesson: it’s never a good idea to judge something before you’ve experienced it.