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EXCLUSIVE: Marsha P. Johnson Is “The Saint Of Christopher Street” In Stonewall Film

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.35.43 AMDespite grumblings that the late trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, one of the seminal figures in the queer rights movement, doesn’t feature prominently in Stonewall, director Roland Emmerich’s retelling of the riots outside the Greenwich Village bar in June 1969, she is indeed present. Everyone will find out when the fact-based drama is released to theaters September 25, but the studio has released this behind-the-scenes clip of actor Otoja Abit as Johnson to calm down the tension.

“I was scared at first,” Abit says in a just-released featurette. “It’s a big character and people called her ‘the saint of Christopher Street because of how generous she was to everyone else.”

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays a community activist named Trevor in the film, adds that “without the sacrifice of these kids there would be no rainbow flags flying over clubs” and noted that the titular landmark bar “became a spark to light a whole movement.”

Watch the video below.