How Many Actors Got Their TV Break As Trans Characters Going Full-Frontal? Jonny Beauchamp, That’s How Many.

Jonny_Beauchamp_Penny_Dreadful-1431258216You may not know who Jonny Beauchamp is, but you will soon. He’ll appear as Ray Castro in Roland Emmerich’s film Stonewall alongside Jeremy Irvine, Ron Perlman and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The film, about the NYC Stonewall riots, should be released sometime later this year.

But you can also catch the Puerto Rican actor from the Bronx in the newest episode of Penny Dreadful. He plays transgender prostitute Angelique, and fans of the show will be treated to a whole lot of Beauchamp’s front side — all of it, really.

Beauchamp spoke recently to TV Insider about getting the part, what makes Angelique tick and how he managed to get through filming the full-frontal scenes.

On the nudity:

“It was part of the contract I had to sign for the screen test. I didn’t know exactly what would be shown or how. I wanted to be cool and professional but, inside, I was dying. Nudity was my one big fear as an actor, the one thing I never really thought I would be able to do. In the theater, it’s a little different. But to go full frontal for my first big TV project was daunting. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t lose sleep over it.”

On how he got through it:

“[Show creator] John Logan was very comforting. He took me into his office and said, ‘You have to remember that this is not you. It’s the character who is naked. This show is all about shock factor and pushing the boundaries, and this is a really awesome opportunity for you to do that.’ That made me feel a lot better and much safer. And thank God I had to drop trou in front of Reeve Carney. He was my rock. He held my hand through the hold process. Well, not literally, but we were like mates in the same crazy situation. [Laughs] We’d look at each other and be, like, ‘What the hell are we doing?’”

On playing transgender before there was ‘transgender’:

“Today, we’re finally on the transgender frontier and everyone is starting to talk about it, but it wasn’t spoken of a hundred years ago. If you were transgender back then you were considered crazy or a sexual deviant. So the fact that Angelique holds herself with such pride and poise is amazing.”

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  • Prinny

    Well they still are crazy.

  • SteveDenver

    His scenes on PENNY DREADFUL are fantastic, and I’m glad I saw them before this article spoiled the shocker. He is handsome, beautiful, an intriguing actor with a lot of screen appeal. I love the dialogue he has to deliver: “Stay young and beautiful, it suits you.”

  • Timothy Grover

    What about The Crying Game and Jaye Davidson?

  • gauty

    @SteveDenver: He also passed so well!? When I first saw her come on screen I didn’t even have the first clue the character was supposed to be transgender (or at least a pre-op transgendered woman with male physiology). Jonny’s mannerisms and voice were very convincing. I love this show so fucking much. First we get The Ethan/Dorian seduction scene which was loin-meltingly hot (and made me appreciate Hartnett’s gruffness and acting skills like never before), and now we also have an incredibly intriguing trans MAIN character on a mainstream fantasy show. Glorious!

  • MarionPaige

    @Timothy Grover: “What about The Crying Game and Jaye Davidson?”

    Exactly, it’s been done.

    Penny Dreadful is stretching a one season plot into an open ended tv series. The show should have taken a tip from Fargo and True Detective and started season two with a new cast and new plot. So far, into a second season, what exactly is Dorian Grey’s purpose on the show?

  • C.McCorison

    If you were transgender back then you were considered crazy or a sexual deviant. News Flash: It’s been over a hundred years since then, and we are still considered crazy, and sexually deviant!

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