In 2000, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato directed The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a documentary about the strange life of singer/televangelist Tammy Faye Baker. It was a sympathetic portrayal of a woman who was reviled in the 1980s for being part of her husband Jim Bakker’s corrupt religious empire, then beloved in the years that followed, in no small part due to her contrition, her candor, her kindness, and in a very unusual turn for the world of conservative Evangelical Christianity, her support of LGBTQ people. Now comes the Hollywood version, with the same title, and Jessica Chastain playing Tammy Faye, Queen of All Makeup Products. Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) will direct, Chastain is a producer, and Andrew Garfield will play Jim – who, to this day, true to form, is on TV talking about Jesus and getting money for it. And now for an Extremely Important Question: who’s going to play Jim J. Bullock, Tammy Faye’s co-host of the beautifully weird ABC ’90s daytime talk show, Jim J & Tammy Faye? We have to know.
The 1970s were a wild time at the movies for black filmmakers and audiences. A renaissance of low-budget genre movies like Shaft, Superfly and Foxy Brown blew up box offices nationwide, and one of the most enduring characters was Dolemite, in a film of the same name, played by actor Rudy Ray Moore. And now Eddie Murphy will portray Moore in Dolemite is My Name, a biopic of the legendary cinema cult figure. The cast is a who’s who: Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, T.I., Mike Epps, and hilariously eccentric Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess. Burgess will play a supporting role as Theodore Toney, a producer on the film Dolemite as well as Moore’s late ’70s curiosity, Disco Godfather. We don’t know if the real-life person in question was gay or if Burgess will be playing it straight; we really don’t care. We’re happy there’s openly queer representation happening anywhere we find it.
Romeo San Vicente can’t wait to find out who plays Jim J. Bullock!