HBO Max ‘Lupe’ Interview & Review

I had the pleasure of sitting down with co-directors André Phillips and Charles Vuolo and Transgender Consultant Kerry Michelle and star of the film Rafael Albarrán for the upcoming movie coming to HBO Max on February 26th, Lupe. 

“Lupe” shines an intimate light on the complex story of an immigrant struggling with their transgender identity while searching for their missing sister, Isabel in New York City’s underground sex industry.  The city’s underworld turns bloody as Rafael continues their quest to liberate their sister from a life of exploitation.  Rafael’s search is routine and bloody until the growing need to understand their gender identity beings to compete with their mission? 

Rafael Albarrán (playing a character of the same name) in Lupe. Directors
André Phillips & Charles Vuolo.

Lupe is deep and moving in so many different ways, and the way that Rafael Albarrán portrays Rafael is a big reason you get so emotionally attached to him. The character has a tremendous amount of depth, and within this arc of trying to find the sister, finding at who Rafael is as a person, and deal with all the rage inside of him, Albarrán blows you away with the performance.

In speaking with Rafael, you can hear him talk about how not only did the role have this lasting impact on the audience, but it truly helped him find who Rafael really was as a person. Hearing that makes the journey within the movie that much better for me.

Celia Harrison as Lana in Lupe.

Hollywood has an LGBTQ/Transgender problem, and I asked the Transgender consultant on the movie Kerry about that.

She said, “They had asked her to read the script and give her thoughts, and she said she needed a few days because it felt personal and that the story was authentic and real.”

Representation matters and not just in any way, but it has to be relatable. The reflection of oneself on the TV or the big screen is essential and can help so many people.

Here is the full interview with star Rafael Albarran, EP and transgender consultant Kerry Michelle, and co-directors Andre Phillips & Charles Vuolo. I hope you take the time to hear the words and the importance of telling these stories.

The writing is beautiful. The trio of writers does a fantastic job of showing the obstacles placed in front of individuals like Rafael, who are trying to find their true selves. Between the beautiful writing, outstanding direction, GORGEOUS cinematography, and a masterful performance from Rafael Albarrán, Lupe is a lovely, poetic journey that shows real heart and resilences.

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