Big Fan

Elliot Page is apparently a fantastic boss

These days, non-toxic power dynamics on a filmmaking set seem more the exception than the norm. But behind the scenes of the upcoming queer cheerleader film Backspot, the working conditions sound much rosier than the brutal competition the film depicts. In a recent interview, the film’s director had nothing but kind words for executive producer Elliot Page’s leadership, calling him “the best boss you can ever ask for.”

Backspot stars Devery Jacobs (Reservation Dogs), a queer cheerleader out to earn a competitive spot on an exacting coach’s (Evan Rachel Woods) all-star squad. The film’s ambitions are clear from the trailer: to showcase the grueling physicality of cheerleading and depict its legitimacy as a sport.

It is nonbinary director DW Waterson’s feature length debut, and in an interview with PinkNews, they described how A-lister Elliot Page came to support the film.

“Elliot came into the picture because he’s a huge fan of Reservation Dogs and had a [meeting] with Devery because he’s a fan,” Waterson explained. “They hit it off, and Devery brought up that we were working on Backspot and getting ready to shoot it in the next six months.

“I think once he read it – I’m not sure what specifically resonated – he and his team were like: ‘This is a great script. We love this. We want to come on board [and] be executive producers.’”

Through his company Pageboy Productions, the Umbrella Academy star has put resources behind film projects coming from queer voices. One such Pageboy-produced film has already made history: An Avocado Pit director Ary Zara became the first trans director shortlisted for a live action short Academy Award.

It’s no wonder why Waterson was so elated with Page’s involvement. “His team was incredible, so helpful, and Elliot has been so supportive this entire time. [He is] coming to film festivals with us, shouting us out, talking about the film on his book tour,” they said.

“[This is] the best situation you could have asked for as a first-time feature film director. Incredible. He’s the best boss you can ever ask for. I’m still pinching myself – how did I land Evan Rachel Wood and Elliot Page as my [executive producer] on my first feature?”

But it’s no dream. In fact, the film will soon be a reality as the premiere date looms. “I really understand when people say film is like a series of small miracles,” Waterson reflected. “And we’ve had extra-special miracles along the way, which has been awesome.”

Backspot is coming to theaters on Friday May 31.

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