‘Prom Pact’ star Margaret Cho: Would love to see a Trans Disney Princess and Prince – Times of India

Comedy legend Margaret Cho returns with the high-school musical drama ‘Prom Pact’. The actress and activist takes on the role of Ms Chen, one of the first LGBTQ characters in a full-fledged Disney movie. In a candid chat with ETimes, Margaret spilled the beans about her character, reuniting with Peyton Elizabeth Lee, her hope to see a transgender Disney Princess or Prince, and a whole lot more…

Margaret, you are one of the comedy greats. What made you want to come on board ‘Prom Pact’ and play the role of Ms Chen?
Margaret: Well, I love Peyton. She is such a star and just amazing. We had done ‘Doogie’ last year in Hawaii and so I was excited to work with her again.
I love a coming-of-age story, especially one that really puts an Asian American woman at the centre of it, you know? And this is a very important step in realizing diversity.

I play a Queer character in the film who’s somebody that the kids look up to, which I think is really amazing. So I love the script and we just had such a great time making it.

I’m a child of the 80s, so it was really great to see it come back in a way. Also, the film itself is like a really great homage to those great coming-of-age films of the ’80s, but with a feminist, kind of diverse cast, a very different point of view, but also the same feelings come up with that. I loved it.

Your character of Ms Chen is quite the feisty school counsellor. Was there a teacher who inspired this role?
Margaret: I don’t know if I had a teacher that necessarily inspired that role. For me, I was looking to the aunties in my life and everybody who was there on the sidelines supporting me, especially the Queer parts of my family. I grew up in the queer community, so that for me was a real homage to this character.

Your character of Miss Chen might just be the first openly Queer character in a full-fledged Disney movie. What was that like to see the LGBTQ community represented in such a prominent way?
Margaret: I love that. I think it’s very real and something that is important to recognize. We are everywhere in society. So this is just another example of that where I think we belong.

Do you think it’s time for a Disney film to feature an LGBTQ lead character? And if yes, which one would you pick?
Margaret: Absolutely yes! I would love to see them everywhere. I would love to see trans characters and different types of people in roles of like Disney Princess, Disney Prince and Disney everything.

I think this would be really important and it’s a move towards the future. It’s a move towards who we are. I think it’s really admirable and really exciting.

But if you could pick one of your favourite movies?
Margaret: I, gosh, that’s hard to say because they’re all so amazing. I think let’s throw it back to Bambi. I love all of it (Disney movies), the way that it’s had such an impact on society. Also coming-of-age films have so much meaning. It’s hard to pick one, because I think they’re all great.

As you play a school counsellor, any words of advice for children going off to college?
Margaret: I think it would be to really enjoy it. Time somehow goes by faster the older you get. I know that at college, it’s kind of like this weird period between sort of being a teenager and being an adult and so I think we always want to grow up so fast. I know that I did. But I would advise kids to really treasure the time and really enjoy it and celebrate being a kid for as long as they can.

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