Ask AfterEllen.com (Jan. 27, 2009)


Want to know the status of a particular movie, TV show, or band? Wondering what a certain actress is up to these days? Send your entertainment-related questions to askafterellen@gmail.com — with your first name, city and country — and we’ll try to answer as many as we can.

Question: I had just finished watching Run Fatboy Run, and I was raving to my friend about how beautiful and talented I think Thandie Newton is. My friend said that Thandie is bisexual…is this true? Is she definitely bisexual?

— Lindsey, New Orleans, Louisiana

Thandie Newton

Answer: Since it’s really up to the individual in question to officially label their sexual orientation, I think it’s safer to say that she’s "potentially" bisexual.

Actress Thandie Newton (W., Crash) is married to director Ol Parker, who made many new lesbian friends when he wrote and directed the romantic comedy Imagine Me & You (2005), starring Piper Perabo and Lena Headey. Together they have two daughters, Ripley (named after Sigourney Weaver’s alien ass-kicking character in the Alien franchise) and Nico (named after the Velvet Underground singer).

However, in a recent interview with The Advocate when she was asked if she’d ever "experimented" with a woman, Newton revealed that she had a lesbian relationship when she was 16. She said, "We’re all potentially bisexual; it all depends on your circle, your upbringing and all kinds of things. Or maybe I’m just talking about myself. I could’ve easily fallen in love with a woman over a man."

Question: What are the stars of Nicole Conn’s film Claire of the Moon up to these days? I loved Karen Trumbo and Trisha Todd!

— Anonymous

Claire of the Moon

Answer: I was able to track down Trisha Todd and asked her what she’s been doing in the last 17 years since Claire of the Moon was released. She wrote:

Its nice to know that people still remember Claire. It was a wonderful experience. I am teaching and directing – a lot of original material. I just returned from a humanitarian mission to Zimbabwe with AIDS Africa Response, a local organization to bring medical supplies, clothing, school supplies, etc to people in need. I also recently took an original musical to The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. Last spring I was onstage, acting, for only the third time in about fifteen years. I have two children and have been with my partner for almost ten years! Life is good. Thanks for asking.

Trisha Todd today

Todd didn’t mention this in our correspondence, but she also wrote an "autobiographical, contemporary road novel", The Drive (1999). The Publishers Weekly review says of the book, "Todd uses the drive to Iowa and back as a time to meditate on her own life and loves, further blurring the line between fiction and memoir as she includes her real-life experience acting the title role in the groundbreaking lesbian movie Claire of the Moon."

While the book was originally published by the now-defunct lesbian publishing house Naiad Press, you can still find copies of it for sale online.

I didn’t have the same luck in tracking down Karen Trumbo, but I’ll keep trying and let you know what I learn.

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