Billy Porter Revels in Newfound Director’s Shoes with Back to Back Announcements
Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter is gaining more recognition for his work behind the camera. The Pose star, who is making his directorial debut through What If?, a coming of age romantic comedy movie, is also set to direct To Be Real.
Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions sold To Be Real, which features the original script by Ryan Shiraki to Amazon Studios. Shiraki has written for productions like Chozen and directed series including On My Block.
Unlike What If?, which Porter is directing for Orion Pictures, To Be Real will be a teen drama that has been described as an edgy, laugh-out-loud comedy about three queer high school seniors who go to the ultimate quest to attend their first New York Pride parade.
However, similar to What If?, To Be Real also features a queer storyline.
Porter is directing What If?, and the series will be the first feature produced under MGM’s Orion pictures, which was relaunched last year to tell stories about underrepresented LGBTQ+ voices. The logline for the film reads:
When high school senior Khal posts on r/relationships about his crush on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school, the internet encourages him to go for it. What follows is a modern coming-of-age story as the two navigate a high school senior year relationship that neither could have expected.
Porter also expressed his happiness at being able to direct What If? saying he was thrilled to be a part of a new space in Hollywood that told many stories from all types of people. Unfortunately, details of the cast and release date of the upcoming projects haven't been shared.
Journey From Actor To Director
Porter started as an actor in the late '90s and appeared in series sporadically for the first few years. He rose to stardom in 2018 after being cast as Pray Tell, an emcee in the Ball scene in Pose.
The role bought him more than a dozen nominations and won him the 2019 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has also won a Tony Award, Grammy Award, and an NAACP Award.
Aside from being an actor, Porter is also a singer, writer, and director. The Pose star had previously directed the revival of Broadway’s The Life for Encores.
Porter has been very passionate about directing and, when speaking to Huntington Theatre, he shared what excited him about directing.
I get to make stuff! I get to collaborate. As an actor, we are generally at the mercy of someone else’s vision — not that that’s a problem, but I have vision of my own, both creatively and artistically. As a director, I get to show that to the world in a more direct way.
Billy Porter's Net Worth
Both of Porter’s upcoming directorial works are generating quite some buzz. However, he isn’t focusing all his attention on What If? And To Be Real as he is also writing a memoir called Unprotected.
On top of the aforementioned projects, he is also developing a musical while simultaneously continuing his work as an actor. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Porter is worth $4 million.