Brad Michael Elmore’s Bit Heads to Sunny SoCal for Outfest Trans Actress & Activist Nicole Maines (“Supergirl”) Sinks Her Teeth into Vampire Horror Comedy Screened July 26th at the TCL Chinese Theatre
By: Patrick Donovan – Author/Screenwriter
Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 7/29/2019
“Brad Elmore drives the stake in the heart of this comedy horror flick making you feel the pulse as you see the hidden message that comes through loud and clear! Who are you?”
– Pat Donovan
Los Angeles, CA – Provocator and Thirty06 have announced the SoCal Premiere of Brad Michael Elmore’s Bit at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival. Actress and activist Nicole Maines (The CW’s “Supergirl”) headlines the cast as Laurel, a small town trans teen who heads to the City of Angels to find a new life. Instead, she meets a gang of intersectional feminist vampires led by Duke (Diana Hopper, Amazon’s “Goliath”). Not knowing if they want to kill her, befriend her or turn her, Laurel learns to understand the love and dangers of her new group of friends.
Making her feature debut, Maines is joined by Diana Hopper (“Goliath”), James Paxton (Boogeyman Pop, “Eyewitness”), Zolee Griggs (“Wu-Tang: An American Saga”), Friday Chamberlain, Char Diaz, Greg Hill (Operation Finale) and M.C. Gainey (Con Air). Brad Michael Elmore (Blumhouse’s Boogeyman Pop) directed from a script he wrote, alongside producers Robert Reed Peterson, Nicholas Cafritz, Peter Winther, Louis Steyn and T.J. Steyn.
It opens with woman and man making out, but ooh! Bad, really, really, bad! The poor boy who is scolded for having been bit by his girlfriend, a vampire, suffers at the hand of the head Mistress Vampire by having his heart ripped out. But is that the end or is it the beginning in our story? Now that you have a “taste” for the macabre, and a lust for blood, we can get into the real “meat” of the review!
Bit is the story of Laurel (Nicole Maines), a transgender girl, who moves to LA and falls in with a gang of inter-sectional feminist vampires. Not knowing if they want to kill her, befriend her or turn her, Laurel learns to understand the love and dangers of her new and first group of friends.
As part of the Bit Girls Society, Bite Club or Jugulars, or whatever; I was just trying to sound cool. But I digress. You need to follow these three simple rules to getting ‘in’ and staying ‘in’ or else.
1) Never glamour another Vampire. Never invade their minds to affect their decisions
2) You kill what you eat… yum! Otherwise it turns and well, this new group isn’t ready to expand, just yet.
3) Finally, and most importantly; you never, ever turn a man. Darn. I wanted to be a part of this club.
But their reasoning and I tend to agree with them is that men can’t handle power. They have it already and look at what they’ve done with it. And with that, I’d like to introduce these fine ladies to the United States Senate…let the feasting begin! Okay, I’m really going off on a tangent here, but the head Vampire has a point here. These ladies are all about bringing attention to how women are treated, and they want to be the very monsters’ men have claimed they are but is that truly what they’re doing and how does that affect Laurel?
This film flies smack in the face of who we are and truly, who we are not, as people, but our one true self. For some people, it takes a tremendous amount of guts to merely exist much less be who they truly are. For some, these vampires represent who they are trying to become, free birds! Pardon the reference to a song, but it’s true. How many of us are struggling to be someone and yet, that struggle lives with us every single day? I know I do. I struggle every day to become who I want to be but feel trapped in this life of mine a slave to my own life seeking to become who I truly am. Is that you? This film has this hidden message for all of us.
You’re harkened back to the 70’s to follow Claire, the head Vampires’ life and how she met, “him” the Master. You hear disco music and it brought me back hearing “Rah, Rah, Rasputin” bellowing in the background. HA! Memories that I want to avoid like the bubonic plaque. What I’m getting here is that we search to find our one true self and we become immersed in a certain lifestyle, for Laurel, vampires, to forget who we are, who we want to be and focus only on what we have become. Is this what we truly seek? A lifestyle to get lost in, to disappear in and to leave or life because we’re missing something? Laurel is searching for her true self. Her purpose. Her life is a going down the toilet and when she meets up with these ladies, she is there, immersed in something she no longer has control over. Is that who “you” are? Are you where you want to be?
Laurel questions everything… notices that it’s too easy…it’s not her. With this movie the message I get from it is simple: Who are you? Nicole Maines’ performance is fantastic and believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve seen her act and I’m impressed as hell. I never watched Supergirl regularly and never saw her as a superhero, but I loved her in this movie. Watch it. But be careful not to do so in the dark and not under a full moon or you might — just — get — BIT!
Q&A with Nicole Maines
THT: Thank you Nicole, for allowing me to interview you about Bit and your career. So, I loved the flick. The film had more messages in there and subtleties which I was great. But the one message I got, like I wrote in the review was: Who are you? Or in the case of Laurel; Who am I? You see, what I found was that Laurel was confused, troubled and seeking a way out like Claire, which in the middle of the film, where Laurel and she spoke on the roof. Can you tell me what drew you to the script, what you got out of it and moreover, what message in the movie hit home to you?
NICOLE: I don’t think Laurel was necessarily confused as much as she was conflicted. She’s someone who has a desire to help people in tough situations, but now finds herself in one where she’s forced to hurt people to survive. And while that should be an easy choice to make, she finds herself drawn into the vampire lifestyle because of the promise of being an individual, and of belonging for the first time. She visits Mark in LA because she needs to be the small fish in the big pond, she needs to get to somewhere where all eyes are not going to be on her. Her struggle comes with wrestling between the new darkness that lurks within her, not with her gender identity. That’s something that I really love about Laurel. BIT takes place after she’s had her whole crisis of identity and instead focuses on her crisis of conscious. I think that a message from the movie that really hit home to me can be best summed up by laurels line at the end of the movie: “just because you’re a dude doesn’t mean you have an excuse to become a shithead.” The whole movie we see the V-Squad on a rampage against men who, for the most part, get what they have coming. But when a good guy like Mark is put into the equation, you have to realize that generalizations like that don’t work, and that the world isn’t perfectly black and white. It’s up to each person to make sure that they are doing their part to not be, for lack of a better term, a shithead.
THT: Your career takes you from being Susan Doe in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court case Doe v. Regional School Unit 26 to Supergirl and the first Transgender Superhero. Tell me more about your activism and why it’s so important to have all LGBTQ people included and not excluded?
NICOLE: Activism isn’t something that I really set out to do with the goal in mind to be an activist. It just started with my family sharing our story and realizing that it was one that a lot of other people were going through and resonating with. Now as an actor I can use my elevated platform to continue to talk about issues that matter to me, and to get my voice to more conservative places that I would otherwise have a hard time reaching. As far as inclusion goes, it’s important to have all LGBTQ people included rather than excluded because we exist. It’s not right to be excluding people solely because of who they love or how they self-identify. Everyone deserves a seat at the table, and we all deserve to see ourselves represented on television. We all had a superhero or some other character that we identified with growing up, and LGBTQ people deserve to have the same opportunity to do so.
THT: Your first part was in Royal Pains. Tell me about that and what it was like to land the role of Anna?
NICOLE: Getting to play Anna was such a fantastic opportunity for me because it really reignited my passion for acting. All through middle school and most of high school I’d wanted to be a professional actor, but somewhere along the way I doubted that I would be able to make that dream a reality. Getting to do Royal Pains gave me my first taste of what on screen acting was like, and it was so unlike anything that I had ever done before that I couldn’t wait to do it again. It helped me get in contact with my agents and really sent me on my current path. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for me.
THT: On Supergirl, you play Nia Nal/Dreamgirl. You’re a superhero! Tell me about how that made you feel and to be the first transgendered actress to “be” a superhero!
NICOLE: Yes, I play Nia Nal/Dreamer and it’s been such an incredible experience getting to bring her to life on television. Being the first transgender superhero on tv is still something that doesn’t quite feel real. I’m so proud to get to be the one to put on the suit and represent the community. At this point though, with a season under my belt, I’m hoping that Dreamer can start being a superhero and not necessarily a “trans superhero” if that makes sense. She’s such a cool hero with such cool powers and lore backing her up that I feel like focusing solely on her identity as a trans woman is selling her a bit short. I want her to be more than that because she has so much going for her.
THT: If you can give advice to LGBTQ fans and readers like yourself who want to finally be free to express who they truly are, what would you say to help those who are struggling?
NICOLE: I think I would like to say that it is important to keep in mind that you owe your identity to no one but yourself. It is your business and you don’t owe anyone an explanation or answers to invasive questions. If you are struggling with expressing yourself, I would say take baby steps. Especially with transitioning, it can be very intimidating, so maybe try doing it in small chunks gradually and ease yourself into it. Regardless of how you transition though, remember that it is something that you do to feel more comfortable, and you cannot let other people make you feel bad about it because otherwise what’s the point? Live life to the fullest and that means not surrendering your comfortability for someone else’s.
THT: Thank you, Nicole for your time. Finally, I have never seen you act before, not even in Supergirl and with BIT, I was totally impressed with your work. What are your plans for your future, how will you be getting more involved with LGBTQ awareness and activism, and what final thoughts would you like to leave our readers with?
NICOLE: It’s been my pleasure. As far as future plans go, I’m working on the fifth season of Supergirl right now and attending festivals with BIT. In the future I plan on doing many more movies with Brad Elmore, so really whatever he does next you can (hopefully) expect to see me make an appearance. I’ll be continuing to speak out about issues that matter and using my expanding platform to make sure that these issues are not being swept under the rug.