When Will Ferrell’s close friend of three decades revealed their transgender identity, the actor admitted to having “zero knowledge” of the community. In an effort to share their journey of understanding, the two have collaborated on a documentary.
Ferrell crossed paths with Harper Steele during their shared tenure on Saturday Night Live, where Steele served as a writer from 1995 to 2008. Steele came out as transgender in 2022, a revelation that initially “surprised” Ferrell. Acknowledging his gaps in understanding, Ferrell expressed his commitment to finding ways to support Steele during an interview with Variety at the Sundance Film Festival.
“We were all, of course, excited to hear the news, and surprised to hear the news,” he remarked. “All of us were extremely supportive and expressed love…but that sort of opened the questions like, how can we help you? What do you need us to do?”
Opting to undertake a road trip across the United States, the pair aimed to “navigate this new phase of their relationship.” Their expedition was captured for the upcoming documentary titled “Will & Harper,” set to premiere at the festival.
The synopsis states: “In this intimate portrayal of friendship, transition, and America, Will Ferrell and his best buddy of thirty years decide to go on a cross-country road trip to explore this new chapter in their relationship.”
Ferrell further expressed his goal to produce a documentary that could provide a perspective for cisgender individuals, offering insight into the experience of coming out and transitioning. The intention is to facilitate a better understanding of transgender loved ones.
“I had met trans people, but I didn’t have anyone personally in my life,” he clarified. “So this was all new territory for me, which is why I think this film is so exciting for us to kind of put out there in the world. It’s a chance all of us in the cis community to be able to ask questions and also just to listen and be there as a friend to discuss this journey.”
Steele chimed in, stating, “It tells the story of a cis friend of a trans person who has to transition himself.”
The documentary “Will & Harper” currently lacks a release date and is actively pursuing distribution opportunities beyond Sundance.
Source: The Advocate