Laverne Cox and Bette Midler star in new trailer for queer film Freak Show

Billy Bloom played by Alex Lawther in Freak Show

A new trailer for the movie Freak Show has revealed more about the roles played by LGBTQ+ icons Laverne Cox and Bette Midler.

The film, released in UK cinemas next month, is about teenager Billy Bloom, played by Alex Lawther, who loves to wear glittery and flamboyant clothing. However, his life is upended when he is forced to go and live with his traditionalist father. Read PinkNews’s review of Freak Show here. 

The movie, based on James St. James’s novel of the same name, follows Bloom’s experiences at his new ultra-conservative high school, where he is bullied for his non-gender conforming fashion sense.

Freak Show is Trudie Styler‘s directorial debut.

In the new trailer, Cox, who plays news reporter Felicia, asks Bloom: “How do you wanna be identified? Gay, straight, transgender?”

Bloom, who idolises Boy George and regularly quotes Oscar Wilde, coolly responds that he is a “gender-obliviator.”

Laverne Cox attends the 49th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on January 15, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty)

Midler stars as Bloom’s glamorous mum Muv.

Her character is depicted in the trailer as a cigarette-smoking parent, who loves to drink and supports her son’s fashion sense.

The trailer shows Bloom overcoming his bullies by announcing that he intends to stand as a candidate for homecoming queen.

Bette Midler poses in the press room during the 2017 Tony Awards at 3 West Club on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty)

PinkNews’s Jess Glass, who gave the film a four-star review, described Freak Show as “full of warmth and laughter, while also sending out a clear message to anyone who has ever felt different.”

Freak Show premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February last year, and was released in the US in January 2018.

The movie also stars Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson and Celia Weston.

Freak Show is set to be released in UK cinemas and on demand on June 22.


Since rising to fame for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black, Cox has been outspoken on transgender issues, especially those affecting transgender people of colour.

In February, the star opened up about how difficult it was to break into the entertainment industry as a black, trans woman.

And, in January, she made history after becoming the first transgender woman to make the cover of Cosmopolitan.