Misfits star leads first trailer for dark drag queen revenge thriller Femme

George Mackay and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett star in Femme.

The trailer for Femme, directed by Sam H Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, follows a drag queen’s sinister scheming as they exact vengeance on their homophobic attacker.

Based on the BAFTA-nominated 2021 short film – starring Paapa Essiedu and Harris Dickinson – Freeman and Ping’s feature-length adaptation premiered at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year to critical acclaim.

Femme introduces us to London-based drag queen Jules (played by Misfits star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), whose life is turned on his head after a violent homophobic encounter with a closeted gay night club frequenter, Preston (Pride and 1917 star George Mackay).

As Jules processes the trauma of that night, months later he comes across Preston once again at a gay sauna, but out of drag Preston fails to recognise Jules. Thus ensues this heart-pounding neo-noir erotic thriller as Jules strikes up a budding relationship with Preston with only one thing in mind: revenge.

The two-minute trailer begins with the fateful night of the attack, before we see Jules enact their calculated plot against the deeply-closeted Preston. Jules begins posturing as a “lad” to ingratiate himself into Preston’s life, growing more and more distant from his queer friends and family as he becomes hellbent on revenge.

As the stakes grow higher, Preston and Jules’ encounters grow more charged, heated and filled with the threat of violence on both ends.

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The film offers a darkly captivating exploration on homophobia, transphobia and trauma in modern-day society – a conversation which remains particularly pertinent as the LGBTQ+ community in London faces growing homophobic assaults.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett in Femme
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett in Femme. (BBC Films/YouTube)

In an interview with Deadline in February, director Freeman explained his motivation for tackling a queer story within the historically “hyper-masculine” neo-noir thriller genre.

“It sprung out of our love and enjoyment of high-octane, neo-noir thrillers. They’re our reference, films by the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn, the Safdie Brothers and also old school Martin Scorsese,” Freeman said.

“But however much we love those movies, we realised that we don’t exist in these worlds. They’re so hyper-masculine and revel in that kind of hyper-masculinity. There are very rarely queer characters in these films. And when there are, they’re often funny, with some kind of quirk.”

Drag is central motif throughout the film, not just for Jules – whose identity is violently stripped form her at the beginning of the film – but for men like Preston who wear metaphorical drag everyday by pretending to be someone they are not.

George MacKay in Femme
George MacKay in Femme. (BBC Films/YouTube)

“Jules’s revenge on Preston is trying to strip that drag away from him, in the same way as the drag is literally removed from his body at the beginning of the film,” Freeman continued.

While Ping added: “It enabled us to tell a bigger, deeper story about identity and people’s place in the world and in society.”

The films also stars John McCrea, Aaron Heffernan, Antonia Clarke, Moe Bar-El, Asha Reid and Peter Clements.

Femme is set to be released on 1 December, 2023.