Toni Collette was unaware of how the LGBTQ+ community championed her performance in Hereditary.
Released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim, the Australian actress led the A24 horror as Annie, the matriarch of a grief-stricken family who – because they haven’t got enough on their plate with the death of their bonkers grandmother – become haunted by a mysterious and supernatural presence. (Hail Paimon.)
Collette’s performance was lauded – especially for her now-iconic dinner scene monologue – and she was considered a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards. After she was snubbed, social media – particularly LGBTQ+ users – rallied behind Collette and condemned the Oscars.
“Why wasn’t Toni Collette nominated for an Academy Award?” Drag Race star Katya tweeted at the time, with her UNHhhh co-star Trixie Mattel responding, “Because horror and comedy aren’t legit to old stuff white people.”
Amethyst, another Drag Race alumni, memorably went viral with a lip-sync performance to the aforementioned monologue.
During a junket for her new Prime Video series The Power, we asked Collette if she was conscious of how heavily the role has been endorsed by LGBTQ+ people.
“I didn’t know that. That’s amazing,” she said, before explaining her reasoning for starring in the film. “Sometimes I think about that film and about my need to do it. At the time I was like, ‘I don’t want to do anything heavy. I just want to do fun things and bring joy,’ but there was this compulsion, this need for me to do it.”
Toni continued to speculate as to why Annie resonates with the community: “I wonder if it is the fact that there is this force in her life that should be allowing her to flourish, that should be nurturing whoever she is, to become the truer sense of herself, but instead she’s completely manipulated, lied to and used.
@gaytimes #ToniCollette didnt know #Hereditary was beloved by the queers! 🤯 #hereditarymovie #tonicolletteedit #hereditarydinnerscene #queerfilm #lgbtqfilms ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box – takaya
“She has to, throughout the story, really go within herself and find a sense of self to save herself. Maybe there’s some kind of alignment there in terms of having to listen to who you are, potentially coming out in a society that doesn’t support you or recognise you and having the guts to do that. Maybe that’s the parallel there.”
The Power is based on the award-winning novel of the same name from Naomi Alderman and envisions a world in which all women gain the superhuman ability to generate electricity from their hands.
Also starring Auli’i Cravalho, John Leguizamo, Toheeb Jimoh, Ria Zmitrowicz, Halle Bush, Nico Hiraga, Heather Agyepong, Daniela Vega, Eddie Marsan, Archie Rush, Gerrison Machado, Pietra Castro and Zrinka Cvitešić, the first season is scheduled to premiere on 31 March.
Collette told GAY TIMES that she “absolutely” signed onto the series because of its feminist and “inclusive” themes.
“The metaphor is that young girls have this electricity coming out of their hands, which then enables them to have a sense of safety and autonomy and sovereignty and agency. I think it’s incredible to see young girls and women on television experiencing that, a real sense of empowerment,” she explained.
“But, the show is ultimately about inclusivity and equality. Even though we’re telling it through the lens of gender and it is a real problem in the world, inclusivity and equality goes across the board – everyone, everywhere.”
Collette added: “It’s a far-reaching, global issue in life. To work on something so aligned with what’s happening in our world and with our species, it’s very exciting to work on something so meaningful.”
Watch the trailer for The Power here or below.