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“Tu Me Manques” broke Bolivian box office records, then became a book, and now he’s about to be begin production next month on its third incarnation as a film in Bellott’s adopted home of New York City, as well as Bolivia.
Variety reported Thursday Argentinian actor Oscar Martinez will star in this new version of the family drama. Martinez, who won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for The Distinguished Citizen, will play the boyfriend’s father, described by Variety as “a wealthy man from Bolivia with old school values, who learns about his gay son’s recent suicide in the U.S.”
In the film as in the play, the father is browsing through the son’s computer when he strikes up a conversation by mistake with the character representing Bellott. Their conversation ends in a heated exchange that leads the dad to travel to New York, looking for answers.
Bellott had to recast most of the parts, considering that many of the actors in his groundbreaking work have moved on to foreign shores and other projects.
But he continued to employ one fascinating casting choice: his boyfriend is not played by one actor, but by 30 men, all of them representing the many sides of one man.
“If I choose one actor that person is going to replace the memory of my boyfriend,” he said.
One of the new actors is a transgender man, the first out trans male actor in Bolivia, said Bellott. “I found this guy who always dreamed to be an actor but thought, ‘Oh, I’m a trans actor, I’m never going to be cast as a man.'” Bellott learned the man came out at the time “Tu Me Manques” was a play, and told the actor, “I could not do this movie if I did not have you.”
Bellott shared his story at a conference at Lincoln Center in New York sponsored by Spiire, a learning platform that provides training and education for LGBTQ professionals.
Bellott’s tale of his personal struggle to escape oppression in Bolivia and of his work to oppose homophobia and encourage people to come out as their true selves earned him a standing ovation at the conference.
After the conference, Bellott and others spoke privately with LGBTQ Nation for a video series on our YouTube Channel, “QNation on Location.”