Michelle Hendley, the star of “Boy Meets Girl,” is a real charmer. The transgender actress plays Ricky, a small-town girl who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. While at work, the frank and honest Ricky forms an immediate bond with Francesca (Alexandra Turshen). Over time, the two women become even closer.
“Certain aspects of Ricky’s character paralleled with my own experiences. I relate to her totally when it comes to struggles of transition and dating,” Hendley explained when reached by phone for an interview. “There are certain conversations in the film that I swear could be mirrored from my own life. Very specifically, the tampon scene happened in my own life. I’m flattered when that happens, to be honest.”
Speaking of relationships, Ricky’s best friend Robby (Michael Welch from “Z Nation”) is the would-be-designer’s sounding board and confidant. Welch and Hendley have amazing onscreen chemistry throughout the story.
“Michael is just like a genuinely sweet, easygoing, awesome person. I would chalk that up to being an amazing actor to work with,” she said. “And I did have a couple of weeks before shooting the film with Alexandra, who played Francesca. I lived with her for a little while, so we got very close. And we’re still very good friends.”
Though “Boy Meets Girl” is her first acting role, Hendley explained that she published a YouTube video log documenting her initial gender transition. “They are all just little recordings I did on my computer, on my phone just kind of talking about, discussing and showing my experiences through transition. And all the hoops you have to jump through as a Trans person. You get on your hormones; you get your letters of recommendation from therapists.”
“Boy Meets Girl” writer/director Eric Schaeffer learned about Hendley through her YouTube page. He thought the actress would be a good fit for the movie.
“That’s what attracted me to pursuing this role. We’ve seen a few representations of Trans characters in films prior to ‘Boy Meets Girl.’ They are often tragic, they are often sad. Which isn’t to say those stories aren’t valid, those stories don’t happen,” Hendley said. “I thought it was important to show that a Trans girl can have a loving family and come from a fairly normal, small-town community and live a pretty normal life.”
For Hendley, a move to New York is next on her agenda this summer. Like other actresses, she’s working with an agency and hoping to get more work. “I just got done shooting a pilot for NBC with Wesley Snipes called ‘Endgame.’ I have never done theater; honestly, it intimidates me quite a bit,” she offered.
“Boy Meets Girl” is now available on DVD and through iTunes.