Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars in the short series as Dev; Alisa Goldberg plays Alice.
Goldberg writes and Devon edits the episodes. Connar Brown contributes to the cinematography and the overall series is produced by She Them Productions, a production company that Devon started.
Windy City Times: Start with a little bit about your background.
Brittany Devon: I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have lived in Chicago for the last three years. I grew up between West Palm Beach, Florida and Michigan because my dad was an international polo player. He also invented frozen garlic bread, which is a fun fact!
While in Chicago, I graduated from Second City Conservatory Program and was trained in the Meisner technique. I did The iO Theater and Annoyance Theatre programs as well. It really honed me as an artist. I began to understand who I was as a queer person and then came out as nonbinary. I saw the representation and importance of that.
I am now making content and normalizing queer content.
WCT: Where did the idea for Platonic Girlfriend begin?
BD: In July of 2019, I was cast in a show that was a scam, but I met one of my best friends there. She is very straight but we are close and I describe her as a platonic girlfriend. I thought that would be a great name for a show. I had a lot of friends like her growing up, but once I came out at 17 years old, I was disowned by them. The girlfriends I would kiss at parties would say they weren't gay. I wanted to flip that with this show and have a different perspective. I wanted to show the normalcy of different types of relationships.
WCT: How similar or different are you to your character Dev?
BD: Dev can be standoffish at times and judgmental. That is not who I am as a person. We are the same in the way of being kind and navigating the space around us. My character doesn't communicate about things, but I communicate about everything! [Laughs]
WCT: Why are the episodes so short?
BD: Honestly, we had little time. I am expanding out to 20-to-30-minute episodes for more storylines now. I want it seen, so people can invest in it. Microshorts were in the budget I had also.
WCT: So your goal is to go on with a longer series?
BD: Yes. My inspiration is Broad City. They started on YouTube and their episodes were around a minute and 30 seconds. I think the longest was eight minutes for the finale. That had Amy Poehler in it. Because of her, they were able to get a deal with Comedy Central and expanded the show to dive into the characters. That would be a dream route for me.
WCT: So we need to find Tina Fey for your finale?
WCT: How did you find Alisa Goldberg to costar with you?
BD: We were in a Zoom class for over a year during quarantine with Sarah Clark, who wrote and directed my short film Total Catch. It will be at Reeling Film Festival and was at PrideArts.
I asked Alisa to be in the Platonic Girlfriend project and it happened very fast. We didn't meet in person until the first day that we filmed. It was unique. We did all the writer meetings via Zoom. We went to Michigan to film it.
WCT: What does Platonic Girlfriend say about relationships these days?
BD: It says that relationships are fluid and it's okay to question things. You don't have to define yourself. Gender and sexuality, are both separate. That is an underlying theme that I would expand on in a longer series.
Intimacy shows up in all different ways. I think it is important that friendships can be the same, or sometimes more than romantic relationships. I came out as polyamorous three years ago and I would like the series to explore that down the road in season two. If you truly love someone then you can allow them to be whomever they are and love whomever they want.
WCT: I learned about DivaCups from your series. I know you can keep them in for 12 hours after reading that it is a reusable menstrual cup.
BD: [laughs] Way to do your research!
I started a non for profit last spring called United Coalition for Change because I started packing lunches for kids. I was making beauty packs and trans packs to normalize men getting their periods. There are many people with uterus' that identify many different ways. I wanted to bring awareness to that, which is another example of how I would expand the series. People should know that trans men get a period.
There are so many things I want to speak on and normalize.
WCT: You have a lot of material to cover. Tina Fey needs to get on this project soon!
BD: Yes, she could play my mom. I would love that!
Devon's Total Catch plays at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark Street, on Sept. 25 at 9 p.m and Platonic Girlfriend's final episode is released Sept. 22 on YouTube.com . Follow Devon at BrittanyDevon.com .