Leyna Bloom speaks on history-making Cannes film ‘Port Authority’

The actress sits down with theGrio's Steven London and opens up about being the first trans woman of color to headline a film at Cannes

In an exclusive interview, Leyna Bloom sat down with theGrio to speak on her history-making Cannes film, Port Authority.

Bloom is truly history in the making. She is the first trans woman of color ever to headline a film at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Bloom sat down with theGrio‘s Steven London and broke down her connection to the film, and also spoke about Black Lives Matter and hate against the AAPI community in this country.

"Port Authority" : Photocall - 45th Deauville American Film Festival
Leyna Bloom attends the “Port Authority” photocall during the 45th Deauville American Film Festival on September 13, 2019 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

When asked what she wants audiences to take away from the film, Bloom said: “I want to see how beautifully complex these characters are. I want you to really pay attention to how you resonate with that…like how beautiful complexities are and how beautiful storytelling is and how it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.”

She continued, “What makes us unique and special is how we connect with each other and find the human grounds of our interconnections.”

In addition to being the first trans woman of color to headlines a Cannes film, Bloom also is the first trans woman to be featured in Sports Illustrated, a triumph which she said makes her feel honored. “You know, America is a very new country. So any things that are triumphs or significant historical events, is really profound and new for a lot of people…with us, it’s so new and profound that it’s just honestly, the last five years we’ve been able to access opportunity to be able to be in history and allows us to not just live for today, but allows us to live forever in history. So I just think it’s just a new energy for me.”

Bloom also dived into the uptick in racially motivated violence in this country and her perspective after the whirlwind year. “It’s very emotional you know, the world’s at war with each other and the blood is being shed on the bodies of our Asian, African, trans feminine energies and society. So me being a combination, a cocktail of it all, I really feel the burn up close and it’s very personal to me.”

Bloom said she’s a survivor and will be able to get through these challenging times. “I’ve learned how to navigate myself without the system working for me. You know, that’s one thing about being a person of color. You grew up in a society that you don’t fit in, so you create one that you do.”

“We are in a time right now when so many people of color from all around the world are creating their own magic, and creating their own magnetism to things in the world that resemble who they are and what they want to really tackle. You know, we are actors and creators and we’re artists and we’re storytellers. That’s a gift that’s already born inside us.”

Port Auhtority has been available in select theaters since May 28th and On Demand and Digital since June 1st. The cast includes Leyna Bloom, Fionn Whitehead, McCaul Lombardi, Christopher “Afrika” Quarles. Read the official synopsis below:

After getting kicked out of his home in central Pennsylvania, Paul (Fionn Whitehead) arrives to NYC’s dizzying central station with nowhere to go.  A momentary encounter with Wye (Leyna Bloom), a trans woman of color, leads him to seek her out. Transfixed by her beauty and confidence, a love soon blossoms. But as the two learn more about each other, Paul’s false narratives begin to surface and the double life he lives must be reconciled.

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