In a sign of the changing times in Hollywood and film, Mya Taylor won The Best Supporting Actress Independent Spirit Award for Tangerine at Saturday’s ceremony in Santa Monica, California. She beat out the likes of Cynthia Nixon (James White) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa) for the prize.
In her speech, Mya Taylor commented on inclusiveness in the industry by saying, “There is very beautiful transgendered talent. So you better get out there and put it in your next movie”. She also talked about her doubts as to the director’s radical film-making choices during production and how the film profoundly changed her life.
The film’s director Sean Baker found Mya Taylor in the LA LGBT Center, a block away from the intersection of Santa Monica and Highland where the film is primarily set. Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez play Alexandra and Sin-Dee, transgendered sex workers in the film shot using iPhones.
In an interview with Vogue last year, Mya mentioned the place of humor in the film as an element of realism, saying, “Santa Monica and Highland is a real place, and all the stuff that goes on in that area, which is in the movie, really does happen, so why would I cover up a beautiful wall with wallpaper, you know?”