Soldier’s Girl

They didn’t know how dangerous love could be.

Lee Pace as Calpernia Addams / Scottie
Directed by Frank Pierson
Written by Ron Nyswaner
Release Date: May 31, 2003
Also starring: Troy Garity, Andre Braugher
Genre: Crime | Drama | Romance
MPAA Rating: R

The true story of a young soldier beaten to death for falling in love with a transgendered nightclub performer.

Trivia & Facts

• The film is based on a true story. However, in reality, the actual Barry Winchell was six and one half years younger than Calpernia Addams, but in the film the age difference is almost exactly reversed, Lee Pace, the actor who portrays Calpernia, is six years younger than Troy Garity, the actor who portrays Winchell.

• First film role for Lee Pace.

• Lee lost 25 pounds for this role by not eating anything and sleeping all day.

Memorable Quotes

Calpernia Addams: The imagination is the most powerful force known to mankind. And it is my imagined self, the one who is beautiful and loving and worthy of being loved, that has been my guiding force. My inspiration. I can only hope to become the person Barry imagined me to be. I pray for the courage it will take to become a real, live soldier’s girl.

Calpernia Addams: Under all this hair and make-up, I’m just a piece of white trash from the hills of tennessee. I like shit-kicking country music, and sometimes when I’m home all alone, I eat baked beans right out of the can.

Calpernia Addams: The dangerous thing about dreams, you begin to believe they will come true.

Quotes About The Film

“Frank Pierson sent me on the right track. He said to just watch real women— how they talk, how they walk. Observe all the tiny details.” (On how he prepared to be a realistic woman.)

“We became really good friends. She’s so forthcoming and articulate about her life, and she gave me a lot of important details. The way she would talk about Barry. She just really valued that time in her life and has a different perspective now that she can see it in retrospect.” (On his friendship with the real-life Calpernia Addams.)

“There were like three hours of make-up every day and by the end of that I was just sort of transformed into another person.”

“I’ve never been so depressed in my life; I lost 20 pounds to play the role and was always hungry because I was trying to keep the weight off. It was a difficult experience. It was my first movie and it taught me how to do the job. That character is so far from who I am, but when I watched it afterward, I was shocked at how much of myself I saw in the character. It just shows you can’t fake it. You’ve got to find something real.”

“When I read Soldier’s Girl, the first film project I ever did, it was not a character I was prepared to play, this guy who’d had the sex-change operation and falls in love with another man. But I was thinking about it all the time — on my bike, on the bus, everywhere I went. It became something I couldn’t shake. It occurred to me that that’s probably a good way for an actor to choose which projects to do: Go with the ones that won’t get out of your head.”

“I don’t know if I could pull off the drag queen thing, because it’s just so big and extroverted. I didn’t think I could pull this off, but the fact of the matter is she isn’t a biological woman. I played that as best as I could, even though I’m like six-three and I’ve got a deep voice and every once in a while the stubble comes through the makeup. I mean that’s where the story comes out. That’s where you really get what’s happening.”

“Me and Troy would act up when we were hanging around the trailers and stuff, and we’d play Playstation, but when we got on the set, we did take that seriously. Because it was real, it was like a real love affair that they had and it was passionate.”

“Meeting Calpernia actually got me to tone down my performance. At the time I met her, I hadn’t shot anything yet, [and] I was prepared to play her really girly and really flirty and lay it on really thick. But when I met her, I realized that she doesn’t try that hard. She’s serene. She just is. And she’s exactly as complicated as I thought she would be.”

“It was a little scary. A lot of that is Frank Pierson, how he shot the thing, because we were really nervous about it, not only doing it, but our mommas were going to see it [laughs]. We were worried about how they were going to shoot it. If you noticed, they keep the camera really close to our faces, so you don’t see a lot of our bodies. We thought we were getting the easy way out of this, but we watch it now and it’s like Jesus Christ…”

“I brought my parents to the premiere. I was sitting next to my dad, and there were scenes where I had to take off my top. Watching a sex scene with your parents that you’re in – playing a woman – is mortifying.”

Photo Gallery

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External Links

Soldier’s Girl Calpernia Addams Diary