Interviews / Movies

Brandon Delsid is JLo’s BFF in “This Is Me…Now”

As a child, Brandon Delsid’s young heart raced for art. Though some may have envisioned greatness for him on the field, he knew his true calling involved performance. And luckily, his grandmother shared his vision! “I grew up a little gay boy in Fresno, CA where the arts were, thankfully, bountiful,” he recalls. “My parents tried to make me play soccer ,but instead, I pushed to be in Popeye the Musical. The rest is history. My grandma really is the one who got me into theater. I call her my honey. She saw I had a keen interest in the stage. It really felt like home. I remember some of my happiest childhood memories happened on those stages. I felt the rush and my confidence grew with each rehearsal. It really was my destiny. I was never good at soccer either!” Brandon had the rare opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade at the prestigious Groundlings School. It was a formative experience that gave him an edge in his scenes with JLo in her newest musical hit, This Is Me…Now. “Gosh. I can’t say enough positive things about the Groundlings. It is such a phenomenal place to study. I think one of the hardest hurdles in performing is to truly be able to relax in a scene. It is so essential. That ability to be loose enough to play and be creative is so necessary. I can remember doing a play recently and when I was onstage, I started to feel anxious. I stopped what I was doing and took two deep breaths. You must find the ways to access the best of you. Groundlings is all about that. Freedom to play and be silly. For This is Me…Now, we improvised quite a bit in several scenes with Jennifer. It was so cool to see how willing she was to play and banter with us. Some of our improvised scenes made it in the film!”

Brandon’s character is unafraid to steal the spotlight and let his voice be heard. He adds a bit of cheeky sparkle to Jennifer‘s life. “I get to be a part of Jennifer’s Greek chorus of friends. My character is called The Lover — we try to help, but we also stir up the drama a bit. What are friends for? Getting to play her gay best friend in the film was everything. I love that my character is gay and fabulous and bends gender and societal norms. Which I’ve always tried to do in my own life. The Lover is full of glamor and kindness and sprinkles fabulousness wherever he goes. Even if that means elbowing a couple girls aside to catch the bouquet.” Returning to musical theater was a welcome homecoming. Wouldn’t our days be better if we could belt out our stress? “It is in my roots. Where it all began. I can remember watching the Tony Awards broadcast on a loop for a month. Maybe two. It’s very fitting that my big break brought it all back to where I began: musical theater. It was so epic. I think that musical theater at its best is camp, glamor, magic, make believe, and wonder all rolled up into one. It begs us to imagine a life where we can dance through our problems. This is Me…Now is all that and more. Truly a musical masterpiece. I think it will redefine the modern musical forever.” That spirit of excellence reverberated through a stellar cast. Brandon is the first to admit that he hit the costar jackpot. “I mean, the cast could not get more iconic. Keke Palmer, Post Malone, Jane Fonda, Sofia Vergara…just to name a few! I spent most of the time with Jennifer and my c-stars who also play her friends. We had never met before, and I would now call them some of my closest friends in town. We became best friends through this. Jennifer was so magical to work with from start to finish. She made the set feel so open and invited us to play. She is so personable and humble, and she always checked in on us. Even after we wrapped, she continued to include us in her wonderland.”

Apart from his illustrious credits, Brandon shines the brightest through the lens of his queer identity. He jumped at the chance to embody a character who mirrored his own attitude towards gender fluidity. “I’ve always identified as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Ever since I was a kid, I knew there was something special about me. I believe being queer is a superpower! I like to think at this stage of my life, I’ve become very comfortable with expressing my gender fluidity. I think the role I get to play really celebrates that. I’ve always wanted to play with makeup. I always wanted to wear pink. I never wanted to be boxed in. Society tries to put us in boxes and categorize us with gender and societal norms. I say destroy the boxes. Paint with every color you have. I hope my role in this celebrates and highlights this for my community in a special way.” He believes everyone should be proud of their multidimensionality as humans. We are complex beings and we should savor being able to unwrap each layer. “I hope people realize that exploring your gender fluidity is a beautiful and powerful thing. It’s brave. It’s about exploring and embracing all parts of yourself while possibly realizing you might not be one thing. You might be many. You can embrace all sides of yourself, even the sides people might not agree with. That’s okay, because it’s not for other people, it’s for you. I can remember someone pointing out every single time I’d put makeup on. It would make me feel bothered. In the end, it was my own beautiful self-expression and it became my superpower.”

Education is essential for supporting LGBTQIA+ folks. “Learn about people who are different from you. Ask questions in a respectful way. Be curious and engaged. We all have one life. Live and let live. Other than that, I think one of the biggest things we can do is to VOTE. Vote, vote, vote. Voting with marginalized communities in mind. Don’t take that gift for granted. Use it every chance you can. We have a huge election coming up and it is more vital than ever to be engaged.” Learning to love himself was the first step in Brandon‘s liberation. He intends to extend that freedom and joy to as many in the queer community as possible. “I feel more myself than ever before. I’ve realized the exact things that others said were too much about me are the beautiful things about me. Embrace those things, don’t shy away from them! I hope to carve my own unique lane. Elevating queer voices and taking on roles that create visibility for my community. Visibility is everything. It shapes our culture. If you can see it, you can be it. Choosing roles that break gender and societal norms and make people think. I feel so honored to be in a film like This is Me… Now that does all that in the most massive and magical way. Follow along for the ride at @brandondelsid.” Breaking down the status quo will lead to a better tomorrow. This Is Me…Now is streaming on Prime Video.

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Brandon Delsid is JLo’s BFF in “This Is Me…Now.” Photo Credit: Chris Jon Photography.

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