‘The Craft: Legacy’ stars O.C. trans actress Zoey Luna
A casting call from Blumhouse Productions sought a young trans actress last year for its reworking of “The Craft,” a 90s cult classic following a coven of teen witches.
Zoey Luna unknowingly dressed for the part on an otherwise uneventful day at home.
She slipped a lilac corduroy overall dress on top of a red and blue stripped button-up before lacing up a pair of purple Doc Martin boots.
Luna completed her outfit by putting on a leather jacket and applying shiny, metallic lipstick when a fleeting but foretelling thought came to mind.
“Oh my God, I look like a teen witch,” Luna said to herself. “I could totally be in ‘`The Craft.’”
Two weeks later, a casting agent agreed, sending her an invitation to audition for the part of Lourdes, loosely conceptualized as a trans Latina witch booted from her home by a disapproving Catholic mother.
A self-taught actress, Luna didn’t have an agent at the time. As an outspoken trans rights activist, she did have a longstanding working relationship with GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy group that offered input on the role.
And Luna, 19, was no stranger to red carpets.
Dante Alencastre’s documentary “Raising Zoey” chronicled her transition as a young girl in Downey and premiered at Outfest in 2016. She followed up that project by appearing in the first episode of the HBO’s four-part docuseries “15: A Quinceañera Story.”
By then, Luna already had aspirations of becoming an actress.
“I came out of the womb knowing a few things,” she says. “I knew I was a girl, and the other was that I was destined to be in front of the camera for the rest of my life.”
True to her passion, Luna landed a role in Rosario Dawson’s short film “Boundless” and an appearance on the season finale of the FX series “Pose.” But the North Orange County-based actress’s biggest break awaited with Lourdes.
After her second audition, Luna watched “The Craft” from beginning to end, something she hadn’t done. The original film debuted in 1996, five years before Luna was born. Starring Robin Tunney and Fairuza Balk as coven sisters later pitted against each other in duel of good versus evil, it endures as a cult classic.
“Something hit me,” Luna recalls, after the viewing. “This is going to be monumental.”
In September 2019, “The Craft: Legacy” announced its cast, with Cailee Spaeny (Lily), Gideon Adlon (Frankie) and Lovie Simone (Tabby) joining Luna (Lourdes) in rounding out the new quartet of teen witches.
Luna signed with Transgender Talent, an O.C.-based management company co-founded by Ann Thomas and Kendra Neuberger, in order to formally accept the role. Her major film debut is poised to be a celebratory moment for the trans community.
In its latest annual report, GLAAD found that none of the eight major studios released a film in 2019 with any transgender characters, much less Latinx ones. This year will be different thanks to “The Craft: Legacy” alone when it arrives Oct. 28 to video on demand.
“The Craft needed a type of queer energy,” says Luna. “I’m really grateful for all the other trans kids that are going to get to see this film.”
Being the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Luna hopes young Latinas, trans or not, see themselves represented. She definitely sees her reflection in Lourdes, from feeling like an outsider in high school to being estranged from her own mother during auditions.
As soon as filming started, the actress already planned her outfit for the red carpet premiere. But with its release coming amid a pandemic, everything’s changed.
There’s always next time — a sense of optimism Luna didn’t have when coronavirus started nixing future opportunities. But now things are looking up again. She moved into her first apartment in Fullerton. And thanks to Transgender Talent, her schedule is busy.
“They really know how to work with Hollywood,” says Luna. “Thomas has been able to get me so many good roles and I have so much coming up soon.”
But first is “The Craft: Legacy.”
Will the installment play more like a reboot or a sequel? Luna teases that folks are just going to have to watch in order to find out. What she does promise is a shakeup.
“This movie is definitely going to break a lot of boundaries,” says Luna. “I want to change the world with my art.”
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