Q&A with Tucky Williams
Girl/Girl Scene creator talks about her kissing phobia, gender identity and why she's still just a normal girl.
Tucky Williams is the creator, writer and lead actress in the lesbian web series Girl/Girl Scene. She won best original screenplay for the pilot episode at the World Independent Film Expo. Williams began college at 15, studying broadcast journalism and meteorology. She loves Yoga, reading, meditation, studying philosophy and she's a Fight Club fanatic. Her lesbian webseries, Girl/Girl Scene, portrays lesbian life in middle America.
You studied broadcast journalism and meteorology in college. Did you know you wanted to act before then?
Well I didn't think that I could do acting in Kentucky. So I thought, well, I'll be a meteorologist and that's sort of fulfilling that need to entertain. [Laughs] I wanted to be an actor when I was 4. And then when I was in elementary school I had some classes. Like they let you study, but you didn't really learn anything. And then I was in a local acting company for teens, but I didn't really learn anything about acting until I made my first movie. And I saw Cindy Allen, who plays the mother on the show. And I saw her audition and I was like, OK, that's how it's done. So, I would say that everything I learned about acting, I learned from watching her.
How long has Girl/Girl Scene been running online?
It came out about a year and a half ago. I don't really remember. We've been working on it for a while because it was so hard to get things together in the beginning. It was really hard to get the show cast because we were coming at people and saying, hey, we don't have anything to show you. Will you be on this TV show where you play a gay person and you're going to work for free? [Laughs]
Is it exciting to have so much support for Girl/Girl Scene?
It's tremendous. When we started out, I didn't think it would be successful as it has been. It was more like a labor of love. I wanted to make this. And I thought, oh, I'll put it on YouTube and a few thousand people will watch it. And that was all I wanted to do. Instead, it turned into this thing in its own right. When you do something like this, you kind of have this image in the back of your head, like hey, maybe this will take off and be this tremendously successful show, but you don't ever believe it. And then it happened, and it still hasn't absorbed, yet.
How do you get into character of Evan?
I didn't want to play Evan originally because I thought it would be kind of arrogant to be like, yeah, I'm the hot one on the show. I didn't want to do that. But then Eric, the director sat me down. He was like, No, listen, you need to play Evan. So I played Evan and the character just came out, the voice just came out. She had some kind of weird combination of a southern accent and a Canadian accent. And then the doofus thing just came out, her just being kind of clueless. It was sort of like she existed and she just came into me.
What are other things that people don't know about you or don't usually ask you?
My phobia, that's something you should know about. I have a kissing phobia. I kiss my girlfriends and stuff, but I don't generally like kissing and that's been one of the things that I think people might find surprising because all these people are like, oh, you just want to be Evan so you can kiss all of these hot girls. And I'm like, well, first off, I didn't want to play Evan originally and secondly, I just looked it up and it's a legitimate phobia. So I call playing Evan immersion therapy.
Does it feel rewarding to know that you've created something that's helping so many people learn to accept themselves?
Yeah, there was this one girl, and she wrote to me asking if she should come out. And of course I was like — I said, I can't tell you what to do, but I told her my point of view. Okay, she came out. She's 16. She's in high school. She came out and she got a girlfriend. She's like, hey I got a girlfriend and this is the best part — she went to prom and she said, I dressed like Evan and I wore a tie, instead of a dress. And there are these pictures of them. So her girlfriend is in a prom dress and she is dressed up like Evan. And they look so happy. It's the most adorable thing ever. That's the one I'm happiest about.
What was it like going to Dinah Shore for Girl/Girl Scene?
Well, I am really recluse and I am shy. And so for me, the Dinah was all about going to events, and doing interviews and talking to people I really didn't know. In terms of all the socializing, that took place in my fabulous hotel room by myself. The Dinah is wild. I requested the most private room on the property. Every morning at 9 a.m., you'd start hearing thunka thunka thunka thunka thunka and it would go on all day. There were these crazy crazy pool parties. I'd only go out at night. That was fun because you'd walk the red carpet. Oh, it was so great. You're trying not to be a fan. Standing next to someone totally awesome and you're just like, uhhhh.
In a Dinah Shore interview, you were hesitant to identify with the label butch that you were given. Where on the gender spectrum do you feel most comfortable?
I have no conceptual identity other than female and gay. So, it really surprised people last year — I went to the ScareFest and I put in fake hair and put on a dress and totally dressed up like a girl. And a lot of the Girl/Girl Scene fans were like, what the hell was going on? It really freaked them out. It's just clothes. You can still be who you are, you know. You could be super pretty. But in terms of being comfortable, physically comfortable, it's much easier to dress like a man and wear flat shoes, and warm clothes. Now people are like, which way are you? Are you butch or femme? And I think what they really want to know is if I'm a top or bottom. [Laughs]
You said that you wanted to create a show that celebrated lesbianism and that didn't show women struggling, but showed them being proud of being gay. That's definitely evident in Jessie's character and her ease in coming out.
But then her mother gave her a bunch of hell, which was what it was for me. I knew I was gay my entire life and then I finally decided to tell my mother and she was like, 'No you're not. You're not gay. You're not gay.' And now she believes me, now that she's seen me pretend to have sex with girls on camera, broadcast internationally. Now she thinks I might be gay.
So, mom has just recently come around?
I tried to tell her when I was 12. She didn't believe me up until about 5 years ago. But all the stuff that the mother says is stuff my mother said to me. Which she said, 'oh, you just feel sorry for gay people. You just always identified with the underdog and you just feel sorry for gay people.' And it really hurt me. She said she would talk about it with her friends and her friends all agreed, that I wasn't gay. Because I had long hair, you know? And I walked like a girl, so I couldn't possibly be gay. She's the most important person in my life, my mother. Always has been and always will be. It was really hard to have her not believe me. I mean, even when I was dating girls and sleeping with girls, it was like, 'mmm. Maybe you're bisexual.' It's like, 'No, I'm gay! You don't get it. I don't like men, I like women.'
What was that like being out so young, were the kids and your friends OK with it?
I dropped out of school in grade 6. So I didn't really have any friends to tell, but nobody cared. The only thing I was really upset about was that I didn't have a girlfriend. I didn't get my first girlfriend until I was 19. I was so distraught. I was so gay and it was like nothing. I'm still distraught because I don't have a girlfriend. Some things never change.
Is it weird to have people look at you like a sex symbol, associating Evan with you?
Yeah, they seem to think that I think I'm better than they are, and it's like — you can just come up to me, and start talking to me. You know? I'm a normal person. It's like people come up and will be like, Tucky, can I get a picture? I'm like, yeah sure. They'll hug me and they'll talk to me about the show, and then they're just like, OK, thanks, and then they'll walk away. It's like, Oh, that's kind of awkward. You're not bothering me. I don't know, you'll meet some girl and you'll think it's going really well and then she's like, OK, can I get a picture and you're like what? It's just like, you know, I want a girlfriend. It's like people are sort of scared to approach me. I'm totally just a normal person.