Lily Gladstone Is Gonna Be Gay In ‘The Wedding Banquet,’ Their Third Gay Role Of The Year

Lily Gladstone‘s resume keeps getting gayer and gayer and we are so here for it! Today it was announced that Gladstone would star as “Liz” in Andrew Ahn’s The Wedding Banquet, a remake of the 1993 romantic comedy from legendary Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee. Kelly Marie Tran, a comic and actress who made a notable impact on gay history by suggesting that Raya, the part she voiced in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, is gay, stars as Angela, Lily’s partner.

The story centers on Min, whose proposal to his boyfriend Chris (local favorite Bowen Yang) is turned down. Still determined to secure his green card, Min persuades his close friend Angela (Tran) to marry him, while promising to cover the costs of IVF treatment for Angela’s partner, Liz (Gladstone). Their plan for a discreet city hall wedding takes a dramatic turn when Min’s grandmother arrives in Seattle, intent on throwing them a lavish Korean wedding banquet, disrupting their lives in unexpected ways.

Living legend Joan Chen is also slated to star in the remake. Previously, Chen’s contributions to the LGBTQ+ cannon included playing a widowed mother in beloved lesbian rom-com Saving Face, having a lesbian sex scene with Anne Heche in The Wild Side, a movie that was so bad, even an Anne Heche/Joan Chen sex scene couldn’t save it,appearing in the queer-inclusive Thanksgiving comedy What’s Cooking? and popping up in last year’s A Murder at the End of The World, starring Emma Corrin.

Youn Yuh-jung, who won an Academy Award for Minari, will play the grandmother, but details on Chen’s role remains a mystery. Casting for the lead role of Min is still underway.

Andrew Ahn previously worked with Bowen Yang on Fire Island.

The original Wedding Banquet was Ang Lee’s second feature film, and his first to earn a theatrical release when it debuted in 1993. It starred Winston Chao in his debut acting role as a gay man who marries one of his tenants, a mainland Chinese woman (May Chin), in order to placate his parents and get her a green card. But then his parents show up in the U.S. determined to plan his wedding banquet, putting his relationship with his gay partner (Mitchell Lichtenstein) in a very awkward position. Wedding Banquet performed well at the box office for its budget and earned accolades at various film festivals as well as Oscar, Independent Spirit and Golden Globe nominations. It was a risky film to make in 1993, and it’s pretty fucking cool that they’re making it again and even gayer this time.

a group of wedding participants and guests sitting at the tabel

The Wedding Banquet (1993)

As a community, we are specifically thrilled by the news that Lily Gladstone will be playing gay, and doing so opposite Kelly Marie Tran.

Last week I wrote about Under the Bridge, a fantastic true crime drama now on Hulu in which Lily Gladstone plays a lead queer character opposite Riley Keough. Earlier this month, it was announced that Apple Original Films would be releasing Fancy Dance, a 2023 Sundance favorite from Native American filmmaker Erica Tremplay, in which Lily plays a “queer 30-ish scammer” who’s tasked with her 13-year-old niece’s care after her sister Tawi disappears from the Seneca-Cayuga reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. That film will open June 21 with a limited theatrical release and premiere on Apple TV on June 28th. Gladstone also played a queer role in 2016’s Certain Women, which came in at #29 on our 50 Best Lesbian Films list. We can only continue to hope and pray that this streak of queer roles will continue forever.

Kelly Marie Tran became the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie when she appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December 2017, which also landed her on the cover of Vanity Fair, the first Asian-American woman to do so. Tran played queer in the Facebook watch series Sorry For Your Loss, which I really thought I’d written about for this website at some point but cannot find evidence of having done so. She’s generally badass and we are very excited to see her and Lily be a couple on the big screen!!!

The Wedding Banquet will begin filming in Vancouver next month.

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.

2 Comments

  1. I feel like I was among 5 people that watched that show but I loved Kelly Marie Tran’s character in Sorry For Your Loss! Easily the best part of the show for me and I can’t wait to see her in this.

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