Billy Porter says he's playing a 'genderless' Fairy Godmother in new live-action 'Cinderella'

Tom Beasley
Billy Porter arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Billy Porter has revealed he is playing the Fairy Godmother as “genderless” in a new live-action film version of Cinderella.

The Pose actor, who has become known for his bold red carpet fashion choices, said he believes adults are “slowing stuff down” and that “the kids are ready” for more progressive characters in their movies.

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Porter told CBS that “magic has no gender” and that this has informed his portrayal of the iconic wand-waver.

He said: “We are presenting this character as genderless. At least that’s how I’m playing it. And it’s really powerful.

Verna Felton provided the voice of the Fairy Godmother in the 1950 version of 'Cinderella'. (Credit: Disney)

“This is a classic fairy tale for a new generation. I think that the new generation is really ready.

“The kids are ready. It’s the grown-ups that are slowing stuff down.”

The 50-year-old star was recently criticised for wearing a dress during a cameo on Sesame Street, to which he simply replied: “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

Read more: Disney criticised for “ruining” Cinderella with Blu-ray transfer

Porter will take on the Fairy Godmother role in Pitch Perfect writer-producer Kay Cannon’s new musical take on Cinderella.

Grammy-winning singer Camila Cabello has signed on to play the title role.

Camila Cabello attends the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Idina Menzel plays Cinderella’s stepmother, with Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver also in the cast as the king and queen, alongside James Corden, John Mulaney and Romesh Ranganathan as mice-turned-footmen.

Mostly unknown British actor Nicholas Galitzine is taking on the role of Prince Robert.

Read more: Emma Watson on choosing Belle over Cinderella

The story has been adapted countless times for the big screen, with the most recent major adaptation produced by Disney in 2015, featuring Lily James in the lead role.

That version was directed by Kenneth Branagh and featured Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

Cinderella is due to be released in February 2021.