Devilishly Diverse: Trans Actor Plays Pinhead in ‘Hellraiser’ Reboot

Written by | The Lens

Pat Benatar may think that Hell Is for Children, but it’s actually for the gays. The underworld is a writhing playground of sodomy and other forms of backstabbing, all simmering in an ungodly cauldron of heat and abandon.

So it’s basically Palm Springs with more shade.

Eternal damnation is finally getting the queer makeover it deserves in Hulu’s reimagining of Hellraiser.

Based on the 1987 film by Clive Barker, the new incarnation embraces the naughty nether nastiness of its source material, which revolves around a cryptic sex toy that bleeds its victims to satiate the whims of a sadomasochistic species of cenobites.

The iconic big baddies are back, but the new flick’s casting department has added a bracing dose of diversity to the production. Trans performer Jamie Clayton is nailing the role that gave generations of horror fans piercing nightmares.

“We felt a kind of anticipation around the fans to reimagine the character,” director David Bruckner tells Entertainment Weekly. “We knew we wanted Pinhead to be a woman. Jamie was just the right person for the role. A person’s identity can be really exciting for a role in many ways, but I have to emphasize that Jamie absolutely killed.”

So, how does a nice gal like Clayton end up on the cover of Fangoria magazine? By unleashing the chains that often drag us down, that’s how.

In a 2020 interview with Gay Times, Clayton reveals the liberating philosophy that guides her acting style.

“The only difference between a trans character and a cis character is that cis characters aren’t bogged down in language and dialogue about their gender identity. So in actuality, on any show that you love, any character could be trans if you want them to be. It’s art and we all interpret art in different ways.”

Clayton’s passion stretches from the queer-and-now to the shadows of history.

“We’ve been around for just as long as y’all have been around,” she declares. “We’re not going anywhere. We’ve been fighting. We didn’t just start fighting at Stonewall. We’ve been fighting for a really, really, really long time.”

With a demonic determination, Clayton is exorcizing ancient grievances and spilling them onto your screen. Hellraiser streams October 7 on Hulu and it will be a glorious bloodletting to behold. See you in Hell, y’all!

Last modified: September 28, 2022