Nonbinary Romance 'Under My Skin' Is A Powerful Testament To Living Truthfully

HuffPost caught a sneak peek of David O’Donnell's drama, which is set to premiere at New York's LGBTQ film festival, NewFest.
Liv Hewson (left) and Alex Russell in "Under My Skin," debuting Tuesday at New York's NewFest.
Liv Hewson (left) and Alex Russell in "Under My Skin," debuting Tuesday at New York's NewFest.
David O'Donnell/Newfest

A nonbinary musician’s journey to self-acceptance thrusts their love life into uncertainty in the highly anticipated drama “Under My Skin.”

Written and directed by David O’Donnell, “Under My Skin” follows Ryan (played by Alex Russell), a straight-laced lawyer and cisgender man who finds himself falling for a free-spirited artist, Denny (Liv Hewson), after a chance encounter at a neighborhood bar.

Though the pair have an immediate connection, their relationship is tested when Denny decides to cast internal conflict aside and embrace their nonbinary identity.

Take a sneak peek at “Under My Skin” via the below clip.

Hewson, best known for portraying Abby Hammond on Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet,” shares the role of Denny with nonbinary actors Chloe Freeman, Lex Ryan and Bobbi Salvör Menuez.

Producer Raynen Bajette O’Keefe told HuffPost that the film was inspired by a brief relationship they had with O’Donnell, and described its plot as an exploration of what happens when people are “confronted with change that seeds questions in them.” The decision to cast four performers as Denny, they added, was intended to reflect how their “relationship to their music changes as we see them move more and more toward themself.”

“If you watch the film, they glisten, and that is the glow and authenticity exuded from experience, of which no skillful actor without these knowledges can replicate,” O’Keefe said. “It is a divine inhabiting. As a trans and nonbinary person myself, seeing them on-screen still moves me.”

“Under My Skin” premiered to critical praise at London’s Raindance Film Festival last year. On Tuesday, it will be screened as part of New York’s LGBTQ film festival, NewFest, and will remain available for online streaming through Oct. 26.

Other highlights of the 2021 festival include “Mayor Pete,” which examines now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, and “Flee,” an animated film that follows an Afghani refugee on the verge of relocating to Denmark and marrying his husband.