It all started on Valentine’s Day in 1998, and almost 20 years later - Hedwig is coming back to Japan, with legendary director John Cameron Mitchell reprising the titular role.
The story of the Tony winning musical revolves around heroine Hedwig Schmidt, a transexual punk rock star who gets a sex change to escape from East Berlin, only to have her operation botched and her husband leave her alone in the US. It’s a story of despair, isolation and love as Hedwig navigates the cold world in search for her missing half. Mitchell premiered the musical off-Broadway, and followed up with a movie release in 2001, but it wasn’t until 2014 when the story made its premier on Broadway.
It’s no secret why Hedwig’s heart wrenching story is so relatable. The search for another half, someone to complete you as a whole, while battling feeling like a complete outsider remains a resonant theme, especially in the midst of the changing socio-political climate in 2017.
We sat down with actor and director John Cameron Mitchell to discuss Hedwig’s return to Japan, the evolution of the character over the years, and his new movie premiering in December.