Susan Sandler on Trans Comedienne Comeback in Julia Scotti: Funny That Way [Exclusive Interview]

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way - directed by Susan Sandler

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way – directed by Susan Sandler (Image features Julia Scotti)

Julia Scotti has been funny and a stand up comedienne all her life. However, at the start of her career in standup, she was born biologically male as Rick Scotti. After the renewal of her career and as a different gender, her comedy is more popular than ever and more noticeable. Director Susan Sandler took the opportunity to tell this fascinating story on screen with Julia Scotti: Funny That Way.

During the documentary, the Julia Scotti reflects the past decisions of transitioning and the evolution of her jokes. Also, it was long process of acceptance with her family. Remarkably, her career resurged as an elderly woman and eventually noticed nationally on season eleven of America’s Got Talent.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the comedy boom of the 1980s, Rick Scotti was a busy guy—a headliner in clubs across the country—when he came to the dawning realization that nothing felt right. At the time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard. Rick’s true awakening at age forty-seven lead to a year of hormonal treatments, surgery, and a new identity as Julia Scotti.

And then everyone turned away—former wives, friends, family, comedy world buddies, and most painfully Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. She reinvented herself, spent a decade teaching, and then several years ago, stepped back on stage at an open mic, and began her journey back to the world she loves. And just as she returned to comedy, her children reached out after 15 years of silence.

Shot over a period of five years, Julia Scotti: Funny That Way track’s Julia’s triumphant comeback, the rough life on the road, and complex process of reuniting with her children, as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy.

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LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with director Susan Sandler about the Julia Scotti story—her family life and her comedy.

Susan Sandler directs and writes screenplays and teleplays, including the Golden Globe-nominated Crossing Delancey and Friends At Last. Many of her projects landed at Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, TNT, and Columbia Pictures. Her plays included Crossing Delancey (adapted for film too), Under the Bed, The Renovation, The Moaner, If I Were A Train, and The Find. This documentary is her directing debut.

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way is available as VOD today.

Watch the exclusive interview with Susan Sandler below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, 1091 Pictures

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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