Selena Gomez to star as pioneering gay mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado in new biopic

Film is already generating Oscars buzz

Roisin Oconnor
Thursday 12 November 2020 11:37
Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez
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Selena Gomez has been cast as pioneering Peruvian-American mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado in a forthcoming biopic, which will be produced by Oscar-winner Donna Gigliotti (Hidden Figures).

Vasquez-Lavado was the first out gay woman to complete the Seven Summits, meaning she climbed the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. She achieved the feat in June 2018.

The film – already the subject of Oscars buzz – will be based on Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain, which is being published in 2022.

Gomez and Vasquez-Lavado shared the film news from their social media accounts.

“I am so humbled and grateful to share this thrilling news, which has been in the works for the last 10 months, that an all-star team has optioned my upcoming memoir ... for a movie adaptation,” Vasquez-Lavado wrote on Instagram.

“I am so honoured and touched for the bold, talented, and brilliant @selenagomez in taking the starring role.”

“Silvia is a force of nature,” Gigliotti told The Hollywood Reporter. “Scott [Budnick] and I are so excited to work with Elgin and Selena to tell this story of resilience, courage, adventure and humanity.”

While many fans expressed excitement at the news of Gomez in a new film role, others questioned the choice of a straight actor to play a gay role.

“But Selena isn’t gay. I wish they would give unknown LGBTQ actors a chance at playing such a defining role,” one Twitter user wrote.

“I love Selena I just wish this casting straight actors in LGBTQ roles phase would end! Love Simon, Brokeback Mountain, and so many more good films using straight actors.”

Gomez has discussed her sexuality in interviews, including a 2015 conversation with Between the Lines where she said she felt it was “healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep down, question and challenge yourself”.

The Independent has contacted Gomez’s representatives for comment.

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