“As a rising nonbinary and transgender actor, Jesse James Keitel was hesitant to audition for the role of Jerrie on ABC’s “Big Sky.”
Keitel, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, felt there was something “murky” about the inconsistent character breakdown that cast doubt on the show’s ability to properly represent a transgender character. After landing the role, Keitel — the first nonbinary series regular on primetime television — was able to sit down with the writers and producers to craft the character into something that was much more representative of the contemporary queer experience.
On the new procedural drama from creator and executive producer David E. Kelley — about two private detectives (Kylie Bunbury, Ryan Phillippe) and an ex-cop (Katheryn Winnick) who team up to solve a kidnapping case in Montana — Keitel portrays Jerrie Kennedy, a transfeminine, nonbinary musician and sex worker abducted at a rest stop by truck driver Ronald Pergman (Brian Geraghty) for a potential sex trafficking ring. Keitel said they have been able to bring their own lived experiences to Jerrie throughout the season to rebuild the character’s appearance from the ground up.”
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