Boxer Goes Trans for Eli Stone

Often perceived as male by confused casting agents, boxer-body builder turned actor Dallas Malloy felt a deep connection to the trans minister she plays on Eli Stone.



Eli Stone may well be a victim of this year’s
lengthy and destructive Writers Guild strike -- along with
shows including Dirty Sexy Money and
Lipstick Jungle, which all have grim futures
after seeing their first seasons cut short following the
strike -- but for boxer-body builder turned actor
Dallas Malloy, the show was a career changer.

Malloy made
history back in 1993 when, at just 16 years old, she filed a
discrimination suit because females were excluded from
amateur boxing. She won in court -- and in the ring --
and enjoyed a long and lucrative career in boxing and
body building.

She later
developed a passion for acting, but despite a brief
appearance as herself in the film Jerry Maguire, gigs
were few and far between -- until now. Cast as a
female-to-male transgender minister who has been fired
from his church and seeks the help of lawyer Eli
Stone, Malloy called this the role of a lifetime. Trans,
male, drag queen -- Malloy has heard it all while
making the audition rounds, so relating to a character
that was “just such a part of me” came easy.

And to think,
given the current climate of television, the episode
(airing Tuesday, December 30, at 10 p.m. Eastern) almost
never saw the light of day. did the gig on Eli Stone come about?Dallas Malloy: It was an audition I went on. My
agent told me about it and said they were having trouble
finding the right person, They wanted someone who
looked very much in the middle gender-wise. So they
wanted me to come in. It was just one of those things
-- and the thing is, from the moment he told me the
description of the character, he totally resonated
with me. I just kind of fall in love [with a
character] instantly; I’d just never had the sort of
response I did with this one.

You just said something very interesting to me --
that they were looking for someone who was “in
the middle” gender-wise. What do you mean
by that?
Well, I’m paraphrasing what my agent
said. But they wanted someone who looked very
androgynous and not specifically male or female. Even though
I’m playing a transsexual male, they wanted someone
who was very much in the middle.

Your history is so rich in the ways you might
relate to this character. Through your history with
boxing, you obviously know what it’s like
to be discriminated against for your sex. How did
that play into how you approached the character?
That’s just such a part of me ... the way
I see it, you go through life, and every experience
helps to shape you. And, in some instances, make or
break you. A lot of it, I think, is subconscious -- I
didn’t have to think about anything
specifically; it’s just a part of me. I’ve
always stood up for what I believe in, and to me,
it’s a nonissue. That just never makes sense to
me, discrimination like that. To me, the character’s
passionate about what he wants -- he wants to help others,
but he has to be true to himself, and he felt he had
to complete this transition in order to be who he was
born to be. In some people’s eyes that’s
controversial. To me, it’s not -- it’s very
simple. He just did what he had to do. It’s the
same with me and boxing. I mean, I’m honored to have
been the one to take that pass -- maybe someone else
wouldn’t have taken it on -- but see, I
can’t even imagine that. I’ve never stopped
when I wanted to pursue something I loved.

Tags: television