Searchlight Pictures' 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye' shares forgotten LGBTQ history

Thu. June 10, 2021 7:58 AM by Gerald Farinas

‘the eyes of tammy faye’

photo credit // searchlight pictures
“Now, God has a voice in this fight,” Jerry Falwell insists.

“What's he fighting?” Tammy Faye asks.

“Liberal agenda. Homosexual agenda.”

“Faith isn't political!” Tammy Faye says.

Tammy Faye Bakker gets the Hollywood treatment with Searchlight Pictures' TheEyes of Tammy Faye.

“Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life,” Searchlight Pictures says of their movie.

The biopic stars (and is produced by) Jessica Chastain, 44, of The Help fame as the Christian televangelist icon. Andrew Garfield, 37, The Amazing Spider-Man, plays husband Jim Bakker.

Tammy Faye, an eccentric, began her life grounded in a strong sense of Pentecostal values instilled by her preacher parents in International Falls, Minn.

But Tammy Faye noticeably began speaking out for persons suffering from HIV/AIDS as the epidemic gripped the nation.

She even openly accepted LGBTQ people when fellow televangelists railed against them as sinful, fornicators, and sodomites condemned to the fires of Hell.

Chastain works remarkably to express Tammy Faye's dismay at the hate-filled rhetoric of the Evangelical movement led by Jerry Falwell—considered by many as the arch-homophobe of 1980s and '90s American Christianity.

The biopic will follow Tammy Faye from her Upper Midwest Christian roots, falling in love with Jim Bakker, trying to forge success singing, hosting a puppet show for local television, and her path to fame at Jim's side—culminating in the success of Praise The Lord, or The PTL Club.

Garfield takes on the image of Jim Bakker with his DC Comics Joker-like smile and degradation from family values-man to just-plain-greedy man wanting more and more power.

It all comes crashing down around him—and Tammy Faye—as Jim is proven to be a major fraud.

The movie shares moments of LGBTQ history that could easily be forgotten—an emotional interview Tammy Faye had on her Christian program with openly gay Steven Pieters.

Pieters, a preacher, had AIDS.

He was dying.

And he shared on the show about coming out and losing his lover to the mysterious scourge affecting gay men.

Tammy Faye famously looked into the camera and preached that it was horrible that Christians would abandon people like Pieters.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye will certainly bring back memories for those of us that grew up with her in our cultural peripheries—and share how she truly contrasted with the ugliness and hatefulness of her Evangelical world.

The movie was directed by Michael Showalter and stars lesbian star Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne of Supernatural, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger from Netflix's The Politician, Gabriel Olds, country singer Mark Wystrach, and Vincent D'Onofrio of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.