Author JT Leroy came to prominence after the release of his novels Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. After years of staying out of the public eye, he emerged and became a phenom among celebrities like Billy Corgan, Michael Pitt, Winona Ryder and especially Gus Van Sant, who credited him as an executive producer on Elephant.
In actuality, JT Leroy was fictional, a creation of author Laura Albert. The public Leroy was Albert’s sister-in-law in a really bad blonde wig, while Albert would conduct many phone conversations in the guise of Leroy.
Watching this documentary, it’s hard to believe this many celebrities (even Bono!) were fooled by Albert, but many of them were. Asia Argento actually made a movie of Things thinking she was making Leroy’s biography.
Director Jeff Feuerzeig interviews Laura Albert for the film, and we hear many of the phone conversations her Leroy persona had with the likes of Corgan, Van Sant, and Argento. As somebody who knew little about this saga going into the movie, I found it fascinating.