Non-binary actor Kaimana speaks about portraying the first ‘trans woman’ soccer star in Next Goal Wins


Non-binary actor Kaimana has revealed their shock at acting opposite Michael Fassbender in the upcoming film Next Goal Wins.

The star, who portrays the first “trans woman” FIFA soccer star Jaiyah Saelua in the film, helmed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, said they were shocked by the Hollywood star joining their small production.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Kaimana talks about starring in feel-good film, Next Goal Wins.

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“Let me tell you! When I found out he was on board I was like ‘what did I just get myself into’ for real,’’ Kaimana, who is a major star of the film, said.

“Initially I was just thinking, ‘this is a small movie, nobody does any movies about Samoans, it can’t be that big of a deal,’ right when I saw Michael Fassbender.

“I was just like, ‘s***’,” Kaimana added.

Non-binary actor Kaimana (left) has spoken about portraying the first ‘trans woman’ athlete Jaiyah Saelua (right) on Next Goal wins, while on Sunrise on Monday. Credit: Seven

The film is a traditional feel-good underdog story about the American Samoa football team, which was thrashed by the Australian team in 2001 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying round.

At the time, it was the worst defeat in the history of international soccer at 31-0.

Jaiyah Saelua, who is also doing interviews for the film, added they were impressed by the feature film.

Saelua is a fa’afafine, a third gender present in Polynesian society.

Saelua is a fa’afafine, a third gender that is present in Polynesian society.  Credit: Seven

In the film, the team embark on a mission to score a goal during a game.

“I would never have imagined it (the story) was going to be turned into a full-length feature film or have someone as talented as Kaimana portray me,” Jaiyah said.

“It’s a surreal reality now that I’m living it.”

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