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ANDREJA PEJIC
ON ANTIBOY

ANTIBOY’s 'Dream' is a bittersweet and poignant posthumous release.

It has been just over a year since the world sadly lost actor and musician Harry Hains. Although, thanks to the hard work of his mother Jane Badler, his musical persona ANTIBOY has lived on. The album A Glitch in Paradise was released at the end of last year and now we have been graced with the visual masterpiece of the video for ‘Dream’. Starring trans supermodel Andreja Pejic, this video project has already received an extremely positive response and the message that it portrays is a necessary and confronting one.

Back in 2018, Hains spoke about the persona of ANTIBOY telling us that “ANTIBOY is this character that I’ve created that is a gender-fluid robot from the future, stuck in a virtual reality world that has been malfunctioning.” Sent to Earth as a messenger, ANTIBOY aims to spread love, acceptance and the breaking down of gender labels. To find out more about the video and the legacy of Harry Hains, we spoke to Andreja Pejic about her impressions of ANTIBOY and how she got involved with this project. Pertinent and positive, take time out of your day today to watch this dreamy video.

How did you become acquainted with Harry Hains and his musical project, ANTIBOY?

Well I was approached by his lovely mother Jane Badler and she had a good role for me. Whenever someone says they have a role for me, I get quite excited and curious and I want to know everything about the people and project. That of course led me to Harry’s beautiful but tragic tale. The first song I heard was ‘Bang Bang’ which really touched me. We also had so many friends in common and I couldn’t believe we had never crossed paths before.

What message do you think ANTIBOY’s music has for the LGBTQ community?

I think it has an appealing sound; personally I am not the biggest fan of electronic pop music, especially the modern stuff, but I find Harry’s sound to be genuine, and I also think his poetry is really lovely. I think the most important thing for the LGBTQ+ community is staying genuine and coming from a genuine place. I think Harry did that. I don’t think that art has a gender or a sexuality or a race. I think art is art and it’s either good or bad. The LGBTQ+ community is very creative and not always the easiest to please but Harry would have pleased it.

Hains always had a desire to challenge and change societal norms. Do you think he would be proud of the progress of Antibody and that his message of equality is prevailing?

I hope so! I feel that we all put our heart and soul into it. The ‘Dream’ music video has had a very nice response. I think we should always be challenging societal norms because there is a lot that is wrong with our society. Although I do think there is a progressive way to oppose something and a reactionary way. I think we also need to figure out where we all stand especially in this crazy world that is disintegrating. I think Harry would have gone on to challenge even more things had he survived, bless him, he had a rebellious spirit. I got that from reading his teenage diaries in preparation for a short film we just finished filming here in Australia that he wrote called SAPHIRE. I see a lot of young people with this rebellious spirit. The question is how we channel that in the right direction. A rebellious spirit can easily be channelled into destructive things. I find Marxism helps me to a certain extent in this regard. There is something about socialism that is very good for art. Otherwise, it is really easy for us creatives to get lost in a world of imagination, to be separated from reality but we can also confront reality in a creative way. I think Harry would have been a socialist.

You broke barriers as the first trans supermodel, do you think society is in a better place now or worse? What message do you have for the ones following in your footsteps?

Overall, I think society is in a worse place economically. We are living through a major international catastrophe. We can’t really trust the old institutions that are failing us. We need to look much deeper at what is going on. I’ve always found Western societies (I originally come from a developing nation) to be quite shallow, people don’t want to go too deep and prefer to talk about the weather. We need to expand the conversations. I feel that I’ve been trying to do that ever since I started my career. I didn’t care about being the prettiest or the most popular or the richest, I did care about making a mark and challenging culture, pushing it forward. In regard to how people see transgenderism, I do believe there has been a cultural shift. In a way I think as society and capitalism breaks down people’s minds become less conservative and more open to new ideas. I feel that my career represents new ideas, it started after the crash of 2008, I think there is something in that.

The music video for “Dream”, you play a bored robot housewife, tell us about the role? How was the experience of shooting the video?

It’s an intense setting and shoot! It was a beautiful experience! Very beautiful. I feel that the other talent in the video really gave it their all. The ‘Dream’ song helped me get into the character. It was obviously very physical. Charlie XCX had a choreographer, I had never worked with one before. I thought about movement. How would this pretty trapped robot move. It touched me that the kids in the video were trying to rescue me. I thought that was really sweet, I almost cried in one take, but the robot couldn’t show too much emotion.

“I think Harry would have gone on to challenge even more things had he survived, bless him, he had a rebellious spirit."

I understand you were in contact with Hain’s mother before this video shoot. Can you tell us what her thoughts and plans are for ANTIBOY and honouring Harry’s legacy?

I love Jane Badler, she is a badass and wonderful. I have so much respect for how she has handled this period. She is trying to get the world to see her son’s creativity in a dignified way. I think that so many young people are in trouble, suicides have gone through the roof. The epidemic, the economic fallout and the isolation are getting to a lot of people everywhere around the world. Anyone that tries to put some love out there to bring people together is all right by me. There is so much divisive poison being spread, I think we need to counter it. I think Harry would have countered it.

What’s up next for you?

Well I wanted to take this opportunity to promote a movie I was part of filmed in Georgia called The Other ME directed by Giga Agladze, also starring Jim Sturgess, Antonia Campbell Hughes, Rhona Mitra, Orla Brady, Jordi Molla, Billy Barratt. The movie is executive produced by David Lynch. It was the most beautiful experience filming this movie and I feel that it tries to say some of the things that Harry was also trying to tell the world. It’s about this idea that we all have feminine and masculine energies inside of us. That we need to honour both and not be afraid. I play a remote artist living in the woods who falls in love with a man struggling to be an architect with a disintegrating marriage. But I could also be only in his head or just another version of him. My character is like the feminine ideal. I think it was a very special project. The last I heard Netflix was interested in it. It would be lovely if they supported it. I think it makes sense for these times. It is also about the importance of artistic vision and love. You can tell this is close to my heart.

Watch ANTIBOY’s ‘Dream’ featuring Andreja Pejic below now.

Words by Tori Sharp

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