You might know her as Polecat, but you're about to see Hannah Weir as Trixie in the upcoming Hustlers movie, out September 13. Plucked from the dressing room as a baby stripper, Hannah's precious darkness scored her the role of Trixie. Between making music with Asukubus, acting, and hustling the floor, Hannah took a moment to talk about where she's from and the all the dimensions she's headed as a multi-hyphenate art weirdo:
How did you get cast in the movie?
I’d been dancing for a while in Texas, but had just got hired at a nude club in New York City. Backstage, there was a sign-up sheet that was like "be in the HUSTLERS film!" I was curious, thinking it was something related to Hustler magazine (which I love). When I got to the audition, I was shocked when I saw the cast of the film I was auditioning for. I'm still shocked! I play Trixie, I like to think of her as a member of the brute squad assembled to assist in Ramona's plans.
How did your real-life experience in the club help you prepare for your role on the big screen?
I've been a film and theatre actor forever, and dancing is a more recent endeavor. I've been able support myself while focusing on my work as a performance artist and a musician. I feel like my artistic career and my stripping career feed into each other. Stripping is a performance - you're being watched, doing crowd work, dealing with hecklers, and trying to make sure people are having fun, all the while making sure you feel safe and comfortable doing the job. It's definitely sharpened my improv abilities.
As a solo artist (I go by Polecat) my style is intimately dark and wild, which has become richer, deeper and more nuanced with my experience in the club. Performing intimacy vs. that animal instinct to protect oneself is present no matter what kind of performing you're doing. But when my sexual energy is brought into play, it becomes this sacred magic... yet society treats it as something dirty and disgusting to be hidden away.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a stripper?
I realized I am way more gay than I first thought I was. And I learned that I wasn't taking good care of myself. When it became my job take care of my body, to have confidence in this body, and to see it as beautiful... it has really made me come into myself.
What's one of the biggest misconceptions about being a stripper?
That strippers are stupid and lack empathy. I've never met an unintelligent dancer and I've never felt more taken care of than when I was struggling at the club. At my first club, people went out of their way to help and teach me the ropes. Every dancer I know has their own life, talents, dreams, and special abilities, but unfortunately we're depicted as one-dimensional in most media sources you grow up watching.
Well here's hoping Hustlers brings us multidimensional women who may or may not be the most empathetic scammers on Wall Street, ha. What was a highlight for you working on the film?
I don't know where to begin. Everything! Everything about it was a highlight. Every single person on set was amazing and super professional, and Lorene [Scafaria, the writer and director] and the entire cast and crew were so fun to work with. I was losing my shit every second. Being in the midst of all the moving parts of what it takes to make a film was amazing.
What's next for you?
One of my films, Jules of Light and Dark, just won at Outfest! I'm so proud of it. I am focusing on acting for the moment, but I think every dancer has a dream of opening her own club one day... but I don't think I will for a while! I'm also working on my own workout video, along with a screenplay for a sci-fi horror musical ritual I'm planning on shooting in the desert next year... I'm a pretty busy hustler.