There’s a fun game that people like to play, naming what celebrities they’d hook up with had they the opportunity and the permission from their partner. “The list” is built on the hypothetical notion that should you end up in the same room flirting with your famous crush, you’d get a free pass to participate in whatever might happen next. It’s meant to be harmless fun—but what happens when you’re actually given that chance?
The new Tello Films series “The List” explores how things can go awry in this kind of situation. Out actress Lindsay Hicks (“The Better Half,” “Suicide Kale”) is Chloe, a chef whose ambition is keeping her from realizing how bored she is with her boyfriend, creates a list that includes a woman: an actress named Tina Max (Saffron Burrows). When Tina shows up at a wedding Chloe is catering, things get complicated, but Chloe starts to have a sexual awakening that leads her to her co-worker, J (Tracy Ryerson).
“When I first read ‘The List,’ I was excited to see a story about a bisexual woman told with such ease,” Lindsay told GO. “She never feared her attraction to women, but saw it as a natural part of life. It just felt kind of messy and raw, yet simple. I identified with so much of that.”
Chloe’s self-exploration is done in a comical but honest way, which a lot of queer women will enjoy.
“It’s a ‘first lady rodeo’ story, and I know so many people personally that can tell a similar tale when recalling their first lesbian tryst,” Lindsay said, joking that everyone has their first same-sex exploration with the likes of Saffron Burrows. “I also love the innocence of it all. There is a soft, subtle sweetness to ‘The List’ that I have experienced in my own life, but rarely see captured in this way. This show really has a heart.’
Lindsay praised working with Saffron, a bisexual actress who is the star of Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” and is famous for her roles on shows like “Boston Legal” and “Law and Order,” but also admitted to being incredibly nervous.
“Once I had seen her I was losing my mind, and basically stayed bright red for the entire day. The crew was making fun of me and taking pictures as I broke out into an anxiety rash. It was great fun,” Lindsay said. “She was a total pro, and I was trying to act cool and good at my job but I’m positive it wasn’t working.”
Lindsay also loved working with Tracy Ryerson, who viewers will recognize from Season 1 on “The Real L Word.”
“She is the nicest, coolest person on the planet,” Lindsay said. “My cup was literally overflowing. I’m shocked I survived.”
“The List” was written by Kelleen Blanchard, directed by out actress/filmmaker Jill Armenante, produced by Christin Baker of Tello and boasted a “mostly female crew,” still an anomaly for most productions of any size in Hollywood today. Tello itself is a production company and video site focused on providing content specifically for LGBTQ women, and members pay a small fee for access to all of their original series on a monthly basis.
“In these strange times, supporting LGBTQIA film is so important,” Lindsay said. “Now is the time when we need to support one another more than ever. Tello Films charges a membership, which is a great opportunity to the vigilant in supporting female identified queer creators.
“We had so much fun making it, and it shows,” she continued. “Also I think queer gals will appreciate the adorable, funny, and occasionally sexy distraction from the impending apocalypse.”
As for Lindsay’s list? She has it all ready to go: “The entire cast of ‘The New Girl,’ Demi Lovato—that bod, that voice, my god—John Cusack—now not then—Cherry Jones, Lena Headey, and last but certainly not least, John Stamos.”
“The List” is available on Tello Films now.