In 2006 The New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked JT LeRoy as the creative expression of former phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. Award-winning documentarian Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) returns with the fascinating true story of the person behind literary ‘It boy’ JT Leroy, whose tough prose about a sordid childhood had captivated pop-culture icons and luminaries.
Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert— a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words but life into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events and the Cannes red carpet, where LeRoy becomes a mystery sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many but according to Albert, channelling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.
Director Jeff Feuerzeig decided to take his film in a different direction from previous documentaries on this infamous pop-culture moment. “I was intrigued by what was being called 'the greatest literary hoax of our time' but there was one voice glaringly missing from these news and magazine stories — the voice of JT's author, Laura Albert. That's the voice I wanted to hear. This is a subjective telling of a scandalous story from the person responsible for it. You can easily go into this film with preconceived notions, but I hope I've widened the audience’s understanding through Laura’s account.”