Kevin Zegers: Transamerica Fact Sheet

Kevin Zegers in Transamerica (2004)
Teen actor is compared to Leo Di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Chris Slater, and Ian Somerhalder

by cpps90
June 10, 2006

News reviews compiled by EastCoastTalent

Written and Directed by Duncan Tucker

Principal Cast:
Felicity Huffman .... Bree Osbourne
Kevin Zegers .... Toby
Fionnula Flanagan .... Elizabeth
Elizabeth Peña .... Margaret
Graham Greene .... Calvin
Burt Young .... Murray

Felicity Huffman plays an uptight male-to-female transsexual named Sabrina "Bree" Osbourne (née Stanley). Bree is getting ready for the final surgery that will complete her gender transformation. But her life takes a sudden turn when she receives a phone call from New York. Her son, Toby (Kevin Zegers), has been jailed, and Bree needs to post bail for him. The only problem is, Bree didn't know she had a son, but her therapist refuses to give her written permission to have the final part of her sex-change operation if she doesn't go, so Bree heads east from her California home. Thinking Bree is a Christian missionary, gay hustler Toby informs her of his intention to become a porn star on the west coast, which brings out plenty of motherly instincts in the worried cross-gender father. So the two take a road trip back west, with Bree flailing in her attempts to tell Toby the truths about who she is and what she once was. [Source:]

[NOTE: Kevin Zegers says Toby is not gay.]

Movie Bloopers: [Source:]

  • Continuity: The first time they get in the car, Bree insists that Toby wear his seat-belt. A few shots later, she's not wearing her seat-belt while driving. In the midst of their conversation, the seat-belt is then seen fastened.
  • Just before Bree and Toby have their car stolen, it has Maine license plates. In every other scene it is shown with New York plates.
  • In the wigwam scene, crew members and the white screen reflector are visible in Bree's sunglasses.

Distributed by The Weinstein Company (Bob and Harvey Weinstein, founders of Miramax; this is their first non-Miramax acquisition)

World Premiere: Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, Feb 14, 2005
US Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival, New York, Apr 24, 2005
US Limited Release: Dec 23, 2005

Filming Dates, Locations: May 20 - July 5, 2004, New York, Arizona (Kevin was 19)

Recognition for Kevin Zegers:
While the bulk of media attention focused on the exemplary performance of Felicity Huffman, a few media outlets openly wondered if her young co-star was unjustly being shunted aside. Kevin Zegers finally won his well-deserved moment in the spotlight, and from the world's most prestigious film festival. While the Cannes Film Festival did not present Transamerica during its 2005 season, they enthusiastically awarded Kevin the Chopard Trophy, on 20 May 2006. The presenter was rock legend Elton John, the producer of another star vehicle for Kevin, It's A Boy Girl Thing.

Post-Transamerica Trivia for Kevin Zegers:

  • Chopard Trophy was presented to Kevin Zegers at the Cannes Film Festival 2006 by Elton John, producer of It's A Boy Girl Thing. Chopard is a French jeweler that sponsors the Cannes Film Festival, and designs/builds the trophy. During the presentation, Elton John traded some heated barbs with photographers.
  • People Magazine - included Kevin in its 100 Most Beautiful issue (May 8, 2006)
  • Kevin Zegers broke up with long-time girlfriend Marisa Coughlan in early 2006.
  • Out Magazine - first magazine to devote a cover to Kevin Zegers (Jan 2006 issue)
  • The first film Kevin made following Transamerica was The Return of Zoom (filmed July 11 - Aug 2005).
  • The second film Kevin made after Transamerica was It's A Boy Girl Thing (filmed Oct - Nov 2005). This is Elton John's first film production project.

Awards for Transamerica

  • Academy Awards: Best Actress, nom (Felicity Huffman), Best Song, nom ("Travelin' Thru" by Dolly Parton), Mar 2006
  • Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress, winner, Best Original Song - Motion Picture, nom
  • Berlin Film Festival: SIEGESSÄULE (Magazine) Reader's Jury Award, winner
  • GLAAD Media Awards: Outstanding Film, winner
  • Independent Spirit Awards: Best Female Lead, winner, Best First Screenplay, winner, Best First Feature, nom
  • Tribeca Film Festival: Best Actress, winner
  • Cannes Film Festival: Chopard Trophy, Kevin Zegers, winner

Other awards won:

  • Costume Designers Guild Awards
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards
  • Deauville Film Festival (France)
  • National Board of Review (NBR) USA
  • Satellite Awards Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
  • Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle (Canada)

Some of the Film Festivals that featured Transamerica:


  • AFI Film Festival (California) (Nov 2005)
  • Atlanta Gay Film Festival
  • Chicago International Film Festival (Oct 2005)
  • Fort Lauderdale Film Festival (Florida) (Oct 2005)
  • Palm Springs Film Festival (California)
  • Reel Pride Michigan's GLBT Film Fest (Oct 2005)
  • San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (Jun 2005)
  • Sarasota Film Festival (Florida)
  • Tribeca Film Festival (New York) (Apr 2005)


  • Berlin International Film Festival (Germany) (Feb 2005) - world premiere
  • Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (Argentina) (Apr 2006)
  • Deauville Film Festival (France) (Sep 2005)
  • Istanbul Independent Film Festival (Turkey) (Feb 2006)
  • London Film Festival (England) (Oct 2005)
  • Netherlands Transgender Film Festival (May 2005)
  • Taipei Film Festival (Taiwan) (Jun 2005)
  • Toronto Film Festival (Canada) (Sep 2005)
  • Vienna International Film Festival (Austria) (Oct 2005)
  • Zurich Film Festival (Switzerland) (Oct 2005)


The Kevin Zegers Gallery - screencaps
Galleries 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425

Transamerica reviews of Kevin Zegers

As a boy who considers sex his chief talent, Zegers - of the Air Bud films and last year's Dawn of the Dead remake - conveys Toby's essential sweetness and hunger for real affection, making him much more than just a vain or damaged kid.
--Hollywood Reporter, Sheri Linden, September 15, 2005

And Zegers (the Dawn of the Dead remake and the Air Bud movies) is warm, wary and complicated as a street kid desperate, without knowing it, for a real family connection -- no matter how untraditional it might be.
-- Florida Sun-Sentinel, By Phoebe Flowers, November 3 2005

"Zegers, who looks and sounds like a young Leonardo DiCaprio with his tousled hair and wiry frame, finds a natural banter with Huffman as their characters feel each other out and fail to tell each other the whole truth."
--Associated Press, Christy Lemire November 29, 2005 [link]

" When I first met Kevin Zegers, who I ended up casting, I was meeting so many young men for this role, and I interviewed a lot of street hustlers who were a very tough and sad bunch of kids. Kevin walked in to the Chateau Marmont for a meeting in a t-shirt and jeans, and scruffy hair. I took one look at him and said, "No way, no way." Because he was the most ridiculously gorgeous human being I'd ever seen in my life. You can't believe how pretty he is. He was so smart and so vulnerable, and he auditioned for me. It was a fantastic audition, and I kept thinking: can I do this? I'm so glad I forgave his disability, the poor thing. (laughs) And he never had a chance to do anything this raw and real before, and he worked his butt off. I really worked hard with him, and he worked hard. He pared that performance down to the simple bare essentials. He had to be very naked emotionally, as well as physically."
--Duncan Tucker, director, December 2005

KEVIN ZEGERS, who plays Ms. Huffman's son. "There was skinny-dipping," he confirmed. "It happened a few times. We stayed at hotels with pools."
--New York Times, covering the NY premiere

"The transgender spin avoids gimmickry thanks to Tucker's deft touch and the subtle work of Huffman and the rest of the pitch-perfect cast, especially Kevin Zegers as the lost-and-found offspring."
--Hollywood Reporter, December 1, 2005

Zegers is a beautifully sulky young man who has firmly wiped out his "Air Bud" roots with his comfort playing a heartbreakingly alluring street hustler who only trusts his sexuality when dealing with others. By Hanh Nguyen, Thursday, December 01, 2005 [link]

"Her son is capably played by Kevin Zegers, who does an impersonation of sorts of an omni-sexual Leonardo DiCaprio"
--Gay City News, BY NICK FEITEL Volume 4, Number 49 | December 8 - 14, 2005 [link]

Zegers is terrific
--Pride Source, Originally printed 12/15/2005 (Issue 1350 - Between The Lines News) [link]

"Zegers has the looks and stature of a young Brad Pitt. His poise during several potentially compromising scenes is darkly charismatic, including fully and partially nude shots in an intense prostitution scene. Toby is immature and ignorant. He steals. He throws tantrums. As Bree drives him cross country back to her home in L.A., he imagines he’ll become a film star when they get there. Yet Zegers balances the edginess that allowed Toby to survive on the New York streets with an essential innocence in his watery, puppy dog eyes."
--Pulse of the Twin Cities, by Paul Bachleitner December 21, 2005 [link]

"Kevin Zegers, as Toby, is wonderful to look at and agreeably gifted--and is possibly at the start of a considerable career."
--The New Republic, Stanley Kauffmann, December 22, 2005 [link]

The film's intelligent compassion also extends to the son (Kevin Zegers, who is as handsome as the young Alain Delon).
--San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle, December 23, 2005

Transamerica has been chosen as #4 of the top 10 films of the year by the Associated Press.
--Associated Press, David Germain and Christy Lemire, December 24, 2005 [link]

A handsome, versatile kid
--Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Bill Gallo, January 18, 2006 [link] "Huffman plays Bree as a waveringly husky-voiced, uptight woman, a compelling performance that’s nicely countered by Zegers’s simpler turn as a lank-haired, sullen, lost boy."
--Vue Weekly (Edmonton), Brian Gibson, ~January 2006

"At the same time, Zegers' sexually unzipped Toby is such a classic homoerotic fantasy -- a scruffy, narcissistic sub-James Dean type in long hair and jeans -- that it's sometimes hard to imagine the two as really father and son, mother and son, or any permutation thereof."
--Chicago Tribune, By Michael Wilmington, January 19, 2006 [link]

"Resembling a darker-haired Leonardo DiCaprio, Zegers more than holds up his side of the two-character equation."
(The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.)
--Catholic News Service, David DiCerto ~January 2006 [link]

"Transmerica's actors, at least, are impressive - namely Zegers (who delivers the film's best line: "So, you're cutting your **** off for Jesus?") and Fionnula Flanagan, as Bree's disapproving mother."
--Portland Mercury, Will Gardner, Jan 19 - January 25, 2006 issue [link]

Tucker credits Huffman, but thinks her co-star, Kevin Zegers, deserves equal recognition. "He walked into the room, and I said no way in hell - he’s absurdly pretty," [director Duncan] Tucker remembers. "Then you talk to him, and he’s really smart, so you hate him even more. Then he did the audition and he was terrific, and I hated him more." It took several weeks, but Tucker finally forgave Zegers for his perfection.
--Dallas Voice, Steve Warren, January 19, 2006 [link]

When Bree’s therapist (a shockingly zaftig Elizabeth Peña) orders her to fly to New York and make contact with a previously unknown teenage son (the Tobey Maguire-ish Kevin Zegers)
--Ohio Free Times, Milan Paurich, January 2006 [link]

"So Bree bails out her son and embarks on Hollywood's favorite cliché, the awkward father-son road trip, made believable by the incredible acting and chemistry of Huffman and Zegers. The chemistry between the two serves them well in the characters' necessary awkward times and the moments of deeper emotional connection."

"Kevin Zegers, who viewers may remember for his early role in the Disney film Air Bud (1997), brings a childish fear to his role as Toby. His pitch-perfect emotions in each scene create genuine teenage angst."
--The Tufts Daily, Yolanda Fair, January 27, 2006 [link]

"Zegers offers strong support."
--The Times-Picayune, January 27, 2006

"Kevin Zegers is a great mirror to Huffman. Though over 21 in real life, he has no trouble reverting to a confused 17-year-old. As the down-and-out Toby, Zegers does well with being righteous in some situations and sinister in others."
--The Spectrum, Brian Hibbard, January 30, 2006 [link]

"Kevin Zegers is also good as Bree's unknowing son, Toby. He has a sleazy sexuality that plays out well against Huffman's incredible uptightness. While Bree feels uncomfortable being seen in a heavy bathrobe, Toby freely flings off his clothing anytime he feels there's a good opportunity for displaying his nipples."
--Tucson Weekly, James DiGiovanna, February 2, 2006

"Kevin Zegers does a fine job as Bree's foil, exuding a careless natural sexuality which attracts men and women alike. But between predictable invasions of Bree's comfort zone, a far more interesting character emerges. A budding siren, Toby craves sex, using it as a wall to block out real intimacy. This sort of male character has remained largely unexplored in cinema"
--Yale Daily News, Jeffrey Yohalem, February 3, 2006 [link]

"Zegers, who may remind some of a young Leonardo DiCaprio, nails his character, an abused and damaged teenager dealing with more than the usual issues of sex and self-image, but also the confusion he feels about Bree, with whom he begins to feel a strange kinship"
--Indianapolis Star, Bonnie Britton, February 3, 2006

"Kevin Zegers - looking, sounding, and acting like the love-child of Christian Slater and Ian Somerhalder" Don Baiocchi, February 09, 2006 [link]

"Bree's son played by Kevin Zegers is not a big name, but also delivers a powerful and quiet performance playing a caring yet troubled street kid in a compelling and real way.", Tara Settembre, March 1, 2006 [link]

Young Zegers nicely blends the ugly street-wise wariness of a troubled kid - he's a druggie and has worked as a male prostitute - and the coltish innocence of an adult-in-progress.
"...young Kevin Zegers is terrific as the son she has to escort on a road trip across the country."
--Santa Cruz Sentinel, Wallace Baine, February 10 and 11, 2006

"Zegers is a charismatic young actor"
--New Jersey Times [link]

This is from an article by someone who attended the Critic's Choice Awards on Thursday, Jan 9, 2006. She was a "seat-filler" and sat at Kevin's table.
"My friend and I began the evening keeping William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman’s seats warm. Next to us were the very lovely and gracious co-star of Transamerica Kevin Zegers and his equally as lovely girlfriend Marisa Coughlan." Maura Reilly, February 13, 2006 [link]

"Transamerica has its funny moments, its human moments, and its formulaic road-trip moments. But it's also got Huffman and Zegers' top-flight performances, which lend dignity to the story and to the complex characters they play. But Transamerica is a tag-team movie, and Zegers carries his share of the load on and off the road. Since he initially found fame as the pre-teen star of the early Air Bud movies, it's almost startling to see him tackle such a demanding a role as this. Without his performance, Huffman's wouldn't nearly be as effective - and it would likely tip the film's delicate balance. Huffman may win an Oscar, but Zegers deserves some of the credit."
--Winston-Salem Journal, Mark Burger, February 16, 2006

"It's unfortunate that in all the attention being given to Huffman, Zegers is being overlooked. His performance as the bitter young hustler is every bit as nuanced and affecting as Huffman's."
--London Free Press (Kevin's hometown), Louis B. Hobson, February 2006

[Country singer Dolly] Parton's speaking voice is high and girlish. On the phone, you'd swear she wasn't a day over 20. And her enthusiasm is equally youthful. She raves over Transamerica co-star Kevin Zegers. "He was spectacular, heartbreaking!" (A turn that should have been recognized by the Academy.)
[Note: Transamerica got an Oscar nomination for Best Song: "Travelin' Thru," by Dolly Parton]
--Baltimore Sun, February 2006

Ninety percent of the hoopla has focused on Huffman. But Zegers, who has no previous credits listed in the film's official press kit, must not be overlooked. His is a perfectly modulated performance, measuring the rebellious with the ambitious with an underlying vulnerability.
--Syracuse Post-Standard, Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, February 22, 2006

"Zegers navigates the role of Toby with a sense of danger but generates sympathy."
--Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader, Rich Copley, February 24, 2006 [link]

"Kevin Zegers makes an equally impressive transformation from his previous roles in kid movies such as Air Bud to this more serious role in a dark comedy."
--The State News (Michigan State University website), Alessa Thomas, February 28, 2006 [link]

"The cast of Transamerica is premium. Kevin Zegers, Osbourne’s son Toby, made a name for himself with his uncanny performance as the 17-year-old drug-addicted prostitute. There are many other notable performances..."
--The MSU Reporter (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Shara Reasor, March 2, 2006 [link]

In this week’s "Ask Billy" question, Paul in Arkansas writes: "I just saw Transamerica and loved it - particularly hot Kevin Zegers. What can you tell me about him? And, it might be too soon to ask, but do you have any stills from his nude scenes in the movie?"

Despite his extreme youth, the 22-year-old Zegers has appeared in over 40 films. You may recall him from the short-lived Titans (where he was featured alongside John Barrowman and Casper Van Dien), Air Bud 3 and Air Bud 4 (both of which I somehow missed), or recent episodes of House and Smallville. He’s from Canada and still lives in Toronto with his girlfriend (sorry). As for photos, we have several sexy shirtless and provocative shots of him. But since I don’t want to let you down, we will also run some nude pics and some actual footage from Transamerica..
--Bay Windows, New England's largest GLBT newspaper, March 1, 2006 [link]

[Note: "Billy Masters" is a syndicated column that runs in newspapers all over the country, mostly alternative papers.]
[Note: Zegers was 21 in March 2006, not 22]

"Zegers, who looks and sounds like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, finds a natural banter with Huffman as their characters feel each other out and fail to tell each other the whole truth."
--Statesman-Journal (Salem, Oregon)/Associated Press, Christy Lemire, March 2, 2006

..."Bree is off to meet Toby (the adorable and affecting Kevin Zegers)...What makes TransAmerica work is that the trans issue frequently takes a back seat to the more compelling story - the growing bond between Bree and Toby...Huffman’s brave, unaffected performance and the tight bond she forms with Zegers anchor this film solidly in reality."
--Chicago, by, March 2, 2006 [link]

"The son, Toby (Kevin Zegers), is a street hustler and hunkeroo whose American dream is to be a porn actor."
--The Repository (Canton, Ohio), David Elliott (Copley News Service), March 3, 2006 [link]

"Zegers and Flanagan are fine supporting actors"
--Sioux City Journal (Iowa), Bruce R. Miller, March 3, 2006 [link]

"Then there is Kevin Zegers, as the son who turns hustler taking care of the needs of the wayfarer. He brings an unmatched intensity to his craft as the guy who must come to terms with the fact that his father wants to play a mom. Not much sulking, no moaning, little fist-smashing stuff. Just controlled anger and body language befitting a guy who has spent time with flies and bushes."
--The Hindu (India's National Newspaper), Ziya Us Salam, Mar 5, 2006 [link]

"Kevin Zegers is just terrific. Toby's not a particularly nice boy, but there's some likability to him that a lesser actor probably couldn't have managed when the character is at his worst.
--Enter Stage Right (right-of-center online news site), Lady Liberty, Mar 6, 2006 [link]

"The rest of the cast shines and their performances are well worth the ticket price. Kevin Zegers' portrayal of Toby is going to shoot him to the top of the list for casting directors in this town."
--Burbank Leader (California), Matt Bellner, Mar 8, 2006 [link]

"Monday, March 27, Transamerica, starring Felicity Huffman and Woodstock’s own Kevin Zegers, will be shown. Huffman won a Golden Globe for her performance and lost to Reese Witherspoon in the Oscar race. Many are calling Transamerica the break-out film for Zegers. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the young actor was able to make the trek back home to attend the film’s screening in Woodstock? Zegers was spotted at the after-Oscars bash hosted by none other than Sir Elton John. Many local residents will recall when the actor attended a showing at Gallery Cinemas of one of the Air Bud movies he starred in a few years ago, signing autographs and meeting his fans. Zegers has come a long way from those Air Bud days."
--Woodstock Sentinel-Review (Zeger's hometown in Ontario Canada), Bill Scriven, Mar 13, 2006 [link]

"Gorgeous newcomer Kevin Zegers co-stars as Bree's son. With moppish good looks and bad-puppy charisma, Zegers manages the Herculean feat of scene-stealing from the masterful Huffman."
--GCN (Ireland's longest running gay magazine), Mar 28, 2006 [link]

"As much as Transamerica may be Huffman’s film, Zeger still manages to stand his own opposite the veteran actress. Without the two actors’ natural chemistry, the emotional pull behind Huffman’s performance would fall flat. It is through the development of their relationship that "Transamerica" succeeds."
--The Badger Herald (Univ of Wisconsin, Madison), Bryan Koronkiewicz, Mar 8, 2006

Zegers never quite gets a handle on the emotional aspects of the role - but writer-director Duncan Tucker does, admittedly, present him with a few jarring character inconsistencies. (one of South Africa's leading internet portals), Nils van der Linden, Mar 16, 2006 [link]

"Full marks to Kevin Zegers for supporting Huffman with his Toby who’s so subtle, silent, and restless that you want to know more of him. His scrawny look, unkempt hair, and stained T-shirt make him look more vulnerable than his father, who now wants to be a woman."
--Mid Day Multimedia (Mid Day Multimedia Ltd, is a media conglomerate based in Mumbai, India), Tushar Joshi, Apr 1, 2006 [link]