Is ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ Based on a True Story? Here's What We Know

'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' has made a splash on Amazon Prime, and viewers want to know: Is it based on a true story? What we know.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Sep. 20 2021, Published 9:37 a.m. ET

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Source: Amazon Prime Video

If you want to give an idea the biggest chance of being turned into a TV series, stage production, or movie, then you'll probably want to make sure of two things. First, make sure a pre-established intellectual property that's demonstrated some level of success exists for the project. And make it based on a true story, like Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

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Yes, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is based on a true story.

In 2011, BBC Three released a documentary called Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. It's believed that the documentary, which chronicles teen Jamie Campbell's struggles with coming out in his town of Bishop Auckland, served as the basis for the 2017 stage musical and 2021 Amazon Prime film adaptation called Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Source: Amazon Prime Video
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Campbell didn't have the easiest time coming out to his small community. A local parent called the teen "disgusting" when he was open with his sexual orientation at 14. Jamie's proclivity for dressing in drag only exacerbated local adverse reactions to his identity, especially when he wanted to appear at his school prom as his drag alter ego, Fifi la True.

Jamie's school expressly forbade the young man's decision, something his mom couldn't understand: "I said to them, if a girl wanted to go to the prom in a suit, they wouldn’t ban her, so why a lad in a frock?" she told The Guardian,

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So how much of 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is true?

While streaming services and movie theaters are filled with films that are based on or inspired by true events, how accurately those real-life events are represented on the screen is another matter entirely.

Jamie's mother says that the musical actually did a pretty good job of capturing the "essence" of Jamie's story.

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However, the production company did lay down some sauce in terms of what actually transpired in the musical the movie is based on: "Some details may not actually be true, but they have all happened to us in some shape or form, and when I saw it I was transported. I lived through all those good, bad, s--tty, whatever times again in two hours and by the end, I felt like I had been in a tumble dryer. I was wrung out emotionally and it felt surreal."

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Jamie didn't go on to pursue a full-time career in drag. In an "as told to" article for the BBC, he said, "When I was young, I thought I wanted to make a career out of doing drag, but I’ve since changed my mind. I got lost in the drag persona."

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

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