Love, Simon has quickly become something of a phenomenon. Before it officially hits Australian cinemas, its critical response worldwide has been unanimously positive (its Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 91%), and celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Bell, neither of whom have had anything to do with the film personally, have bought out theatre sessions in the US purely to give more people the chance to see this affecting film.
In the lead up to its release here in Australia, Love, Simon‘s lead Nick Robinson and Australia’s own rising star Katherine Langford walked the red carpet in Sydney, chatting to The Iris’s Peter Gray in the process for a brief chat on their new film.
I have to say, as a gay man myself, your performance was very naturalistic. There weren’t any stereotypical nuances, so it was very much appreciated…
Thank you, that was very much the goal.
How did the role of Simon come about for you? Did you have to audition?
I did have to audition. They reached out to me a year and a half ago, and then I went through chemistry reads with myself and the cast. We all worked very hard for it.
Did you feel any pressure with the role, knowing that there would be such a relatable audience?
Yes, but I think you take yourself out of the equation, because beyond that the character was exciting to play. It was a challenge, it was someone I could relate to personally, you know I had people around that had come out…it’s a story that’s long overdue and we just wanted a fresh way to tell it.
Had you read the book prior to becoming involved?
Not prior…I read the script first, and then I read the book. So my first experience with this character was through the script.
And you’re parents in the film are played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel… how were they to work with?
They’re both great! If you can have Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel as parents I would recommend it. I think their roles in this are very much Simon’s lifeline and emotional support. There are a few scenes he has at the end with them that very much bring the movie home.
I was saying to Nick before that his performance was so honest, as was the ensemble, when reading the script did you have a sense of how impactful this would be?
I didn’t, I don’t think I even gaged the potential…well the potential yes, but the reaction and the way it has resonated with people so far. When I read the script I hadn’t finished wrapping the first season of 13 Reasons Why, which was my first job, and I wasn’t really specifically looking for anything. The thing that really drew me to this was when I read it it took me through such a plethora of emotions. It was something that, for whatever reason, just resonated with me. And that’s what really drew me towards it.
And I believe you auditioned over Skype for 13 Reasons Why, so was this a more grounded process?
Yes, in a way, I put down a self-tape cause I was working and they thought I was good enough to test, so I came in and auditioned with Nick and a few other girls, and they figured that I was right for it.
Love, Simon is screening nationally from today.