Love, Simon: “This is the first studio film that tells of the discovery of love by a gay teenager” [INTERVIEW] – Movie news

In theaters today, “Love, Simon” is the first romantic comedy for teenagers to be played by a gay character. An important film told to us by director Greg Berlanti and actors Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford.

AlloCiné: Nick, Katherine, qhat attracted you to Love, Simon and your respective characters Simon and Leah when you read the script?

Nick Robinson : It’s a big question, but from the beginning I thought it was an exciting project because it’s a story in a way that has never been seen before. There are many films about the LGBTQ community, but not in the form of such mainstream production. Love, Simon is dressed in a major studio. It really does mean something. As for Simon’s character, he is very interesting on many levels. But I have to say that the way he built his life to keep his secret carries an interesting dynamic.

Katherine Langford : I read the script for the first time at a strange time in my life because it was only a few weeks before I finished my first job as an actress, in the first season of 13 Reasons Why. And I was immediately struck by the script. He was releasing a lot of things that I didn’t suspect myself. I want to be a part of this project, to be able to tell such a story through a new prism, aimed at the public. And obviously Leah’s trajectory, my character, and what she went through during the film was also very interesting to me.

The novel in which Love, Simon was adapted was a huge success in the United States. Did you feel any kind of pressure when you brought to life the characters that fans of the original work so loved?

Katherine Langford: That’s a nice question. You know, this is my third adaptation of the novel, after 13 Reasons Why and a film I just finished. And it should be a little stressful, yes, because the base material is loved by millions of people all over the planet, we don’t want them to be disappointed. But what really makes Love, Simon unique is that Becky Albertalli, the author of the novel, loved the film and was involved from the early stages of the adaptation process. Knowing that we are on his endorsement and he can no longer wait for the film to come out is huge and a comfort for us.

Greg, you were in charge of the film but you didn’t write the screenplay. What then enabled you to direct an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel? Do you feel like this story resonated with your own high school years?

Greg Berlanti (director): Yes, really. My reaction was very strong when I first read the novel. I couldn’t help but laugh, and at the same time, at the end, I cried a lot. More than I thought it would happen. I remember thinking, “This is a teen joke, why did it touch me so much?” And by the end of the filming season I understood why. It is more of an act of representation. This story, Simon’s story, touched me in a very personal way. And so I made it my mission to try to make the best possible film using the raw material I could use. This story is so important, I don’t want to disappoint the viewers.

Twenty years after writing two episodes of Dawson centered on Jack’s release and thus leading the series later to perform the first gay kiss shown on prime-time television, do you feel a sense of pride that be part of the transformation again thanks to Love, Simon, who is the first teen romantic comedy to be made in a major studio with a gay main character?

Greg Berlanti: Yeah, of course, but as a spectator I want it to happen faster, that we don’t have to wait that long. I love being involved in these types of projects, managing to have fun and show what we all end up with.

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I read that Nick Robinson is the only one you choose to play Simon. What makes him the perfect actor in your eyes to play this character?

Greg Berlanti: A film like Love, Simon can only be happy and funny, and sad and attractive because the main actor is the same. I saw Nick in the movie Kings of Summer a few years ago and his performance was amazing, touching, and kind. And then the character has to live with a lot of things inside while hiding the necessities. And he has to bring the film with all these emotions. And I think Nick has all the qualities for that.

You are the producer of the CW superhero series Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning. Do you think the public is ready now for a series brought in by a gay superhero and do you want to do such a series soon?

Greg Berlanti: Yeah, I’m sure people are ready for a gay superhero. You know, we already have gay, lesbian or bis characters in some of our series and we’re always looking for more diversity. Yes, we wanted to have a show with a gay superhero in the center.

In your opinion, how important and topical is Love, Simon for young people today?

Greg Berlanti: I hope viewers see themselves in this story as myself in the movies I watched when I was a teenager. We were very interested in the film of the 1980s that I grew up with. I love teen movies because they’re epic in a way, the way they’re made. And because we’re trying to tell this story with the same tenderness and the same prism, I hope the film touches young people as much as I touched my youth.

For you, what is the most important message of the film?

Nick Robinson: Tolerance, acceptance, representation … These are the main themes of the film. Tell your truth, find love for the first time. I hope the audience has an emotional experience with Simon. Hopefully this will bring at least one discussion, hopefully it will help open up the dialogue.

Katherine Langford: For me, the message of the film is “You’re not alone”. This is the first studio film that tells of the discovery of love by a gay teenager. And I think representation is very important. Whether it’s color, gender, or sexual orientation. The LGBTQ community is less represented in the film. This movie carries a lot of messages but the most important thing is that you are not alone. This is something that many people experience …

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