With Boy Erased, writer/director Joel Edgerton has crafted something essential. Based on Garrard Conley‘s harrowing memoir of the same name, the film follows Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), a 19-year-old forced to attend a conversion therapy camp after coming out to his Baptist preacher father (Russell Crowe) and religiously doting mother (Nicole Kidman). It’s a quietly devastating film led by a subtle, internal performance from Hedges, who makes the absolute most of his first leading role after earning a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for Manchester By the Sea. The film also stars Troye Sivan as a sympathetic fellow attendee of the camp and Edgerton himself as the program’s harsh, authoritarian leader.
Before Boy Erased‘s premiere, I sat down with Sivan to discuss the film. During the interview, we discussed what it was about Boy Erased that took his attention away from music, how he sketched out his character’s backstory, what voice in his life helped him discover who he was, and a lot more.
Check out what he had to say above, and below is exactly what we talked about:
- After focusing on his music career for a while, what exactly was it about Boy Erased that brought him back into the acting world?
- Since we only see his character at the conversion camp, what did he do to flesh out the role’s backstory?
- What did it mean to him that his character is the first to tell Jared that it doesn’t have to be this way?
- In his own life, who was that voice for him?
Here’s the official synopsis for Boy Erased:
“Boy Erased” tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.