Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE: MOVIES Greg Berlanti shows the 'Love' in newest film
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-03-14

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


There's a new gay coming-of-age drama called Love, Simon that has the potential to cross over to straight audiences.

Simon Spier has one big secret in his otherwise perfect life. Set in a high school where social media opens communication in unexpected ways, Simon will have you guessing what will happen until the end. Will his secret destroy his relationships in the process?

Director Greg Berlanti adapts the book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda with skill, thanks to an impressive resume. Known for dramatic television series Dawson's Creek, Everwood and Blindspot, he has also produced comic book-inspired TV shows with Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale, Black Lightning and The CW's Arrowverse.

Berlanti, who is openly gay, married soccer player Robbie Rogers last year; they have a son together.

Windy City Times: Thanks for taking time to talk to the newspaper.

Greg Berlanti: I went to Northwestern. I was still closeted, but very aware of Windy City Times.

WCT: You read us in the closet?

GB: All through college, absolutely!

WCT: Aren't you originally from New York?

GB: I am, but lived in Chicago for about a year. I moved to Los Angeles in 1995.

WCT: Was your coming-out story very different than Love, Simon?

GB: It was. I didn't have the courage to come out in high school. I was 23 at the time, so after college. I missed my college window in terms of coming out, even though I was in the theater program at Northwestern. I was surrounded by people who were more brave than I was.

I moved to Los Angeles and had a friend bring me to a dinner party. On the way there my friend said, "I think you are gay. I'm bringing you to a party with gay people, and you should come out!" [laughs] It wasn't that simple and was about a year long process to tell people what I was going through.

WCT: My coming out was not like this movie, either.

GB: Times have changed. Everyone's coming-out story is different, regardless of their generation.

Where it is the same is there a level of acceptance and self-awareness you have to go through. There is a certain amount of courage in revealing yourself to people. Hopefully what you learn is being more yourself to have a better life and you don't have to work as hard to hide who you are.

That is what the movie is a celebration of. Everyone's journey is different.

WCT: How did you hear about the story and want to bring it to life?

GB: People in my company were trying to option the rights to the book. We didn't get it. Some people in my office said it spoke to them. I read the script when it was written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. I read it in one seating and it lit a fire in me that is rare in this business. I felt I had to do it. I auditioned for the job and got it.

WCT: How important was the casting of the lead Nick Robinson?

GB: I think with anything you do that is the most important decision you will make, because that person reflects the tone of the whole film more than anything. The comedy of the film is their brand of comedy. Nick matched the tone of the movie that I saw in my head. He had the spirit of Simon.

There was a sense of mystery behind his eyes and that he hasn't figured out who he was yet. You want to watch him and he's compelling.

From there we did chemistry readings with the other kids so that is how we determined the additional cast.

WCT: The show 13 Reasons Why was not even out at the time?

GB: No. I heard about Katherine Langford from friends who worked on that show. She came in and was great in the room. She had wonderful chemistry with Nick.

WCT: What about Jennifer Garner? Her scene with Nick was incredible.

GB: That scene did not exist there. There was only a passing scene where they acknowledged each other. It didn't resonate. She knew it. She wanted to do the movie but wanted to connect with Simon and the people that would see the movie. It was a good note and the studio had a similar note.

The writers and I got together. There was already the father scene, but I wanted to make sure it was distinct from that, which was similar about the parents still loving him.

What wasn't in the movie that I felt was important to drive the final act was something that was so self evident. I felt like I needed to hear it when I came out, but didn't realize I needed to hear it. That is the wish fulfillment of this, that you deserve love. That is different than, "I still love you."

You are the same person and you deserve love, too, is a really empowering for anybody to hear. Everyone on the set had an emotional reaction that day when she was doing that scene. She had to do it time and time again all day long.

WCT: Jack Antonoff did the music. Did you know he is [an LGBT-rights] supporter?

GB: No. I didn't know his politics, but I knew his music. I put one of his songs in the movie for the early cut. He saw the movie and reached out to me right away. He wanted to work on more music for it and loved the movie.

He showed up in the edit bay a few weeks later. The movie was done and in post.

So many movies, when I was growing up, had really defined soundtracks. I hoped we would have that. I wasn't sure we would have an artist onboard to curate the other songs.

He sat in the edit bay and started playing songs off of his iPhone that had never been released. There was one song after another and that's how the Troye Sivan song ended up in there that they collaborated on.

WCT: Did you read comics as a kid?

GB: I did, and more so as a kid than in my twenties. It was right around when I started realizing I was gay, so 13 years old. I still have comics from that time.

WCT: Gay characters in comics have come a long way since then.

GB: A long way. I don't remember any back then, but there certainly are some now.

WCT: How did the concept for Supergirl come to you?

GB: It was an evolution of the shows we were working on. We had done Arrow and Flash. They came to us about a Supergirl TV show and that it was a property. At the time, I thought it could be as vital as a Superman show. We developed it from there.

WCT: Have you been able to put LGBT elements in the shows you have worked on?

GB: Absolutely. We have had some L, G and B, but would like to be more diverse and add more. We have regulars and guest stars.

We are proud of the diversity, but we aspire to have more of it. It is some of the most rewarding stuff that I get to be a part of.

WCT: Can you talk about John Mahoney, who you directed in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy?

GB: John was very special to me. He was one of the first that I wrote a part for. When I was writing Broken Hearts Club, I hadn't worked before. I remember writing the part of Jack and used his voice. I would actually think about him when I was writing it. They didn't give us much money and we had to make it in 13 days. I was a huge fan of Say Anything and told him I wrote the movie with him in mind. He called me up and we met at my apartment. He wasn't sure why I thought of him. I said that if I was with a group of gay men that I would want him to be our godfather, so to speak. He decided to do it.

During the shooting, there were a few times he would turn to me and say he had never done a scene like that before. I would say, "Thank God you didn't tell me that before shooting. I would have been very nervous!"

He always had so much confidence in me—much more than I had with myself at the time. I was young, and he never wavered in that confidence.

After he watched it, I remember how much it meant to me that he enjoyed the film.

WCT: I heard about a Titans web series coming out?

GB: Yes, we are working on that right now.

I am working on a movie version of Little Shop of Horrors, which I will have a script for soon.

There is a show for Lifetime with Penn Badgley called You. It is based on a book and is riveting. I can't wait for people to see it.

In a weird way, it is the dark side of Simon. There are social-media aspects to it, but it is the exact opposite. It's about a stalker. I call it 500 Days of Summer meets Dexter!

Love, Simon is out in theaters on Friday, March 16.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

10 questions with Vic: Jan Luis Castellanos 2019-01-16 - Jan Luis Castellanos seems to have it all-former model turned actor who won the jackpot, playing "Topher" in Marvel's Runaways. But winning the ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2019-01-16 - "You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Deborah Cox, awards events, gay singer killed, 'Family Guy' 2019-01-15 - The Sin City Classic Sports Festival presented by Toyota—the world's largest annual LGBTQ sporting event—announced that Grammy-nominated, multi award-winning singer and LGBTQ advocate ...


Gay News

Gaga, 'Versace' among Critics' Choice winners 2019-01-14 - Lady Gaga and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story were among those who prevailed at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards that ...


Gay News

GALECA names Dorian winners 2019-01-14 - GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics—composed of more than 200 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally entertainment journalists in the United ...


Gay News

MOVIES Queer actors play gay couple in 'Rendezvous' 2019-01-08 - Call Me by Your Name left an impression with Michael Glover Smith—but maybe not the one a viewer might think. The Chicago filmmaker ...


Gay News

GALECA names Dorian nominees 2019-01-08 - GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics has named its nominees for its milestone 10th Dorian Awards for the best in film and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay wrestler, Black filmmakers, music festivals, Britney Spears 2019-01-08 - Wrestler Anthony Bowens started the new year by coming out on Instagram as gay after previously identifying himself as bisexual. In part, he ...


Gay News

10 Questions with Vic: Emma Bell 2019-01-01 - Emma Bell has been on so many hit TV shows since the onset of her illustrious acting career on the New York stage ...


Gay News

Chicago Filmmakers, Dyke Delicious Series continue with 2019 screenings 2018-12-28 - Since 1973, Chicago Filmmakers, a not-for-profit media arts organization, has fostered the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.