Nick Robinson and Greg Berlanti Talk What They Love Most About “Love, Simon”
Coming out is a difficult thing to do; it can be nerve wracking, stressful, and can make you feel insecure at times, but really it shouldn’t do any of those things because it is about love. Love is love, no matter who you love. In the movie, Love, Simon, based on the book Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, written by Becky Albertali, Nick Robinson plays Simon Spier, who has a “normal life”, but has a secret; and that secret is being gay. Director Greg Berlanti, told Voice writer, Will Heffernan in an interview, what made him want to direct the movie; “We were both drawn to this movie first by the script, we each read the script first and then we went back and read the book. For me, in terms of the story in general and this applies to both the book and the script, it was the chance to do a real coming of age movie with all the feels, you know, real heart, real emotion and real humor, where the teen protagonist just happened to be gay. I hadn’t seen a film like that before by a big studio and so I really wanted to be a part of it.” During the interview with Nick Robinson, he expressed what made him fall in love with the movie; “I would agree, my first interaction with the story was through the script and then it was afterwards that I discovered Becky’s book. I think the book was sort of icing on the cake, I thought the characters were very well thought out and sensitive to the experience of high school, which is tough enough in addition to that Simon has to come out. It’s a complex time and it was an exciting challenge to take on a character like this.”
Simon has friends and family that really love him, but they don’t know he is gay. Simon wants to come out but doesn’t know how to. Simon finds out about a student who is secretly using the name “blue” in an email talking back and forth about the struggles of coming out to friends and family. As life persists it becomes complicated as friendships turn into awkward relationships. It shows how careful Simon needs to be if he wants to come out on his own, because one simple mistake might lose him the chance to tell the ones he loves about his secret in his own way. One simple mistake in whom you confide could cause your life to get even more convoluted. The person who makes Simon feel even more stressed is Martin, portrayed by Logan Miller. Martin accidentally comes across an email of Simon’s and takes advantage of it. He blackmails Simon so as to get the girl who he loves, Abby. Due to this challenging encounter Simon begins to hide his secret as much as possible. As a result Simon reluctantly messes up friendships and relationships because he is so confused about not being ready to come out.
The cast of the movie is also amazing. Along with Nick Robinson playing Simon is Katherine Langford who plays Leah Burke, Simon’s best friend. Alexandra Shipp portrays Abby Suso, who is another good friend of Simon. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. portrays Nick Eisner, who is another friend of Simon. Simon’s parents are portrayed by Josh Duhamel who plays his father, Jack Spier, and Jennifer Garner who plays the mom, Emily Spier and his sister, Nora Spier is portrayed by Talitha Bateman. The star who isn’t the main character but steals the show is easily Jennifer Garner. In the scene where Garner, as mom to Simon, talks with Simon, you may find it necessary to have plenty of tissues. In an interview that Voice writer, Will Heffernan had with Nick Robinson, he told Will what it was like to film this scene, “Emotions were running high. That scene in particular is a really pivotal moment for Simon’s character, this full circle moment, when he gets to be himself with his family. They finally address the elephant in the room. I think that scene is so beautifully written and the message that it has is so simple yet so powerful, just one of love and acceptance and self-acceptance and so when we did the scene that day, everyone was crying, from the camera operator, regardless of age and sexuality, everyone was getting emotional. We took it as a good sign.”
Nick Robinson also stated another favorite scene of his when he was with co-star, Katherine Langford and they were expressing feelings, sort of like coming out to each other, “There were a lot of fun scenes to shoot, this movie had a lot of funny parts, I mean the Halloween sequence is and the carnival ride. One of the scenes that I really liked was when I finally saw it cut together was the scene between Simon and Leah after the party and they’re both kind of coming out to one another in that scene but they’re talking about completely different things and like at one point Simon leans back, Leah is on the ground and it kind of just highlights the distance between them and they’re in their own different worlds. I really liked the way that scene came out.”
As the first movie to be made by a big movie production company that portrays a coming of age gay teenage romance film, it does a great job of showing the struggles someone can go through. It shows how much harder it is to come out in high school than when an adult. Director Greg Berlanti states his reaction to knowing that Love, Simon is the first major film to portray this character, “I don’t know, I mostly work in television. My sense is they make fewer and fewer movies in general and studios are more and more dependent on IP and I certainly wish it could come earlier, it would be nice if it wasn’t the first one, but it is and so hopefully a lot of things are starting to change, more anyways with major films and they’ll be more representation.”
Even if the person has loving families and friends that person can still feel lonely and confused. The movie also shows how awkward the process can get when supposed friends with ulterior motives can screw it up because of their selfishness. Simon’s life is more complicated than it needs to be because of one bully of a person taking advantage of the situation that Simon finds himself in. Even though the movie shows all these negative issues, it also shows how much love can be given to someone dealing with admitting that they are gay. It shows that most everyone is supportive and that loving someone of the same gender does not matter as much as people think; because love is love. The movie shows Simon as emotionally challenged, yet everyone really does love him for who he is. And this is truly what this movie is about. Love who you fall in love with and life will be simpler with the ones you love. Love, Simon comes out March 16th. It’s a Ferris wheel of emotions.