Finally, a gay leading character is featured in a mainstream teen romantic dramedy that is garnering much praise for its history-making precedent in cinema.
Nick Robinson stars in the role of a lifetime as the gay protagonist in 20th Century Fox's Love, Simon, which is stealing hearts in theaters and empowering others to come out.
I’M SEEING SO MANY PEOPLE ACCEPTING THEMSELVES AND COMING OUT PRECISELY BECAUSE OF LOVE, SIMON. THIS IS THE WORLD T… https://t.co/m2hmUR6uNR— love, tom (@love, tom) 1521393116.0
Robinson, 22, is a straight actor and told the Los Angeles Times he was nervous about portraying a gay character because he felt like it wasn't "his place" to authentically draw from unfamiliar life experiences.
There were still some tremors from past times where that was frowned upon. I think that's kind of unfounded, and that audiences are accepting enough now to understand that either way you go, it's a character.
There are also certain stereotypes that this film works to break down — but it's complicated, because you can be playing into the heteronormative, cisgender thing. So it's a tightrope.
This is about to get romantic af. See #LOVESIMON on March 16th. https://t.co/K6lXenWKlH— Love, Simon (@Love, Simon) 1516111213.0
The Seattle native told Ellen DeGeneres that his role in the heart-warming film inspiring his younger brother to come out of the closet during filming was the coolest part.
One of the best things that came out of this movie is being able to talk to him. I think...the strength of a film like this is it starts a conversation. I hope that it can do that for more people and start a conversation that otherwise may not have been there.
Co-star Keiynan Lonsdale also came out after production on the film wrapped.
I interviewed the lovely actor @KeiynanLonsdale about his role in #LoveSimon, and how the film helped him along his… https://t.co/BPBX7l7xVd— Adam B. Vary (@Adam B. Vary) 1521233621.0
Two actors in Love Simon came out as queer since making the movie and Nick Robinson’s own brother also came out dur… https://t.co/PoSO10HMQR— doomsday cuck (@doomsday cuck) 1521225865.0
The film focuses on Simon, a closeted teen, who contemplates coming out in a social media-obsessed world. The character's sexual preference is established from the start, something that the director did not want to downplay.
In an interview with NPR, director Greg Berlanti explained his take on rom-com tropes.
We were really conscious throughout of having as many of the traditions and tropes that one would find in — whether it was a young adult romantic comedy or an adult romantic comedy — so that by changing the gender of the romantic interest, and actually having a gay protagonist at the center of it, we would be honoring a lot of those traditions, but also circumventing them.
Berlanti, who's also a showrunner for TV shows like Riverdale and The Flash, lobbied to work on the film after finding out that the 2015 novel "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli was to be adapted into a feature film.
After he read the script for Love, Simon, he wondered why he inexplicably sobbed at the end. He realized the story profoundly resonated with him because he related to the main character.
I had been a closeted teen myself, and I just realized just the power of representation in something like this was so evocative for me.
.@lovesimonmovie star @notnickrob and director Greg Berlanti tell Nightline Special Correspondent @guskenworthy the… https://t.co/svCKdjsdqt— Nightline (@Nightline) 1521223247.0
Love, Simon also resonated deeply with the LGBTQ community for obvious reasons, but the fact that Hollywood finally banked on featuring a gay teenager in a major studio film was a big deal.
Just got out of @lovesimonmovie where people were SCREAMING and CLAPPING like I’ve never seen at a movie before. On… https://t.co/lhjidoh6tc— Sergio Lopez (@Sergio Lopez) 1521265113.0
LOVE, SIMON made me SO HAPPY. I laughed a lot but I didn't realize how moved I'd be. I didn't realize til watching… https://t.co/3rFVv7UNY4— billy eichner (@billy eichner) 1521405248.0
Olympian Gus Kenworthy was ecstatic over the film and the attention it was receiving. "Y'all NEED to see Love, Simon! It's funny, cute, earnest and it will go down in history for breaking the mold on what a coming-of-age romance movie can be! I'm so happy that LGBTQ kids will grow up with this movie available to them," he tweeted. "Times they are a-changing."
Y'all NEED to see Love, Simon! It's funny, cute, earnest and it will go down in history for breaking the mold on wh… https://t.co/kmCXboUyYw— Gus Kenworthy (@Gus Kenworthy) 1521051663.0
This is an important film for so many reasons.
TWITTER LISTEN UP Y’ALL SAY EVERY DAY YOU WANT DIVERSITY IN MEDIA LOVE SIMON IS ABOUT A GAY KID LOVE SIMON HAS 2… https://t.co/mrDzDdrNGM— prior walter love bot (@prior walter love bot) 1521051291.0
I hope everyone of us is buying a ticket (many tickets) to @lovesimonmovie this weekend. For the closeted high scho… https://t.co/PT6nc299SC— sam greisman (@sam greisman) 1521223785.0
Love, Simon was charming, hilarious, heartfelt, sweet, and the love story I wish I had seen when I was in high scho… https://t.co/RYjuOOq87F— Jason Stephenson (@Jason Stephenson) 1521263424.0
@tomjr1998 @beckyalbertalli @lovesimonmovie It's also the only gay film with a PG13 ratings while all the big names… https://t.co/OAmrytvJLL— David Angle (@David Angle) 1521394229.0
Love, Simon is a triumph for gay representation. Somewhere there’s a gay kid whose parents dropped him off at the m… https://t.co/DOIT5td23j— Phillip Henry (@Phillip Henry) 1521339801.0
Simon is literally changing lives.
@whorefrost I was right there with you. I held a guys hand through the whole movie, and held on tight to his arm at… https://t.co/tW6HAQh8pm— Erick (@Erick) 1521317474.0
@Nightline @lovesimonmovie @notnickrob @guskenworthy this movie is everything. our entire theater squealed, laughed… https://t.co/q7y5qUs4Ob— katie (@katie) 1521296176.0
i just watched Love Simon & it inspired me, no more hiding im gay— Rachel Lanaye (@Rachel Lanaye) 1521409589.0
I’ve typed and retyped and posted and deleted this tweet over and over again. But Love, Simon has had too profound… https://t.co/0d6RkC1cyP— Drew Arends🏳️🌈 (@Drew Arends🏳️🌈) 1521415400.0