“Love, Simon,” the first film about a high schooler’s coming out story to be backed by a major studio, is already having a big impact on its young stars.
Actor Nick Robinson, who plays the film’s titular character, recently revealed that his real-life brother came out to him when the movie, based on the popular young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, began production.
“He came out around the same time we started filming, yeah. I think that he had been dealing with this for a long time and the timing was coincidental, but one of the best things that came out of this movie was being able to talk to him,” Robinson, who is straight, told Ellen DeGeneres recently on her talk show.
The film follows high schooler Simon Spier (Robinson) as he struggles to tell his friends and family that he’s gay. Things are made even more difficult when a classmate threatens to expose his secret online romance with another boy in school.
“I think that’s the strength of a film like this is that it starts conversations, and I hope it can do that for more people and start a conversation that might not have been there,” Robinson added.
The film also struck a chord with actors Keiynan Lonsdale and Joey Pollari, who both play potential love interests for Simon. Lonsdale recently revealed that working on the film helped him come out publicly.
The “Flash” actor posted a heartfelt note on Instagram in May, while shooting “Love, Simon,” in which he declared he was done “apologising for falling in love with people no matter their gender.”
“I wasn’t actually out to my cast the whole of filming, until the wrap party,” Lonsdale told “Entertainment Tonight.” “I’d been out to friends and I was out to the cast of ‘Flash’ and everything, but I just, I always had this thing wherever I met new people. I was like, suddenly went back into the closet.”
Pollari came out as gay in an interview with The Advocate this week, revealing that he saw his own struggles reflected in Simon’s journey in the film.
“[Simon’s] experience was similar to mine,” Pollari said. “The only part that was difficult was me coming out to myself. And I think that is the most difficult coming-out.”
“Love, Simon” hits theaters March 16.