Podtalk: Joel Edgerton & Garrard Conley for ‘Boy Erased’

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CHICAGO – In “Boy Erased,” the story is based on a memoir by Garrard Conley, about his experiences going through “gay conversion” therapy… that exists to change a gay person to a straight person. Director/actor Joel Edgerton adapted Conley’s book, and created a heart-breaking film of real American institutions that try to deny nature.

Nicole Kidman and Lucas Hedges in ‘Boy Erased’
Photo credit: Focus Features

The film – which features Lucas Hedges as the “boy,” along with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as Conley’s Arkansas parents – sensitively makes a plea against the gay conversion therapy by exposing the suffering that teenagers, adults and their families are forced to endure in programs that often have no licensing. Edgerton also takes a key role as Victor Sykes, a program instructor who had his own closeted demons. The practice of conversion therapy is still legal in over 35 states in America.

Joel Edgerton is an Australian native who has made a mark in America with diverse roles in films such as “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” “Smokin’ Aces,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Loving” and “Red Sparrow.” His turn as Victor Sykes in “Boy Erased” is a great example of his unique ability for creating character, and his presence is a factor in telling the story… plus he wrote the adaptation for the screen of the 2016 memoir by Garrard Conley. This is his second major feature as director, after 2015’s “The Gift.”

Actor/Director Joel Edgerton on the Set of ‘Boy Erased’
Photo credit: Focus Features

In PART ONE of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Joel Edgerton and Garrard Conley of “Boy Erased” talk about the message of the film and the peculiar obsession with conversion therapy in America.

In PART TWO, Edgerton and Conley continue their analysis of “Boy Erased,” through the definition of masculinity and attitudes of men like Edgerton’s character in film.

“Boy Erased” opens in Chicago on November 8th, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for screenings and show times. Featuring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton. Screenplay adapted by Joel Edgerton, from a memoir by Garrard Conley. Directed by Joel Edgerton. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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