thank you 20th Century Fox for inviting me to this PR event and screening!!
i rarely care for book-to-movie adaptations (or even movies in general) BUT Love, Simon was on my radar since i heard of its existence. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my favorite!! books!! ever!!!! so yeah, i was excited for this. normally, i’d feel a little worried because book-to-movie adaptations are usually awful. however, from the promo, trailer, and other goods, this seemed so so authentic. AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.
if you’re unsure what the film is about/didn’t read the book, it’s a story that follows a closeted gay kid in high school. orrrr you can just watch the trailer because that sums it pretty well. OR you can read the book(!!!!!!!!!) which is also a great option. ORRRRR you can just get tickets to watch it without knowing its story because IT’S JUST THAT GOOD. (i already got tickets to watch it again tonight no shame) echm, yeah, anyway.
Love, Simon is so precious!!! and so important!!! i knew i’d cry while watching it (simply because I LOVE IT SO MUCH), but i didn’t realize how much i’d cry. specific scenes that weren’t from the book made me OVERLY EMOTIONAL. aside from my waterworks, this film is also hilarious. i literally LOL-ed over ten times alongside fellow movie goers. there’s a quote from the movie that feels extremely relevant – to the story, my emotions, and everything:
“Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck on a ferris wheel. One minute I’m on top of the world, then the next I’m at rock-bottom.”
after the film, a journalist got to ask some questions for Nick Robinson (Simon), Jennifer Garner (Simon’s Mom), and Josh Duhamel (Simon’s Dad) which was kind of insane/awesome. afterward, audience members (aka me) could’ve asked some questions as well but i was too nervous to actually raise my hand. *hides* but whatever, the questions others asked were ones on my mind as well. SO.
here are some parts of the interview!!
side note: there may be SOME SPOILERS for the film or references to scenes in the film so BE WARY.
Moderator: When each of you got this script, was there a particular scene that leapt out at you that said, gosh, I really want to play that scene, or I have a thought about how this will go that made you want to do this? And we’ll start with you, Nick.View Spoiler » Nick Robinson: I think there were several scenes. The one– kind of all of the sequences of coming out. The first
coming out scene between Alex and I, I thought was handled really delicately and kind of beautifully and not too heavy-handed. And it was hard to get that from the script, but after talking to Greg [Berlanti, director] I felt confident that he would be able to kind of bring the delicacy that it needed. And then also the scenes between Josh and Jen, just because they were so beautifully written and I felt like kind of necessary for this whole journey that this Simon character goes on. So, those were both exciting for me, and the dance sequence, obviously, because, I mean– .
Josh Duhamel: — Yes– .
Nick Robinson: — Wow. Yes.
Moderator: And you, Jen?
Jennifer Garner: I thought the scene between Emily and her
son is just like a template for how moms could handle a moment
like this. And selfishly, I really wanted to be the one to say
And I was talking to a friend of mine as I was trying to
decide do I try to do this? Is this movie going to work? And
he said, you know, this movie would have been really helpful for
me when I was growing up. This would have been a big deal for
me. And I just said, okay, I’m in. I’m doing it. You’ve got
Josh Duhamel: Are we talking about which scene in
particular? I forgot the question.
Moderator: Yes. No, the question was you can– you may
answer this question or another one, and I can throw you another
one. But I was asking what scene, when you read the script,
really stood out for you as a scene you wanted to play.
Josh Duhamel: Well, that’s easy. It was the scene with
Nick and I in the driveway. I mean, there’s several reasons I
wanted to do the movie, but if you’re going to ask me which
scene, it’s that one, because I think that this character
represents maybe a lot of fathers out there who have found out
that their sons were gay, or their daughters.
He wasn’t necessarily homophobic, but he was, like you
said, tone deaf to a lot of things, and probably wasn't as tuned
in as he should have been, and learns through the reveal that,
you know what? It doesn’t matter. I love you no matter what.
And I think that there’s something really powerful in that.
« Hide Spoiler
Moderator: Now, all three of you have been in high school
movies, have played young people, are playing young people. Now
you two are playing the parents and not the protagonist in this
Josh Duhamel: Thanks for reminding us.
Moderator: Very young parents. As part of– .
Josh Duhamel: — We had them when we were, what, eight?
Moderator: Well, you did a good job, as I said, and it’s
nice that you were able to cobble things together as eight-year-old parents. You don’t see that.
Josh Duhamel: No.
Moderator: But seriously, as people have been in his spot
and who have played, you know, in youth movies and now playing
parents, do you bring something special, some special insight?
And what makes this different from maybe the generation of youth
movies that you were auditioning for or working in?
Josh Duhamel: Well, for me it was many things. Greg
Berlanti is one of my favorite people in the world. I did a
movie with him several years ago called Life as We Know It, and
we’ve remained friends ever since. I felt that it had this– and
especially after seeing it, it had, like, this John Hughes sort
of– coming of age sort of feel to it, which I loved. And I
loved the– after seeing it, I love the music in the movie.
Jennifer Garner: That’s so important, right? In a movie,
if you’re trying to reach a younger audience, the joie de vivre,
the music, the just overall energy of it, and Greg really– he
Josh Duhamel: — Yes– .
Jennifer Garner: — Understands that. And it doesn’t
matter whether you’re playing the parents or whether you’re
playing the protagonist. You still have to kind of bring that
energy into a movie like this. And it was fun to do.
Moderator: Great. One last question because I know you’re
all itching to ask questions.
Who were you guys in high school? Do you see yourselves in
these characters? Or who do you think you would be if we were
looking at this film and saying that’s Jen Garner in high
Josh Duhamel: Oh, man. I’ll let you guys handle that one.
Nick Robinson: I don’t think anyone in high school has
actually, like, found the best version of themselves. But I
felt like I was kind of the guy who could go from group to group
and kind of get along, you know, just get by. I don’t know if
I’d, like, classify any particular, you know, clique that I fell
into, but just– you know, just average guy– .
Jennifer Garner: — Yes– .
Nick Robinson: — In life.
Jennifer Garner: Yes.
Josh Duhamel: You’re so modest.
Nick Robinson: Yes. Yes.
Josh Duhamel: No, it’s true. I mean, if you really take–
Jennifer Garner: — You were the jock.
Josh Duhamel: No. Well, I did play sports.
Jennifer Garner: Right.
Josh Duhamel: But, like Nick– I had friends with Metallica jackets that
smoked cigarettes out back too. You know, I was–
Moderator: — So, you got along with both sets of bullies
in your high school.
Josh Duhamel: I was– like Nick, I was the guy who tried
to, you know, be as available to or accepting or friendly to
everybody. I really did.
Jennifer Garner: I don’t think I even rated a character in
this movie. I mean, I was happy. I didn’t think about the fact
that because I was in West Virginia. I don’t know. Either we
didn’t pay attention or I didn’t pay attention to popular
cliques or anything like that.
You know, I played the saxophone and I danced every day
after school and I babysat a lot.
Moderator: Well, if there’s one message from this movie,
it’s that it will be okay and you will survive it.
Jennifer Garner: Right. Yes.
then some questions from the audience!
Press: How has this
movie impacted, changed, or reinforced your way of being if one
day one of your kids tells you that they’re gay?
Josh Duhamel: I guess it did make me think about how I
would react. I truly just want my kid to be happy and be
passionate about whatever it is that he loves. And if he
happened– if he– if that– if he came out as he was gay, so be
it, you know, if that makes him happy. I truly believe that
that’s what it would be.
And it’s– maybe it’s because I’ve– you know, I waited a
while before I became a parent. I’ve seen a lot. I have a lot
of gay friends. And so, it doesn’t– I don’t really– I really
don’t care. I just want him to be– I just want everybody to
live– be their highest self, you know? And if that’s what it
is, that’s what it is. It really doesn’t bother me.
Jennifer Garner: But also, our kids are growing up in such
a different time where– my kids are growing up saying, oh, someday when I get married, I don’t know if I’ll marry a man or a
woman. They really– that door is open in a way that it never has been. And they really do know, oh, this is so and so and
this is his husband, and this is so and so and this is her wife.
And that has completely been normalized for– at least for my
kids and hopefully will be for this whole next generation.
So, I think it would be a conversation that, you know, if–
that somebody would be part of– hopefully me, but, you know,
somebody in their lives would be a part of from a much earlier
stage so that it wouldn’t be as involved with, like, the teen
angst at the same time. But I certainly– you know, my kids
would know that I’d be super gung-ho, awesome, let’s do it.
Press: Hi. Nick, I was just wondering if you had
read the book, and how much of Simon you feel is a part of you.
Nick Robinson: I have read the book. I read the script
first, though. I was first introduced to the story through
Greg, who had this script that he was kind of championing. And
it was afterwards that I met Becky (author) and I read the book.
And I think that everyone, myself included, can relate to
Simon and his sort of journey in just trying to find yourself
and come to terms with yourself in a way that feels comfortable
to not just you, but all the people around you as well. And I
feel that Simon, his journey, for a lot of it is about him sort
of tamping himself down, which I think people can relate to.
It’s like, you know, what kind of person are you when
you’re constantly trying to please other people and, like, tamp
down your own personality? And I think that that’s kind of
something that, you know, the film deals with really
beautifully. And it’s something that I can totally relate to
with Simon as well, just being in that position of trying to–
just trying to keep all these balls in the air and just get
through it. So, yes, I think– does that answer your question?
I think it does.
Press: I loved the movie. I was very moved by it. I'm a
little tear-streaked. We don’t see a lot of movies in this
genre anymore. A lot of things are superheroes and all that,
especially with gay content. Do you guys have any perspective
on how they were able to get it made and get the money and get
the budget? Because it’s really the kind of movie that you
might– the story that you would see in a very small niche, and
this feels like a big mainstream movie.
Jennifer Garner: Well, Elizabeth Gabler at Fox 2000 was
really brave to take this movie on. It’s not the kind of thing
that has been made. I think the power of Greg is, you know, his
success is definitely the motor behind it.
But I think the important thing is for people to go out and
see it or it won’t happen again. So, we can live in a world of
superheroes, and they’re awesome and there’s a place for it, or
we can support the movies that we want to see more of. And, you
know, I hope that this is one that people will, you know, go and
sit in a theater and watch as a group and enjoy and celebrate.
Moderator: A great answer.
Well, I want to leave on this note. It's an important
movie. It’s a moving movie. But more than anything, it’s a
wildly entertaining and fun movie. And you should go out and
see it and support it and tell other people to see it. So,
thank you so much. Thanks to the cast.