love simon interviews

Exclusive: We Talk Love, Friends, and Music with the ‘Love, Simon’ Cast

In case you haven’t heard, we’re just a little obsessed with Love, Simon. It’s a beautiful, important movie with a killer soundtrack and characters you will fall in love with.

If you aren’t familiar with Simon’s story just yet, let us get you up to speed. Adapted from Becky Albertalli’s 2012 young adult novel Simon vs. The Homo Sapien’s Agenda, the film follows Simon Spier – a typical teenager with one big secret. He’s gay. After exchanging emails with (and falling for) another guy at his school who is living with the same secret, Simon runs into trouble when a classmate gets ahold of his emails and starts blackmailing him. That may sound dark, but Simon’s journey of resolving this issue and coming out to his friends and family proves hilarious, terrifying, and life-changing.

Fangirlish sat down with the cast of the movie – including Nick Robinson (Simon), Katherine Langford (Leah), Alexandra Shipp (Abby), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Nick), and Natasha Rothwell (Ms. Albright) – and director Greg Berlanti to talk all things Love, Simon. From the amazing friend group that takes center stage in the film to the soundtrack we can’t stop listening to, these were some really fun conversations we’re excited to share with you.

Here are a few things we learned along the way.

The cast are good friends both on- and off-screen.

Simon and his closest friends – Leah, Nick, and Abby – have the kind of dynamic that is familiar, yet also the ideal group of friends you wish you could have had in high school. Katherine Langford credits the two week rehearsal period allotted by Berlanti for helping to establish this dynamic both on-screen and off.

“I think [it] was helpful […] in allowing us to go over the material, but it also let us hang out and chill,” she said. “I think that dynamic formed naturally, but was also a byproduct of the writing.”

The great vibe between the cast also carried over into more unexpected moments of the film. “There were a lot of moments where we would have an inside joke or we would be ad libbing, or there was a scene of us just dancing in the car and not even realizing that the cameras were still rolling,” said Alexandra Shipp. “I think that those moments that Greg even still built on and put in the movie and added a soundtrack to and made it seem so beautiful and loving, this friendship – a lot of it is real, and then a lot of it is acting. I’d like to think that most of it is real.”

Greg Berlanti’s personal connection to the story drew him to the project.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, director Greg Berlanti said that after he read the script for this movie, he thought I’m the only person who should do this. There were several factors that put this project on that level for him, but they all tie back to his own story and involvement in the LGBTQ community.

“I felt like I could really represent it, in a way – that enough of my own personal life experience and personal story connected with it,” he said. “I felt like it was so deeply personal to me. But then I also feel like I’ve had a lot of blessings in my career and in my life, [and] a large part have come as a result of being who I am and being honest about who I am. So I saw the film, and making the film was an opportunity to give back to people who didn’t have a movie like this.”

The soundtrack’s story is just as amazing as its track list.

To watch Love, Simon is to fall in love with its soundtrack, which includes a number of songs that will be familiar to fans of Bleachers and was executive produced by Jack Antonoff himself.

Berlanti explained that this partnership came about after he sought Antonoff’s permission to use the song “Wild Hearts” in the film. “[Jack] said, Yeah, I’ll let you use the song, but I’ve gotta see the film,” Berlanti said. “So he watched the film and then he called and said, I love this movie and I want to be a part of it in any way I can. Can I show you some other songs I have? I sort of put the phone down and was like, screaming.” (We would too, Greg. We would too.)

The results are impressive, and Berlanti knows just how important having Antonoff on board was to Love, Simon. “A film like this wants for a specific soundtrack that mirrors the emotional core of the movie, and that’s sort of how he became the godfather of that part of the sound of the film,” he said.

You need to see this movie.

Okay, so that’s our opinion – but it’s what the cast will tell you as well. As Nick Robinson put it: “I think this is a great first step to greater representation for all stories and all people – and that’s not to say that this film alone is representative of every LGBTQ experience. But if you want to see more films like this, you should see this movie and continue the dialogue that’s happening.”

Beyond LGBTQ representation – which is so, so important – this film goes even further in speaking to critical issues for this moment in time. “I feel like this is a story at the end of the day about bravery in the face of fear,” Natasha Rothwell said. “I think it’s giving visibility and a voice to marginalized communities, and I feel like that’s also really necessary right now. It’s also just really fun and funny and warm. I feel like audiences will leave the film and they’ll have things to talk about for days.”

We certainly agree – and we hope you will, too.


Watch our full interviews with the cast and director of Love, Simon below:

Love, Simon is in theaters now.

Are you excited to see Love, Simon?

Featured Image by: Ben Rothstein

Fangirl, avid reader, & Anglophile. Current obsessions include: Dylan O'Brien, Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, brunch, SDCC, and gingerbread lattes. Not a queen, a Khaleesi. Contact: chloe@fangirlish.com.