Joel Edgerton on Directing Actors and Working with Lucas Hedges in ‘Boy Erased’

Actor Joel Edgerton

“The really great actors don’t just turn up and ask where they’re supposed to stand and say the words in order…” – Joel Edgerton

Actor-Director-Writer Joel Edgerton is the rare multi-hyphenate that actually does work fairly equally behind and in front of the camera, including his film adaptation of author Garrand Conley’s Boy Erased, which stars Lucas Hedges as a teenage who is forced to undergo a gay conversion program. In an interview about the film for Into, Edgerton spoke about working with Hedges on the film and explained how his own experience as an actor helps inform how he works with actors.

Speaking about the Oscar-nominated Hedges, Edgerton says:

Well, the great actors are incredible at interpreting moments, scenes and on a macro level, the entire journey of the film. And the really great actors don’t just turn up and ask where they’re supposed to stand and say the words in order. The really good actors go deep and for Lucas, that meant really really becoming tight with Garrard, really asking him, spending a lot of time with him, having a real sensitivity to each moment.

I’m really there as a sounding board. As an actor, I’ve always had this belief that at some point early in the production, you become a better keeper of the character than the director does. Or at least you should know them as well as the director does. Lucas was certainly that. And it’s great when you watch that moment of departure, where you see creative moments happen, certain things or reactions where you say, “You know what he’s doing now and I can let him show me what needs to happen.” Lucas is a very special kid.

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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