Last night, out Johannesburg-born pop star and actor Troye Sivan appeared on CBS’ The Late Show and opened up to host Stephen Colbert about Boy Erased, Joel Edgerton’s drama about gay conversion therapy that opens in November. The picture co-stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.
Sivan spoke to Colbert about his experiences behind the scenes. He says he wants Boy Erased to reach a wide audience of LGBTQ+ youth and their parents, as conversion therapy can be “damaging.”
"I got the script and just was punched in the gut by it and just knew that I really, really badly wanted to be a part of it," he said. According to Sivan, the filmmakers provided the young actors with authentic accounts of what goes on in conversion camps.
"When we arrived on set, day one, they gave us the resources that kids would typically get when they arrived at the camp. Like, actual printed out resources. They're full of testimonials. It was gnarly.”
"There's these rules. You can shake someone's hand very briefly, but not ever touch someone anywhere else on their body. Girls had to carry around handbags and could only wear skirts. Boys couldn't wear things that were too tight.”
"Imagining being 15 again, when I was sort of at my most vulnerable, and having that put back on me and being set up with that impossible task of trying to change this thing that is ultimately unchangeable, it's just one of the most damaging things I could imagine.”
“I really hope that the movie is going to speak to, mostly, I really want to communicate with parents as to just how much your reaction to your kid coming out can really shape their lives."
Horrifyingly enough, gay conversion therapy is still legal in all but 14 states.
Gay conversion therapy was explored earlier this year in the critically well-received teen drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post starring Chloë Grace Moretz. That movie won the top prize at Sundance in January.
Boy Erased is based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name. It opens Nov. 2.
Sivan’s second album, Bloom, is out now. It has received widespread critical acclaim. Watch Sivan on The Late Show below. He also performed two songs from Bloom, “Animal” and “Plum.”