According to “All of Us Strangers” filmmaker Andrew Haigh, Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott hit it off immediately while on the set of the upcoming gay romance film.
“There was chemistry between the two of them literally the second I saw them together,” Haigh said in an interview with Vanity Fair. And in terms of the sex scenes: “Both of them were pretty fearless. There was no sense of them being afraid of approaching those scenes. They knew how important they were.”
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Based on Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel “Strangers,” the film follows screenwriter Adam (Scott), who, after an encounter with his neighbor Harry (Mescal), is mysteriously pulled back into his childhood home, where it appears his long-dead parents (played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) are actually alive — and haven’t aged in 30 years.
Haigh, who helmed the 2011 queer indie classic “Weekend” and served as a director and executive producer on HBO’s gay dramedy series “Looking,” indicated that the sex scenes in “All of Us Strangers” differ from those in his previous work.
“I’ve been more objective in how I’ve shot sex scenes in the past,” he said. “Here, I really wanted to feel the subjective nature of having sex and what it feels like — the nervousness and the excitement and the physical sensation of being touched by someone else and what that does to you.”
While the film is not autobiographical, Haigh related to the feeling of growing up gay in the ’80s and attempted to portray that period truthfully, especially as it pertains to Adam finally coming out to his parents. The director explained the importance of capturing that authenticity, which is why he was intent on casting a gay actor in the role of Adam.
“I’m not one of those people who thinks you have to cast a queer actor in a queer role, but for this role, I did want to because I was trying to unpick some nuances of a certain generation of gay people,” Haigh says. He added of Scott: “I needed someone that could understand that and have those conversations with me. I didn’t want it to feel like I was trying to explain what it was like.”
“All of Us Strangers” will premiere at New York Film Festival before a theatrical release on Dec. 22 from Searchlight Pictures.
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