‘Love, Simon’ Star Nick Robinson Falls for a Stripper in ‘Krystal’ Trailer (Exclusive)
“I have an announcement. I’m in love!”
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT – Nick Robinson is going from butterflies in his stomach and first kisses in Love, Simon to a very different kind of crush: In Krystal, he plays 18-year-old Taylor Ogburn, a sheltered Southern boy who falls for an “ex-hooker-stripper-junkie-alcoholic” with a heart of gold (played by Rosario Dawson). In order to woo her, Taylor starts attending AA meetings — despite never having had a sip of alcohol in his life.
ET has the exclusive trailer for the R-rated comedy, which includes madcap wheelchair escapes, brunch brawls and sage advice from none other than Kathy Bates. Krystal was directed by William H. Macy and co-stars Bates, Felicity Huffman, Tip “T.I.” Harris and The Flash‘s Grant Gustin. “Chicks like her don’t fall for guys like you. You’re a good guy. Chicks marry good guys. They fall in love with bad boys,” Gustin’s big bro advises Taylor, to which he replies, “I can be bad.”
Krystal is Macy’s third feature film, written by Will Aldis and produced by Dan Keston and Rachel Winter (who is Oscar-nominated for Dallas Buyers Club). The movie opens in theaters on April 13.
Nick is in Australia promoting Love, Simon! He attended the Love, Simon Australian premiere in Sydney, Australia (March 18).
LA TIMES – “Have you been to Echo Park Lake? You wanna go down there?” Nick Robinson asks. He’s finished his cortado, a frothy espresso drink that became his go-to coffee order after a trip to Spain a few years ago, and says it’s nice outside — not too cold.
So we leave the Woodcat Coffee Bar, and I throw my bag into my car before we head to the lake. The actor checks out the stuff in the back seat, observing bulk-size quantities of Special K and Lysol wipes.
“Did you just go to Costco?” he says. “I love Costco. I just find it very calming, for some reason. The best time to go is, like, a Wednesday at 2 o’clock. You have the whole place to yourself. You don’t have to wait for the free samples. And you can buy a bunch of [crap] you don’t need, but you’re like, ‘Wow, this is a great deal.'”
Another young thinker for Hollywood’s line-up of conscientious heartthrobs.
WONDERLAND – If Nick Robinson hadn’t been cast opposite Sabrina the Teenage Witch in agreeable American sitcom Melissa & Joey circa 2010 — later as the protagonist in Rob Reiner’s addiction drama Being Charlie, then as the Olly to Amandla Stenberg’s Maddy in last year’s pastel-fronted Everything, Everything — there’s every chance his trajectory would have been anchored in history. “I think the turn of the 20th century is very interesting,” he tells me over the phone from the Dominican Republic. “The ideas, the technology — you still had a very antiquated world view and a lot of antiquated customs — yet they had airplanes.”
It’s present day 2018, and the actor and I have battled a dodgy connection to discuss his latest picture, Love, Simon; the big screen adaption of Becky Albertalli’s YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which drops in the US today. Directed by Greg Berlanti (whose previous credits include the similarly teen-centric Dawson’s Creek and Riverdale), the film tells the story of Simon Spier, a closeted gay high schooler whose sexuality is unceremoniously revealed online.
“Initially what struck me was how different and potentially helpful this story could be,” Robinson says of the project’s draw. “That it was pulled from a young, gay man’s perspective, with him being the protagonist, was something I hadn’t seen before. It felt very timely, but also like something I had seen with a lot of John Hughes’ movies. Usually [though], in a film like this — if there is a gay character — it’s just a one-note thing. So that was exciting. Then, on a personal note, around the time that we started this my brother came out, so it sort of became a movie for him.”
Call Me by Your Name the film is not, neither is it a Moonlight or a Beach Rats: produced by 20th Century Fox and with the corresponding pre-packaged social accounts, it’s the product of a mainstream formula. “That’s the thing,” Robinson recognises, “usually if the movie is a ‘gay movie’, it’s about that relationship and it’s done in an art house kind of way — this was coming from a major studio, so I think that just shows the tonal and cultural shift. And for me in particular, I wanted to do something that would make this character the hero.”
A fan of old schoolers Gene Hackman and Gary Oldman, the 22-year-old elsewhere asserts inspiration in the “huge amount of young talent” filling Tinseltown currently, namedropping Timothée Chalamet — “killing it” — and the cast of Stranger Things. Of his own aptitude and Berlanti’s casting, the director reckons: “Nick has a wonderful, sly sense of comedy and you immediately root for and connect with him. It was hard for me to imagine anyone else.”
Off-screen, the actor’s “very liberal, middle class household” and Bush-era youth first awoke his politics, something that’s visible on his otherwise guerrilla social channels. “This year was just so backward in American politics, there’s no way you can’t have a say,” he offers of the posts and retweets illuminating each feed. “I usually try and not be [overly political], but I just think that as a citizen you have a responsibility to pay attention. After the next election, maybe things will quieten down, I can go back to posting pictures of mountains.”
Taken from the Spring 18 Issue; out now and available to buy here.
The star of Love, Simon—a film about a closeted gay high schooler—identifies as straight. But with nuance, poise, and the direction of Greg Berlanti, the 22-year-old Robinson’s portrayal of Simon Spier is everything we need it to be.
GQ – There’s a more-than-certain chance you don’t know Nick Robinson. That’s going to change. You’re about to know Nick Robinson the way you knew Ansel Elgort after The Fault in Our Stars became event viewing for teens everywhere. That’s all because Robinson’s turn in Love, Simon feels like a long-overdue moment. The movie follows Simon Spier (Robinson), a closeted gay high schooler who falls in love with an anonymous classmate he’s been chatting to via e-mail. He’s also being blackmailed by another classmate who threatens to out him to the whole school—typical high school stuff, then.
Based on the must-read book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and directed by the current king of teen TV Greg Berlanti (Riverdale might ring a bell), the film is notable not only because there’s a lead gay character, but because it’s the first gay teen romance ever to be released by a major movie studio. Unlike another queer movie that deservedly found itself swept up in hype and awards-season chatter, Love, Simon isn’t chasing after an art-house crowd searching for picturesque cinematography. No, this is a movie made (quite literally) with teen audiences and their parents in mind.
“One of the things that I think Simon does is that he’s extremely self-aware, basically to a fault, to the point where he is suppressing his own personality out of fear of anyone finding a little tick or inclination that might be perceived as gay,” Robinson explains. “He’s very polite, he’s very nice, but he’s also editing himself constantly, and that, I think, can leave you cold.”
It’s tapping into this that elevates Robinson’s performance. Despite being an actor who identifies as straight, he harnesses that interior sorrow, loneliness, and emotional turmoil that hiding your identity entails, while never overplaying it for melodrama or dramatic effect. And it’s clear when you speak to him that he carries some of this seriousness with him always. Still, his turn as Simon is what transforms this fairly standard teen romance into emotive and essential viewing.
Nick attended the Los Angeles premiere of Love, Simon on Tuesday (March 13) at Westfield Century City in California.
VULTURE – Nick Robinson grew up watching the classic high-school movies that inspired Love, Simon. Directed by Dawson’s Creek alum and DC handler Greg Berlanti, Love, Simon puts a gay lead at the center of a high-school coming-of-age story complete with awkward romance and friendship drama, where two closeted teens strike up a romance via email.
“Ferris Bueller was a major touchstone for me,” says Robinson, who plays the titular teenager Simon, over the phone. He and Berlanti also talked often about the directing style of The Breakfast Club, which Love, Simon updates with Gossip Girl-esque message boards and group texts. “[John Hughes] was prolific,” Robinson says. “I think it speaks to the power of his storytelling that both Greg and I could grow up on the same films, 20 years apart.” The result is a sweet and simple high-school romance that twists and turns as Simon figures out his online pen pal’s secret identity and navigates his own coming out. Robinson talked to Vulture about working with Berlanti, the movie’s Whitney Houston dance number, and being “popular-ish” in high school.
On Thursday, Nick attended the Love, Simon screening hosted by 20th Century Fox & Wingman held at Landmark at 57 West in New York City (March 8).