Video: ScreenwritingU interviews writer/director Joel Edgerton on Boy Erased


Based on a true story, this powerful film is about a young man named Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is outed as gay to his father Marshall (Russell Crowe), a Baptist preacher, and his subservient wife Nancy (Nicole Kidman). Unsure how to handle the situation, Jared’s parents agree to send him to gay conversion therapy only to discover life is more complicated than anyone had hoped.

ScreenwritingU sat down with Australian filmmaker Joel Edgerton to get his take on this emotional story. He writes and directs this film based on the memoir of Garrad Conley. In his early 20s, Conley personally experienced abuse at the hands of Love in Action, the fundamental Christian program for gays.  Edgerton himself plays Victor Sykes, lead counselor at the gay conversion ministry who’s clearly in over his head.

What’s impressive about this film is that all the characters are presented without judgment, only as the imperfect human beings we all are. Sometimes, however, it takes a mother’s compass to right the ship even if the father struggles to get on board.

Boy Erased is currently in theaters.


Shanee Edwards graduated from UCLA Film School with an MFA in Screenwriting and is currently the film critic for She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her pilot, Ada and the Machine, is currently in development with America Ferrera's Take Fountain Productions. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShaneeEdwards

2 Replies to "Video: ScreenwritingU interviews writer/director Joel Edgerton on Boy Erased"

  • comment-avatar
    Bob Reynolds November 7, 2018 (12:55 pm)

    Can’t wait to see film . So many fine actors with Joel at the helm presenting a memoir and by not judging, allowing the complicated reality to sift through. It ‘may’ bring up questions like, where does this indoctrination comes from? Is it 2,000 years of institutional control and how could it possible make sense to “convert” someone from who they really are!? Sounds awesome, can’t wait! And Thanks Joel…

    • comment-avatar
      Shanee Edwards November 7, 2018 (9:59 pm)

      You’re going to love it, Bob!

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