ComingSoon spoke to They/Them stars Theo Germaine and Austine Crute, plus producer Scott Turner Schofield about Peacock’s upcoming slasher set at a conversion camp. The film premieres tomorrow, August 5, on the streamer.
RELATED: They/Them Interview: Kevin Bacon & Carrie Preston Discuss Unique Slasher
“Kevin Bacon plays Owen Whistler in this slasher horror film set at an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp,” says the synopsis. “Several queer and trans campers join Whistler for a week of programming intended to ‘help them find a new sense of freedom.’ As the camp’s methods become increasingly more psychologically unsettling, the campers must work together to protect themselves. When a mysterious killer starts claiming victims, things get even more dangerous.”
Tyler Treese: Theo, you’re just wonderful in this film and I’m sure it was a pinch yourself moment that you were in a horror film with Kevin Bacon. I’m sure that coolness factor hasn’t worn off any, but what was your biggest takeaway from working with such a legend?
Theo Germaine: Oh gosh. My biggest takeaway, hmm… I really like the way that Kevin holds himself. He really takes his time with everything when he’s on set. He really has a presence, and a gravity that is like, I don’t know, whenever I’m in the room with a more senior actor, I’m always like, this is a masterclass. And I really felt like seeing him…I mean, he’s been working for such a long time because he’s really talented. I really was like, I’m learning so much from this guy the way he carries himself, the way he deals with his character trajectory throughout the movie. And then also, there was like, the fan person moment of, I can’t believe that I’m in the same room with this person. I can’t believe I just beat the game. It was really cool. It was a pleasure working with him, honestly.
Austin, you have so many fun scenes throughout and there’s a great montage of all the camp participants doing tug of war and different games. What was the highlight of getting to do those little camp activities for you?
Austin Crute: Wow. I would say the obstacle course was a big highlight. The firearm moment was a big highlight. Yeah, there were just a lot of little moments that were [memorable]. Earlier, Theo was talking about kind of working together with the actual experiences that we have had as LGBTQ people, but then also melding that with the narrative, and kind of getting triggered-ish, like as a cast together, and having to relive things and bring things up. It can be challenging as an actor, but it’s so fun because you get to actually live in this place that is kind of hidden from a lot of people. So many people are just having these thoughts in their head and like, “Can I say this? Can I say that? Who can I tell about this? Who can I tell about that?” And we’re all on the same page throughout the cast, throughout the production. It’s just so cohesive and great.
RELATED: Interview: They/Them Director John Logan Talks Queer Horror & P!nk
Scott, I thought the beginning of the film was so interesting because obviously, the idea of a gay conversion camp being progressive is just a total oxymoron and ridiculous, but Kevin’s character is very, almost accepting at the beginning and comes across as almost likable. Can you talk about just how much that kind of worked and set the tone, so you could subvert it later on?
Scott Turner Schofield: Well, so there’s two things. At first, it’s based in reality, conversion therapy has moved away from being the sort of like intense, you know, beat it out of you, to a more like, “Oh no, we’re cool too.” It’s called the Freedom March movement, and you can look it up, it’s like a virus, it just mutates so that it can hurt more people. And then, I was very clear, and [director] John [Logan] was incredibly clear about, we didn’t want to turn off a whole group of people. We didn’t want to make it, even though conversion therapy is often found in faith-based communities, we didn’t want to go for that because it’s everywhere. People do this all the time in all kinds of ways. Even people who seem progressive. So we wanted to really ground it in that, this is actually like how it is in the world and not go after any particular group, because unfortunately, you know, a lot of people perpetrate this.
Germaine: Like the character Jordan, as an example, is a person who I decided is kind of religious, you know?
Schofield: Yeah, comes from a religious family.
Germaine: Yeah. I was really interested in having that be a thing in regards to, their very much like, “I have a faith, and also I’m a non-binary person, and those two things exist at the same time,” you know?