Chloë Grace Moretz and Desiree Akhavan Discuss The Miseducation of Cameron Post at the London Gala
Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz) looks the part of a perfect high school girl. But after she’s caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night, Cameron is quickly shipped off to a conversion therapy center that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction.” At the facility, Cameron is subjected to outlandish discipline, dubious “de-gaying” methods, and earnest Christian rock songs—but this unusual setting also provides her with an unlikely gay community. For the first time, Cameron connects with peers, and she’s able to find her place among fellow outcasts.
In our interview, Max from our friends at Flip Your Wig spoke to Chloë and her Director Desiree Akhavan at the London Gala Premiere of The Miseducation of Cameron Post…
I feel like I’m so proud of you (laughs). I watched the film at Sundance and everyone that came out was just like “What the hell did we just watch?” Desiree, I’m going to come to you first, you’re going to have to wait.
Congratulations you’ve done something that’s so very important and you got Chloë to come out of her shell and do something so very different as well, talk to me about this story, why you wanted to make it and seeing it on the big screen.
Desiree: Well I’ve loved this story for years, it’s been an eight year process of reading the book, loving it, knowing it should be a film and that it deserved to be given the same respect that a John Hughes teen film was made, that it was funny and sexy and heartbreaking and about something real and urgent.
I lived with that story in the back of my mind and I shared it with my producer and we made our first film together with no budget and when that premiered at Sundance we where able to get the rights to this book and try and hustle and piecemeal this together over the years, I actually moved to London to write it, to sleep on her couch in Islington and we wrote it together here.
Well done you. Chloe, you’ve done so many epic roles, you took time out to do this, I watched it and I literally thought “wow good for you”, very brave, I feel like it’s career defining. How do you feel?
Chloë: You know, I think that it’s an interesting story to take on and I think that it’s easy to say that it was a brave choice for me, but I feel the brave people are the ones that survive this conversion therapy and I found it was very pertinent to our story to speak to and consult with those who have been through conversion therapy to be able to carry their story delicately and correctly on screen. So, for me this is my highest form of activism and advocacy for the LGBT community, this is a chance for me to, you know, shatter the ceiling in the sense that gay people are untouchable and that it’s “over there” because…(Desiree interrupts)
Desiree: You can relate to the story…
Chloe: Exactly because a gay person is a person and they go through the same emotional struggles that we do but just on a very heightened level.
Final question, throughout your career, you in particular (gesturing to Chloe) because I’ve known you for ages, you’ve never shied away from being outspoken, standing away from the majority sometimes it’s quite difficult to do that and people don’t stand with you.
Doing a movie like this and starting this conversation that’s really important to have, your brothers are gay, I know that you’ve always supported the gay community, what’s the reaction been like, I know you’re gay as well (gesturing to Desiree), bisexual rather, what’s the reaction been like from the community and has it been everything you’d hope it would be?
Chloë: Definitely, I think overwhelmingly we’ve really had to them come out to us, especially my brothers, they came to me and said this was one of the most adequate realistic depictions of being a gay person and even if you didn’t go through conversion therapy what it’s like to be a young person struggling with their identity and who you are and how to face that with societal pressures of what people want you to be and projections of what you should be. And, you know, I think that’s a testament to Desi’s writing and the intimate personal story of her own adversity that she put into the story and that’s why it’s so important to have female story telling but queer female story telling especially because this is a perfect depiction of that.
Desiree: It doesn’t matter who you are, when you hit those teenage years you feel diseased like something’s very wrong with you and that this centre was a metaphor for what it means to be a teenager and have these voices projected into your head from magazines, from kids at school saying “you’re a piece of s**t, you should hate yourself and you should deny your most base instincts” which are really sexual instincts, we all have shame around that, gay, straight, white, black whoever we are and that’s what kept it relevant to me. At the same time, gay conversion therapy persists as a problem in the states and it’s also a problem in the UK and I was happy to shed light on that issue and it took making this film and researching this film and meeting survivors of gay conversion therapy for me to realise who relevant it actually is.
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST IS OUT NOW