Australian pop singer Troye Sivan appears this month in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, the star-studded awards contender that goes behind the scenes of the controversial and mystery-shrouded practice of conversion therapy. The film is an adaptation of Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name, which reflects on the time that the author’s religious parents – played by Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe – forced him into conversation therapy after he came out to them. Sivan plays Gary, a teenager in therapy with Jared (the Conley character, played by Lucas Hedges), and who is one of the few kids to see through the practice and the man in charge of it.
Sivan, who came out in a YouTube video in his late teens, told Rotten Tomatoes he hopes parents see the movie – “like every parent in the world.” He added, “What’s so nice about this movie is that no one is a villain in it, and it’s a real genuine conversation and exploration of parents who love their kids and who are worried for their kids and do what they think is right for their kids – the movie explores how wrong that can go. I think the thing that’s missing is education. I’m hoping that the movie really is a part of that education for parents to kind of guide them in what I think is the right way to handle an LGBT child.”
Ahead of the film’s opening in limited release, Sivan shared his Five Favorite Films with Rotten Tomatoes.
The first film is Moulin Rouge! — weird because I’m seeing Nicole Kidman later today, not to brag. I’m pretty stoked about that. I first saw it at a family friend’s house and they put it on for me because they thought I’d like it, they knew that I liked music. But the first 10 minutes of that movie are absolute chaos, like full-fledged chaos. So, I was like, I hate this, I don’t know what this is. I gave it a second try and watched it through the first 10 minutes and then the story started to come together and it became my favorite movie.
I love that movie so much. I love the visuals, love the music in it, and just yeah, it spoke to my little gay heart when I was a kid.
For me it’s a classic, and any time that I get to kind of live a fantasy of – it sounds awful – but of Nazis getting what they deserve, I am down with it.
Are you a big Tarantino fan?
I’m not not a fan. I just haven’t seen all of his movies, but I should because I love that movie so much. It’s just one of those movies that I feel like I can watch any time and enjoy it. And it’s weird as well, because I’m Jewish and really sensitive to a lot of Holocaust [material] and World War II stuff, and so I try to steer clear of those movies. But I think maybe because it’s fantastical enough and because of the alternative ending, that movie has always been okay for me to watch and doesn’t upset me too much.
Grand Budapest Hotel is probably my favorite movie ever. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel so safe, and anytime I’m even remotely stressed, I’ll put on that movie and I feel like it transports me to another universe. It was the first Wes Anderson movie that I ever saw.
The thing that sticks out to me the most is the humor. I find the movie really, really, really funny. And then of course the set design and the way that it’s shot – everything is so gorgeous. But for me it’s just one of those movies that keeps you on your toes. You never really know [what’s going to happen]. It’s a simple, classic, good story that’s just told so beautifully, that it feels so artful and considered, and I just really appreciate that.
This list makes me realize that I really appreciate a director with real perspective, and the films are very stylized. That’s my vibe, and I think the Grand Budapest is an impeccable example of that.
That movie for me was quirky done right. I feel like a lot of the time for me quirky is cringe-y, and it’s easy to mess up; Juno felt genuinely quirky and just cute, and the soundtrack is really inspiring to me because it’s got such a vision and perspective and such a sound to it. I love that movie. I think it’s really heartwarming.
I used to be really homesick as a kid. I never had sleepovers or anything like that with my friends ever, because I would have panic attacks and wanna go home. And then I watched Up In the Air, and watching George Clooney pack his suitcase so neatly and hop on the plane and just be so organized made me wanna travel by myself and made me love hotels and stuff like that. And I just love the movie as well. It gave me the courage to travel by myself for the first time and leave home.
The thing that kinda sucks is that I have a feeling that if I was to rewatch it now, it would be depressing. At the time that I watched it for the first time, it was ambitious – I wanted to travel all the time like that and I thought it was so cool. And then, as you know, the movie gets kind of dark and sad and it’s like, “What are you running from?” At the time that didn’t apply to me, but now I wonder if I would watch it back and be like, “Oh god, this is really too real.”
Boy Erased is in limited release Friday November 2.