Searchlight Pictures

The director of All of Us Strangers has opened up about the importance of casting openly gay actor Andrew Scott as the film’s lead character.

Since the movie was announced in November 2022, LGBTQIA+ movie enthusiasts have eagerly awaited the release of the highly anticipated British fantasy drama. 

Based on the novel Strangers by Japanese novelist Taichi Yamada, the film follows screenwriter Adam (Scott) who navigates a new romance with his mysterious neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal). 

However, things take a surprising turn when Adam comes across his dead parents (Jamie Bell and Claire Foy) who “appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.” 

Andrew Haigh, who previously received acclaim for Weekend (2011), 45 Years (2015), and his work on Looking (2014-2015), wrote and directed the upcoming feature.

While All of Us Strangers has already generated buzz for its LGBTQIA+ love story, the film has also received praise for casting Scott, a gay actor, in the role.

Following the movie’s recent 2023 New York Film Festival screening, Haigh participated in a Q&A session in which he discussed his reasoning behind the Fleabag actor’s inclusion.

“Andrew, I’d liked for a long time, and I felt like this was kind of a perfect role for him,” he explained, per The Hollywood Reporter. 

“And I’m not one of those people that say you have to be queer to play queer roles, but it was important to me in this case. Because there’s so much nuance that I was trying to get to, I didn’t want to have an endless conversation with somebody who’s trying to understand it.”

Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight Pictures

Elsewhere in the Q&A, Haigh revealed that the film was very personal for him due to it featuring his childhood home. 

“Anybody that knows me would know that [the film] is pretty personal. For example, I shot the film in my childhood home, so the house was my old house, and I hadn’t been back there for 45 years,” he explained. 

“When I wrote the script, I had that house in mind, and then I went back there, went to the door, and they said, ‘Yeah, okay you can film here.'” 

He went on to describe the filming experience as “very emotional” and “strange”.

“I felt like I’d become a child again,” he added. 

Haigh’s recent interview comes a month after he opened up to Vanity Fair about Scott and Mescal’s instant chemistry and their intimate love scenes.

“Both of them were pretty fearless. There was no sense of them being afraid of approaching those scenes. They knew how important they were,” he teased.

All of Us Strangers is scheduled for release on 22 December in the US and 26 January in the UK.

You can watch the first trailer here or below.