Bafta Rising Star nominee Josh O’Connor has urged film bosses to continue to support queer cinema, following the huge commercial success of ‘God’s Own Country’.
The actor, who played Johnny Saxby in the film, believes it has helped break down barriers about LGBT+ stories being told on screen.
Speaking to HuffPost UK on an episode of ‘BUILD’, Josh reflected on a huge year for queer cinema, which also saw the likes of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and ‘Beach Rats’ achieve commercial and critical success.
“I think people are starting to cotton on to queer cinema being commercially viable,” he said. “There’s clearly a hunger for an independent films like ‘God’s Own Country’ to be made. I think it’s the most commercially successful British independent film of the year.”
He continued: “Now, hopefully regardless of the genre, this film is no longer niche, it’s no longer arthouse. People want to see these stories told, so let’s make them.”
Explaining why people who wouldn’t usually watch a film like ‘God’s Own Country’ need to be open to it, Josh continued: “I don’t think anyone I know doesn’t know a Johnny Saxby. Regardless of his sexuality, regardless of his gender, he is someone you’ll come across in your life and is emotionally closed off - someone who can’t love or be loved.
“I think that’s why this film hit - regardless of your background, sexuality, north./south divide, Brexit/Remain - this is a film for everyone because it is about relationships.
“It’s a universal love story and people love love stories. And it’s got hope, and we all love a bit of hope, don’t we?”
During the interview, Josh also reflected on the importance of the film’s sex scenes, which depict gay sex in an real and honest way.
“It’s funny that people see them as intense because I don’t see them as intense actually - they felt right,” he said.
“If you were to take them out, it would be a really bizarre film, because the way you’re following Johnny Saxby, you’re so intimate and you’re allowing the audience to be the third person in this relationship. So to go into a room or the barn and shut a door and leave them to it, I’d feel shortchanged.”
He added: “As far as the actual doing of it, we choreographed it down to a tee. That mud scene that’s very raunchy, we did no more than two takes and we just knew exactly what we were doing. It was muddy and mad and a bit crazy, but it was like a dance.”
Watch the full interview with Josh in the video below...