Nicole Kidman was happy to take a supporting role in Boy Erased because she wanted to help shine a light on its shocking story.
In the film, the Moulin Rouge! actress plays Nancy, the mother of Lucas Hedges‘ character Jared, who is sent off to a gay conversion therapy program by his religious parents who hope he’ll be cured of his homosexuality.
The drama is based on Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name and written, directed and produced by Joel Edgerton, who also has a supporting role.
During a talk with BAFTA, Nicole revealed that her fellow Australian approached her for the part and she signed up immediately after she had read the book, because she wanted more people to become aware of the practice of gay conversion therapy.
“I read it (the script) and I didn’t realise that conversion therapy still existed or had ever really existed, I supposed I’d never been aware of it, so I subsequently then read Garrard’s book and I just went, ‘I’m in. Let me tell this story and let me be her,'” she explained.
“I always say that there’s films that you do because those stories need to be put in the world, there’s a reason for them politically or emotionally to be out there and then there’s other films that are entertainment… I wanted to be a part of (the film) because I was just shocked that they were in existence.”
When asked if she believes films have the power to “change the world”, the Big Little Lies star explained that telling stories can raise people’s awareness and spark conversation, which can eventually bring about change.
Gay conversion therapy was also the center of the 2018 movie The Miseducation of Cameron Post, starring Chloe Grace Moretz.
Boy Erased, which also stars Russell Crowe and singer Troye Sivan, hits U.K. cinemas in February (19).