During the Tribeca Film Festival, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Actors Quinn Shephard, Owen Campbell, Melanie Ehrlich, and John Gallagher Jr. at the red carpet of “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”.
John Gallagher Jr.
Rendy Jones:: Can you please talk about your character in the film and what he’s all about?
John Gallagher Jr.: Yeah, I play Reverend Rick, who is a youth pastor at “God’s Promise” which is the conversion camp that’s featured in the film and uh, he is a man that does believe that he has been cured through this therapy, and through prayer, that he had same-sex attraction and was gay and now feels that he has conquered that. And that’s why he’s teaching all of the kids the lessons that he’s learned. I think, ultimately, through the film, you start to learn that he may or may not actually have such strong convictions or strong beliefs as to what he’s preaching.
Rendy Jones: Uh, there is, an amazing scene you share with Moretz, um, towards the third act of the film where it is that speech of “you don’t know what you’re really doing”. Um, how did it feel to do such a powerful scene like that?
John Gallagher Jr.: Well, I mean, I was really lucky to have a scene partner like Chloe. Like, she’s a fantastic talent and having someone like Desiree leading us through that scene… We were in very, very capable hands. The scene just broke my heart when I read it. I’m so… It was an honor to get to bring it to life. It’s daunting to do a scene that’s kind of very vital in that sense, where you’re like, oh, I hope I get this right. But it was a gloomy, cloudy, rainy morning when we shot it. It was the day after election night. So, everybody was feeling pretty sad, so I didn’t really have too much trouble getting to a very strong place on that day.
Rendy Jones: I think everybody has had that day right after.
John Gallagher Jr.: It was very surreal to wake up and say, what do I have to do today? Oh right, THIS SCENE. Okay, well, no problem. I got it. Let’s do it.
John Gallagher Jr.: Not to say that the scene was about something that it is, because we did really want to stay grounded in the story and just telling a story, which is a man that’s believed something for a long time suddenly realizing that he has no clue what he believes. And I think we’ve all had any kind of crisis of faith or some kind of second guessing about something that we thought was true. I’ve certainly had that in my life. So it wasn’t difficult to tap into that.
Rendy Jones: Speaking of which, how this was shot over the same duration as the election, how did it feel doing this amazing story that centers on gay conversion therapy when our current state is well in the place that it is at now, where we have a vice president who’s all for that?
John Gallagher Jr.: To be quite honest with you, I was really thinking about that too much when we started filming the movie. It wasn’t until the election went the way that it did that I feel like we all realized that we didn’t feel like we were making a protest film and we just wanted to tell the story. But I do think that, given the current climate, you can’t help but kind of embrace the fact that the film is going to have a different– a different type of meaning now and a different type of significance. And I think we’re happy to have it raise the awareness and keep that conversation going. I think, you know, you don’t always get to make a difference with a film or with a piece of art. Anytime that you can raise awareness and get people talking about something, that is massively important.