Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges is keeping busy this season, thanks to roles in films in as different as Jonah Hill’s “Mid90s” and his upcoming turn in Peter Hedges’ (his father, of course) addiction drama “Ben Is Back,” but the young actor is currently getting the most attention for his starring role in Joel Edgerton’s fact-based “Boy Erased.” And rightly so, because Hedges offers up one of his most heartbreaking and nuanced turns in the film, which is expanding into more theaters this week after a limited release earlier this month.
In the film, Hedges plays a lightly fictionalized version of author Garrard Conley, who wrote the memoir on which the film is based. As preacher’s kid Jared Eamons, Hedges is tasked with portraying an Arkansas teenager who is closeted and utterly terrified of coming out to his family, which includes his father (Russell Crowe) and doting mother (Nicole Kidman). When Jared’s secret is revealed, he’s sent to gay conversion therapy by his shocked parents.
“The double-edged sword of having a story that has a real significance to a big group of people is that, on one hand, it gives me a higher power to focus on, I can take the focus off of myself and put it on to being of service to something, but it also makes me feel like I carry them on my shoulders,” Hedges told IndieWire earlier this month. “The idea of letting them down is terrifying. So to some extent, it both lifts me up and pushes me down at the same time, which I think mirrors the story itself.”
In IndieWire’s exclusive clip, the action picks up just after Marshall (Crowe) and Nancy (Kidman) have learned about Jared’s sexuality, and the pair offer him what seems like a choice, but isn’t: does he want to change? And what exactly does his answer mean for his future? Take a look at one of the best scenes from the film, with Hedges front and center.
“Boy Erased” is currently in limited release, expanding to more cities this Friday, November 16. Check out IndieWire’s exclusive clip below.