‘Love, Simon’ Stars Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel & Nick Robinson on The Film’s Message to LGBTQ Teens

Jennifer, Josh, & Nick spoke with People.com to talk about their new film and what they hope Love, Simon does for the world.

Although their film has already received rave reviews, the stars of Love, Simon hope that audiences will connect with the story on a personal level. In the film, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play parents to high school-aged teen Simon (Nick Robinson) struggling to tell his loved ones he’s gay.

PEOPLE recently sat down with Garner, Duhamel and Robinson to discuss the emotional weight of the film and what they hope audiences and LGBTQ youth in particular take away from it.

“I hope that it’s inclusive, first and foremost,” Robinson, 22, said. “That people feel respected, represented as much as they can and that it is a fun way to spend a couple hours.”

Garner, 45, touted the film’s entertainment value as well as its emotional core: “We want to be entertaining. We want anyone who sees it to have a good time, and they should,” she said. “I think it’s a really fun comedy that anyone should connect to.”

The three actors said that one of the many reasons they wanted to be a part of Love, Simon — which is based on Becky Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda — is because it’s a universal coming-of-age story that also has a message of acceptance.

“So many times these movies are heavy-handed in some way or preachy, I never felt that from this,” said Duhamel, 45. “I think that that’s really why it works. I think that if there’s a message, it’s that it’s not that big of a deal if you’re lesbian, gay, straight, trans, whatever, you’re still a human being. We don’t have to make a huge deal of it. What I love about this movie is it’s not heavy-handed, it’s light and at the end of the day we’re just human beings, trying to exist.”

Added Garner: “To me, if I could say something that I hope that a teenage kid who’s struggling with whether to come out, what they’re feeling, I hope that they see this and don’t stay alone in their head,” she said. “I hope they find somebody, whether it’s Blue [Simon’s email confidant and crush in the film], whether it’s their mom, whether it’s a friend where they let themselves talk about what’s going on, because that’s the scariest thing when you’re alone with yourself in your head, especially for teenagers, that can be a big big wide dark place.”

Love, Simon is now playing in theaters.

Jennifer Garner Talks Emotional Reaction to ‘Love, Simon,’ Her Drag Queen Hairstylist and the Lesbian Role She Almost Had

Mothers of gay sons, Jennifer Garner is here to be your guide.

As Emily Spier, whose 17-year-old, Simon (Nick Robinson), has recently come out to her and her husband (Josh Duhamel), the actress is a ray of light and love in every frame she shares with her distressed gay son in 20th Century Fox’s gay-led teen love dramedy “Love, Simon.”

But the warmest: When Garner consoles Simon with teary eyes and the kind of eloquent post-coming out speech every gay kid’s mother wishes she had stored in her front pocket – and every queer kid hopes to hear. “These last few years, it’s almost like I could feel you holding your breath,” she tells her son. “You can finally exhale, Simon. You finally get to be more you than you’ve been in a very long time.”

Easing Simon’s worries with a comforting remedy of maternal support, validation and healing, she is Simon’s rock. But for every queer person whose heart Garner will touch, it’s because they also know her delicately chosen words are meant for every Simon.

And who better to give the film’s bolstering mom hug than the universally adored and real-life mother-of-three?

The ever-affable Garner has portrayed wigged shero Sydney Bristow on TV’s female-led espionage series “Alias,” which ran from 2001-2006 on ABC; an HIV doctor at the height of the AIDS epidemic in “Dallas Buyers Club,” director Jean-Marc Vallée’s 2013 three-time Oscar winner; and Marvel’s eponymous girl-kissing anti-heroine in 2005’s “Elektra.” Point being: Garner was already well on her way to achieving PFLAG-ish Dream Movie Mom status in a queer-centered film, one she’s undoubtedly proud of. “Thanks for hunting me down and insisting on an interview, because I’m so happy I’ve spoken to you,” Garner tells me.

During our exclusive one-on-one, Garner, 45, spoke about why she cried when she first read the “Love, Simon” script, the lesbian role her hair was too long for, being beautified by a drag queen as a kid and supporting a gay ex.

You’re so wonderful as a gay son’s loving mother it’s hard to believe you hadn’t played this role before. I have a feeling you’re gonna know a lot more gay people after this movie. The floodgates are open.

I know plenty now! That’s why I wanted to make the movie!

Continue reading “Jennifer Garner Talks Emotional Reaction to ‘Love, Simon,’ Her Drag Queen Hairstylist and the Lesbian Role She Almost Had”

Josh Duhamel Calls Co-Star Jennifer Garner an “Incredible Woman”

Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner appeared to have bonded over their real-life roles as parents as they filmed their roles as a mom and dad in Love, Simon.

The actor talked about their time working together in an interview with E! News’ Zuri Hall at the premiere of the movie in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“Her kids weren’t on set, neither were mine. We were only there for I think, a week and a half, two weeks, working, but I went to Jen a couple times asking advice on certain things and she’s an incredible woman, she really is,” Duhamel said. “She’s very, very smart. She’s a lot funnier than I think people realize.”

Duhamel and ex Fergie are parents to a 4-year-old son, Axl, who is two years younger than Garner and ex-husband Ben Affleck’s youngest of their three children, son Samuel.

During the interview, Duhamel also talked about how he reacts to romance rumors that inevitably pop up about him and his co-stars, including Garner.

“It does truly amaze me what some of the things that are printed,” he said. “It’s like, how is that even legal? I try not to comment on it. It is what it is and it’s part of the business. We’re in the circus and that’s part of being in the circus.”


‘Love, Simon’ Trailer

Jennifer’s newest film Love, Simon comes out in two weeks … check out the trailer.

Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it’s complicated: no-one knows he’s gay and he doesn’t know who the anonymous classmate is that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing.