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Bill Oliver's Dedication to Authenticity & Transparency Makes "Our Son" A Must-See Drama!




From the brilliant mind of Bill Oliver, "Our Son" is becoming a must-see film as we enter the new year. It depicts universal relationships and the reality of drastic life changes such as divorce. As co-stars Billy Porter and Luke Evans, along with supporting cast members such as Phylicia Rashad and Andrew Rannells, bring these characters and their stories to life, there is tremendous authenticity for viewers. We sit down with "Our Son" Director Bill Oliver to get insight into this film's journey and his vision of formulating this outstanding feature of realness and transparency of bittersweet love, connection, rebirth, and hope.






Could you share some insights on the inspiration regarding the narrative of "Our Son" and the story's evolution from your original vision, and what themes you were aiming to explore in the movie?

It is a divorce drama, which we have not seen depicted or explored with a gay couple. So, we were excited to show audiences something they had not seen before. It was also a way to display a family going through a transformation like any other and to explore parenting, relationships with friends, biological families, and all those universal things. We sometimes take them for granted, except when something like divorce comes along, and you must look and pay attention to those things. So, that became the film's theme, which is about how we all have these connections and care for each other, especially in challenging times.

"For me, life is about being positive and hopeful, choosing to be joyful, choosing to be encouraging, and choosing to be empowering."
--- Billy Porter


Of course, the excellent Billy Porter and Luke Evans are in the film. So, with casting great actors, what qualities did you think they brought to the roles, and how did their performances contribute to the overall vision?

They are fantastic! It was important to us for this film to have openly gay actors in the lead roles. All queer roles should have authenticity, and it was essential to this movie. I wanted it to feel natural and alive. So, that narrows the pool when you need to get big stars to help finance the film, which many need to understand about the movie business. So, we were incredibly fortunate to get Billy and Luke. It says something about the progress we have made in having openly LGBTQ actors play gay roles that we were able to get this movie made with them. I loved both actors, and it was exciting for them and me to have an opportunity to play characters that they had not played before. Actors get typecast, and you always want to be able to show a different side and surprise audiences, and they relish that. So, they brought so much to the movie. I knew that the movie would be all about the performances, so from the script phase to shooting, I wanted to create something for them—an environment for them to thrive and do their best work in and not get in their way. I loved seeing Andrew Rannells and was happy to see him in one of the friend roles. Although it is a divorce movie and a tearjerker, we never wanted it to be about suffering or too sad, bleak, or depressing. So, humor was essential to the film in the writing and casting. We cast those roles as supporting roles for these actors who have comedic sensibilities. Andrew was fantastic and would ad-lib some lines that made their way into the film that brought laughs. Even on the set, his presence lightened everything up.

"I think the best directors rarely lose their temper. I think the best directors provide you with a safe environment where they can instill you with confidence and allow you to try things out and not feel like you're failing or that you’re doing it wrong."
--- Luke Evans


Are there any aspects of the film you are proud of that stood out?

There were so many! I was fortunate to be able to tell the story. As a gay man, being able to make a queer film was a dream come true. Every day, there was something that surprised or moved me. I had to fight back tears in an unfortunate scene, but seeing these actors come together was amazing. In one scene in the film, Luke's character talks to his friends about his situation. I love that scene because it does not further the plot, but it is a scene of friends coming together, supporting each other, and talking. To have this group of actors there being truly authentic was a profound moment, and I was proud of that scene. The most poignant scenes were when Billy Porter's character, portrayed by the great Phylicia Rashad, spoke to his mom. He was feeling fear because he had such a beautiful bond with Owen, so it touched me when I saw that scene because it was transparent and highly authentic. Another incredible scene was the scene we shot on the very first day. It sometimes takes a while to get things going and in the groove, but to have Phylicia there on day one was an honor. She is incredibly professional, supportive, and not egotistical, setting the tone for the whole movie. She and Billy are friends so that chemistry was already there. She also ad-libbed some hilarious lines in that scene and brought the truth and humor of tough love to Billy's character.

"Success for me means being able to work. I don't look at what I've done as much as I look at what I will do."
---- Phylicia Rashad


You did a fantastic job with this project and were truly transparent. But what are some takeaways from the film that viewers want to take with them?

Billy wrote an original song, "Always Be My Man," which plays over the movie's ending. The song perfectly captures the bittersweet feeling we wanted the audience to have. A feeling of sadness but hope and optimism because the relationship may end, but it does not mean it is the end of life. It is necessary and meaningful because their relationships will live on but differently. So, we wanted audiences to come out of the movie feeling relief, hope, and optimism to rise above conflict. There is so much suffering and conflict in the world that we want to end on a note of hope and happiness.

Watch Our Full Q-Chat Interview Today!


Interviewed By: Shronda Armstrong

Edited By: Jasmine Boskent-Thomas
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