After a small role in Christopher Nolan‘s “Dunkirk‘ and a mid-credits cameo in Chloé Zhao‘s “Eternals,” Harry Styles‘ film career begins in earnest this October when he stars in Olivia Wilde‘s “Don’t Worry Darling.” But Styles leads another film out this Fall: “My Policeman,” a romantic drama about closeted gay romance in the 1950s UK.
Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, “My Policeman” stars Styles, Emma Corrin, and David Dawson as a trio whose mishaps in love span decades. The plot shifts between two timelines as Tom, a policeman played by Styles, carries out a secret romance with Patrick, a museum curator, while married to a school teacher named Marian. Linus Roache, Gina McKee, and Rupert Everett play older versions of the characters.
As a novel about forbidden love and hidden selves, “My Policeman” quickly became a hit in the gay community. For co-producers Robbie Rogers and Greg Berlanti, making the film is a passion project. Rogers, just the second male soccer player in Britain to come out, told Vanity Far that he cites the novel as his “coming-out book.” He shared the book with his husband Berlanti in 2017, who passed it to his partner Sarah Schechter at Berlanti Productions, and the rest is history. The trio co-produce the film with Cora Paffrey and Philip Herd of Imagine Entertainment.
Michael Grandage directs “My Policeman” and told Vanity Fair that Styles sought him out for the role of Tom after he had read and loved the script. Styles then wowed Grandage in their first meeting. “He had read the script so many times that he knew every single beat of it at that meeting,” said Grandage. “I found that incredibly impressive. He knew other people’s lines; he knew all of his lines. He knew why he wanted to talk about it, why one scene worked this way and another worked another way.” Grandage also praised Style’s limited experience as an actor as a tremendous asset in his performance. “Because he hasn’t done much, he hasn’t developed the ability to work out tricks or even lie. He can only do it truthfully and as he knows it,” said Grandage, and likened Styles to a young Albert Finney.
With Styles on board as the star, as a gay man, Grandage found it crucial to have the LGBTQ+ community represented in the other two lead roles. Corrin came out as non-binary last July, while Dawson also identifies as LGBTQ+. In addition, Everett, who plays the older version of Patrick, the only openly gay character in the film, is also gay. Grandage stressed that it was essential to find a pair of actors to play Patrick that would “be able to bring something of themselves to it and also be able to speak to it as well.”
“My Policeman” gets a limited theatrical release on October 21 before Amazon Prime Video streams it worldwide on November 4. Take a look at the first look images for the film below.