Actress Briana Evigan on her two recent queer roles and ideas on shifting sexuality

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AE: So how did you get involved with Love Is All You Need? and what attracted you to playing the character of Jude?

BE: I actually auditioned for it like four years ago when they were doing the first round of trying to get it off the ground. I didn’t book it, but I felt like Rocco, the director, and I connected so hard and I was super bummed. Luckily for my sake, it all fell apart and they came back around a few years later and it was sitting in my mailbox. I was just so excited to see that title. I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t been made. I went through three auditions and a chemistry read with Tyler Blackburn and got the role.

I just felt like this script was so unique. Nobody had done anything like this. I had a lot of friends growing up in the dance community that were gay and I never saw it as anything different. The more and more I got older and started to see the films and what was really going on in the world, it started to kill me. So I wanted to be some sort of a voice in all this. Especially with what’s going on now. It’s just gotten so insane after Orlando.

I wanted to bring the light to this character. She’s kind of the one that’s falling in love for the first time. If anybody knows what that feels like, it’s amazing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a male or a female–it’s a soul that you’re falling in love with. I think that’s really captured well in the movie and I think that was definitely there in the writing to begin with, which is something I just loved about it. It makes you very uncomfortable, but everything feels normal. All the couples throughout it, everything fits right. It feels like what you see on a day-to-day basis, but when you see it flipped, it really opens your mind and you have a completely different understanding of things. Those are a few of the reasons. Of course, I wanted to play football.

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AE: I was going to ask. That had to have been cool.

BE: Yeah. I was a soccer player as a kid and being a dancer, I’ve been just super active my whole life. I just thought it would be awesome. They got me an ex-NFL player to train with me and teach me how to do everything. It was just a blast. It was like another really fun dynamic to add to the acting side of it to kind of bring the presence of a football player to my character.

 

AE: And as far as fictional girlfriends go, how was working with Emily Osment?

BE: It was awesome. We actually became closer friends after we finished filming, for whatever reason. But she was so cool. She’s so talented. She’s really funny in it, but she’s kind of that creepy, scary girlfriend that you don’t really want to have. It’s all in her eyes too. She crushes the role. And we had a blast together shooting. I do feel like our scenes were always a little bit quicker when we were together, but she was rad. She’s a good friend.

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AE: I want to get into Jude some more. Were you given any indication as to what her sexual orientation might be? Even though in a lot of the publicity material she’s described as a heterosexual woman and she absolutely does fall in love with Ryan, it seems that on some level she could be attracted to Kelly. Were there any conversations about that? Was there a little bit of space for the idea that maybe she is bisexual?

BE: I believed taking on the role that she was just falling in love with someone else for the first time. I don’t think bisexual, gay, straight–any of those words came into my mind for Jude. I think she was with a woman first and she met a man and it was not accepted so it was a scarier route and obviously an entirely different experience for her with what she had to go through. But no, I don’t think any of those words came into it for her. Obviously in the movie they call her a “breeder” and a “faggot” and all these horrific names, which is crazy when you see it all flipped, what a lot of people have gone through. But no, for Jude, she’s falling in love with just a human.

 

AE: Even if Jude isn’t necessarily queer, is it cool with you if women everywhere crush on the female quarterback with the raspy voice?

BE: Yeah! Absolutely. I mean, come on, I took it on myself.

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