The first time Love, Simon director Greg Berlanti met Jack Antonoff, he wasn’t sure how to greet the Bleachers frontman. “I was like, how do you shake a rock star’s hand?” Berlanti laughs. “Are there rules? I’m the least cool person you’ve ever met and he’s the most cool.”
It’s a sentiment that’s a stretch coming from Berlanti, who has found immense success on both the big and small screen. In the current television season alone, he’s behind a total 10 different scripted shows, an industry record, including the CW breakouts Riverdale, Supergirl and The Flash. Somewhere along the way, the New York native found time to direct the coming-of-age tale Love, Simon, a romantic comedy that follows the exploits of its titular character: a gay high school student who’s grappling with his sexuality. Pointing the rarity any similar films (big budget studio comedies tied to young gay characters), critics are regarding the movie as a groundbreaking, first of it’s kind moment in gay cinema.
For Berlanti, who is openly gay himself and grew up closeted until his early 20s, the film is a labor of love. It’s a quality Antonoff noticed when he saw an early cut of the movie. “When we were editing, we laid in the Bleachers song ‘Wid Heart’ which plays at the end of the film,” explains Berlanti, who worked closely with music supervisor Season Kent and editor Harry Jerjean. “Jack wanted to see the film before he signed off on it, he was very moved and said he’d liked to contribute whatever he could.”