HOLLYWOOD -- Love. Loss. Loneliness. Isolation. Grief. Acceptance. Hope. These are all themes that the new Searchlight Pictures movie "All of Us Strangers" addresses.
Andrew Scott plays Adam, a screenwriter who lives in a near-empty apartment block in London. He has a chance encounter with Harry, played by Paul Mescal, and the two begin a relationship.
"It just came very naturally for both of us," Paul Mescal told On the Red Carpet. "I felt very safe and also very excited about getting to act with him."
As their love is blossoming, we see Adam travel back to his childhood home, which is exactly as it was when he was a boy. His parents, played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell, are also trapped in that time. In the process, it's revealed that they actually died when he was 11 years old. The conversations between parents and son are both heartfelt and heart wrenching as Adam reveals that he is gay and on the verge of falling in love.
"You know, it's quite a difficult thing to ask an audience to believe," said Andrew Scott. "They're so good at playing these particular people. We had a few weeks to shoot that side of the film and we shot it in (director) Andrew Haigh's childhood home."
"In what serendipitous world does the house where the director... has the idea to shoot in his family home and you go and it's exactly as it was," Claire Foy exclaimed. "It felt like it was a little bit magical, basically."
"All of Us Strangers" has since earned nominations for the Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. Andrew Scott's performance in particular has been lauded by critics, and by his castmates.
"My favorite thing to watch is sometimes these tiny notions that you can see enter his brain and leave. I know it sounds reductive but you can see a human being thinking as a different human being in front of your very eyes and I think it's nothing short of extraordinary," said Mescal.
"If you've met him you know instantly that he's one of the most genuine, lovely human beings that you'll ever come across," said Jamie Bell. "And as soon as you see him and he's full speed and doing it and he's surprising you in ways where he's kind of catching you in your throat, you're so taken by what he's doing emotionally that it's just a joy."
Bell also revealed that Scott's performance had a profound effect on the crew. "People sat by monitors just being ruined all day. I would come into the makeup trailer and they'd all be like, 'Andrew came out to Claire yesterday.' And they were still trying to process, still carrying the experience."
For Foy, watching Scott and Mescal as their characters were falling in love was her favorite part.
"Only in that sort of love bubble, sort of like emerging, understanding as people, you can see it in their eyes when you watch it that they are learning about each other. Oh my god, I can't even! It's so beautiful," she exclaimed.
"All Of Us Strangers" is in theaters December 22.
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