Fangirlish had the pleasure of attending Screamfest for which they hosted the red carpet premiere The loneliest boy in the world. There we spoke to director Martin Owen and stars Max Harwood, Evan Ross and Jacob Sartorius.
The loneliest boy in the world Max Harwood plays the sheltered and unsocialized Oliver, who is tasked with making new friends after the sudden and devastating death of his mother. He decides that digging up a few (literally) would be best. However, when he wakes up the morning after his digging antics, he discovers that his newfound friends have mysteriously come to life overnight, plunging them all into a series of misadventures while trying to keep their secret from neighbors, bullies and social workers to protect like.”
There The loneliest boy in the world is such a unique film that we wanted to know what drew the actors to the project. First up was Evan Ross, who plays Julius, one of the clerks on Oliver’s case. He told us, “Well, I was drawn into the project before anyone was cast. I actually produced the project too. But I loved the script, I loved the idea, I loved Martin Owen, the director. You know, I’m playing a character that’s interesting and funny and also kind of the villain, but it’s a great role that’s fun.”
Ross continued, “But overall it’s one of those movies that I wanted to see and miss growing up. Like these projects like Edward Scissorhands, like Back to the Future, all these kinds of movies with very serious concepts and very funny scenarios. And so not only did I have a great time filming, but I also brought some of my friends together. For example, I brought Ashley Benson, Jacob and a bunch of other people I loved and we had a great time.”
Like Ross, watching it reminds us of films like Edward Scissorhands and one of our other favorites, Beetlejuice The loneliest boy in the world. Harwood himself seemed to echo that sentiment as well, based on his response as to why he got involved in this project. You may also be surprised that he saw the concept of this film very differently when he first read the script.
“In the beginning I read the film differently than when it ended. I read it as a drama. It has elements of drama, but it’s more horror comedy. I was really drawn to it because it’s a character that’s completely different from anything I’ve seen on screen before. But it was so reminiscent of old movies like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands that you know you’ve got a little bit of Johnny Depp with a little bit of Wynona Driver in it. So I guess I was just excited at the prospect of doing something I hadn’t done before.”
That led us to our next question to Harwood if he was feeling The loneliest boy in the world would be a movie like Beetlejuice for the younger generation. “Maybe, who knows. A lot of these films will become like a cult following, but I think these things take time. We have a group of really great people who have come a long way to see the film and who knows, maybe they will really enjoy it.”
When we asked Sartorius who plays the tyrant Kurt, what drew him to the project, we found his answer so relatable. “The whole story. I think it tells a story about someone who is isolated. And I think 2022 is something that’s really understandable. I know myself that sometimes I feel like the loneliest boy in the world, you know, but I think that’s what made me do it.” He continued, “It tells a story that’s much bigger than any one of us and one conveyed such great messages about love, sadness and things that we all deal with. A lot of universal emotions are being tapped into and I’m super happy to be a part of it.”
Because Sartorius has so much energy and seemed such a fun person, we had to ask him what was the most fun part of filming The loneliest boy in the world. “I would say the most fun thing was being around people that are so much fun. That is fun. These people are so energetic and charismatic and kind and supportive. You know this is my first time actually acting in front of the camera so they really liked introducing me and made me feel welcome and I think the people were the reason I have so much fun could.”
Well we think these guys did a great job of welcoming him and we think he did a really good job as it’s his first time acting in front of the camera.
The loneliest boy in the world is a strange movie and Oliver is an interesting character that people think is not normal. Every day he strives to be normal. As a reminder, he even writes the words “Be normal” on a calendar. We wanted to know why Harwood thinks Oliver doesn’t feel normal and what it even means to be normal.
“I think it’s about…sometimes ‘being normal’ is like restricting yourself to fit into society for some reason, so I think being normal is like ‘learning how to do it’. in many ways for him. And probably that’s what it really is for a lot of different people when they say, “Be normal,” what is normal? Normal is only what is perceived as normal. It’s a perception. I think as people get older through their teenage years, they learn to redefine what that means to them.”
During our interviews, we asked the performers how they felt The loneliest boy in the world would resonate with people. Sartorius’ response was, “Like I said, I think the universal feelings of sadness and loneliness. But apart from that, I think they will also relate to some of the characters in it. Like playing a guy named Kurt. He’s a tyrant. He’s a really mean guy. And you know, it’s like channeling all my middle school bullies. The people who bullied me online. I have to really like this and become a bully for the time of shooting. So, that was fun.”
When we asked Ross why he felt that The loneliest boy in the world would resonate with the viewers he had to say. “It’s a love story. It is a young man who wanted to start a family. Life is about family. Life probably revolves more around family than anything else. This young man built his family from a bunch of people – family members who were already dead, but they became this amazing family that he never had before, and that’s how fulfilled he was.”
The loneliest boy in the world is an interesting film and we were so curious about the inspiration behind it. We were able to ask Owen that exact question and he told us, “I think even though it’s a pretty absurd story the way it looks and feels, it’s ultimately a very simple story about a young man dealing with grief. And it really was. It makes sense, I think.”
We couldn’t agree more with him because we felt the same way The loneliest boy in the world is an understandable story. We enjoyed watching the film and chatting with the cast and the director gave us an even greater appreciation for this film.
The World’s Loneliest Boy is now showing in select cinemas and is also available on digital platforms.