Sundance Breakout Harris Dickinson on Nudity, Sexuality, and ‘Beach Rats’

Variety | 1/26/2017 | Staff
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Harris Dickinson makes a shattering film debut in “Beach Rats,” the story of an outer boroughs teen who is haunted by his homosexuality. So convincingly does he play Frankie, a 19-year old Brooklyn tough, that it’s jarring to discover that he’s from London.

It’s a remarkably assured performance for an actor who only has a handful of television and stage appearances to his credit. Dickinson’s work has left critics at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film launched this week, raving. As Frankie, he’s closed off, volatile, and filled with self-loathing. He practically communicates with grunts, and lacks the emotional capacity to deal with his attraction to men. In that stifling atmosphere, the internet becomes an outlet, giving Franke a platform to arrange sexual encounters with people who aren’t closeted. At a time when gay rights has made enormous strides, “Beach Rats,” sensitively directed by Eliza Hittman and set in a dead-end part of New York, reminds viewers that there are still places in the world where some love dares not speak its name.

Dickinson - Variety - Brooklyn - Native - Frankie

Dickinson spoke with Variety about transforming himself into a Brooklyn native, Frankie’s sexuality, and getting naked on film.

Had you ever been to Brooklyn?

New - York

Never, never. I’d been to New York, but it was very brief.

So then how did you develop the accent?

Movie - New - York - Accent - Audition

I don’t know how I managed to be in this movie. I had a general New York accent for the audition tape and they helped me adjust it for the area. I sat in on the auditions. I met a lot of teenagers from Brooklyn. It helped me. I read with them and stayed in accent with them and they didn’t realize I was from London. Hearing it for me was the best way to work on it.

Why did you want to do the film?

Moment

From the moment I...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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