Hearts Beat Loud is a rare cinematic commodity.
Sure, there’s its unique plot of a father (Nick Offerman) and daughter (Kiersey Clemons) forming their own pop group that suddenly finds success in the weeks before she is due to move across the country to start college.
But, most notably, Offerman and Clemons are of different ethnicities, while Clemons’ character embarks on a romance with Sasha Lane’s Rose, neither of which are plot points. Which is exactly as it should be.
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I recently had the chance to speak to Clemons, who admitted that she was first attracted to “Hearts Beat Loud” for that very reason and because of “how relatable Sam was to Kiersey.”
“A much younger version of me, but nevertheless someone I wanted to see on screen.” When I asked her to expand on that answer, Clemons added, “Just in the way that she looks. Sam and Rose are both young women of color that like girls, and you don’t get to see that often.”
“Unless it is a sad story. So it was nice to see the happy story. And it is about them falling in love, and you don’t really know what happens next, which is interesting. I just thought it was special.”
Both Clemons and Lane were given the freedom to really imbue their experiences and personalities into the film, too, as “Hearts Beat Loud’s” co-writer and director Brett Haley created an open and collaborative set.
“When we got to New York, me, Sasha, Brett and co-writer Marc Basch all sat down and talked about being on the same page of what we found to be relatable, honest and natural, and what types of conversation we wanted to be having and other people to be having after they watch the movie.”
“We did some work on the script. It was really a work in progress the entire time, which allowed it to be instinctive. It was definitely collaborative. We would play and change things around if we felt things were necessary. A lot between me and Sasha especially.”
“Because we knew that our love story of teenagers experiencing their first love and not really being honest with each other, but at the same time sending these hidden messages, was a hard one to tell. And we wanted it to feel right.”
But while there were many similarities between herself and Sam, Kiersey admitted that there was a big difference in how they approach their respective creative outlets.
“As an actress, you only achieve it if you really want it. There are so many people that are just as talented as you are and want to do what you are doing. You have to work really hard at it and have a game plan, and figure out the projects that you want to do.”
“If you want to be on stage, in movies, on TV, you might want to do commercials, you might just want to direct. It is all about figuring out what to do and why. Plus, as time goes by, you might want to do different things as well. It is nice to be in an industry where I have different options.”
“For Sam it was different because she doesn’t want to entertain necessarily or even perform, because it is therapeutic for her.”
“She doesn’t want it to be her job. Because then she would have to find a different therapy and she likes music. So it is very different to what is going on in my life.”
Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop “Hearts Beat Loud” from being a sweet, funny and poignant musical drama that is packed with catchy songs, all of which you can revel in when the film is released in New York on June 8th, while it will extend across the country over the subsequent weeks.