The first trailer for Harry Styles’ much anticipated new film, My Policeman, in which the singer plays a married police officer involved in a secret gay love affair in 1950s Britain, was released June 15, stirring up even more public interest in the Queer love story.
In a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Styles spoke about the challenges he faced while performing the film’s sex scenes.
‘The Peen, It was Pre-Negotiated That That Would Remain My Own’
“It does feel vulnerable. I’d never kissed anyone on camera before and it felt like giving a part of myself away in some ways,” Styles said.
“I was naked in My Policeman. There’s no peen in the final cut. There’s bum bum… I don’t think the peen was intended to be involved.”
“The peen, it was pre-negotiated that that would remain my own.”
“I think the most important thing in that stuff is trust, Styles told Stern about filming the intimate scenes.
“I think if you speak about it properly with everyone that’s involved [that helps].”
“If you remember that the most important thing on the set is the two human beings doing it. If at any point either one of you is uncomfortable, I think having the conversation where it’s like, ‘It doesn’t matter if they’re getting great stuff, if you don’t feel good, you tell me and we’ll stop.’”
Director Michael Grandage, in an interview with Vanity Fair, praised the experience of working with the relatively inexperienced Styles.
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“Because he hasn’t done much, he hasn’t developed the ability to work out tricks or even lie. He can only do it truthfully and as he knows it,” Grandage said.
“They come open-minded, wanting to please each other. They were there for each other.”
This included rehearsing the film’s sex scenes which, according to Grandage, “Quite literally show something that was about ‘lovemaking’ in the broadest sense of the word, something that was choreographically interesting and not just some kind of thrusting sense of sex going on.”
Styles is the Perfect Actor For the Part
Former professional footballer, Robbie Rogers, who co-produced the film with his husband Greg Berlanti, said Styles was the perfect actor for the part of Tom.
“This story is about two people that are in love with Tom, slightly obsessed with him,” Rogers told Vanity Fair. “Harry — the world is so transfixed on him, on his every move.”
Rogers also said that the book My Policeman was monumental during his own coming-out process. “It was kind of like my coming-out book,” Rogers said. “I really think the book found me.”
“I was very much struggling with who I was. I hadn’t had a love story of my own. I was thinking about regrets and where I would be in 10, 20, 30 years,” Rogers said.
Based on the 2012 novel by Bethan Roberts, My Policeman tells the story of a married police officer (Styles) in 1950s Brighton, who falls in love with a museum curator, (played by Olivier Award-nominated actor David Dawson).
Style’s character Tom meanwhile is married to a schoolteacher, Marion, (played by The Crown’s Emma Corrin).
Inspired By E M Foster’s Life
Roberts says her book was inspired by the real-life relationship between E.M. Forster (Howard’s End), married policeman Robert Buckingham, and Buckingham’s wife May.
In an interview with The Guardian, Roberts said “a functioning triangular arrangement was firmly established with the two of them sharing their beloved Buckingham; the long weekends were for May, the short ones for Forster. Such an arrangement may only have worked in conditions of complete silence about the true nature of Forster’s relationship with Buckingham; but it did, at least, work.”
May ultimately served as a caregiver to Forster in his later years after he suffered a stroke.
“I now know that he was in love with Robert and therefore critical and jealous of me and our early years were very stormy, mostly because he had not the faintest idea of the pattern of our lives and was determined that Robert should not be engulfed in domesticity,” May wrote later. “Over the years he changed us both and he and I came to love one another, able to share the joys and sorrows that came.”
Styles’s Third Film
Despite a burgeoning film career, Styles missed playing one character he desperately wanted; Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic Elvis.
“Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him [but] the real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles,” Luhrmann said during an interview on the Fitzy & Wippa show.
“He’s already an icon,” Luhrmann said.
My Policeman is only Styles’s third film as an actor, following a small role in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war epic Dunkirk and a cameo as Eros at the end of last year’s Eternals. Styles also has another film scheduled for release this year, Don’t Worry Darling, alongside Florence Pugh and Styles’ real-life partner Olivia Wilde, who also directed the film.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) wrote the script for My Policeman, which also stars Rupert Everett, Linus Roache and Gina McKee as the older versions of Patrick, Tom and Marion.
My Policeman is just one of a new crop of Queer film and television projects set to make their bow, with Billy Eichner’s big screen rom-com Bros, Netflix’s Heartstoppers, Fire Island, and the newly reimagined Queer as Folk all being released this year.
My Policeman will land in cinemas on October 21, prior to its streaming debut on Prime Video on November 4. Styles’ new album Harry’s House was released May 20.