‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ stars Max Harwood and Lauren Patel share how dreams can come true

Dreams came true on the red carpet last Friday in Hollywood, as Outfest Los Angeles celebrated the LGBTQIA+ filmmaking community for the first time in public in more than a year.

While that alone was cause for celebration, the stars of the opening night film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie had another reason to celebrate — namely, their feature film debut. With their faces lighting up the night at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the star-studded cast kicked off the festival.

It was “a bit of a dream come true,” said Max Harwood, who plays Jamie New in the upbeat movie-musical about a 16-year-old boy from Sheffield, England, who dreams of becoming a drag queen.

In the film, directed by Jonathan Butterell (who also directed the West End musical version), Jamie has the unwavering support of his mother (Sarah Lancashire), his friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his drag mentor (Richard E. Grant). Still, he struggles to find acceptance from his father (Ralph Ineson) and some of the kids at school.

That doesn’t stop Jamie from bursting into infectious song and leading colorful set pieces that clarify why the musical has become so popular and ripe for adaptation.

Harwood, a 23-year-old newcomer, offered his advice for LGBTQIA+ kids who might be struggling to achieve their dreams.

“Keep going for it,” Harwood advised. “Find the people that are going to support you because you need strong people around you to really help you step into yourself.”

Speaking of support, Harwood’s co-star Lauren Patel, another newcomer, praised the community of filmmakers who made this movie possible.

“It was so many people’s first films, and we all leaned on each other and put absolutely everything we could into this film,” she shared, “and that’s definitely something I’ll take away with me forever.”

Jonathan Butterell, Max Harwood and Lauren Patel attend Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)

‘If that’s a fairy tale, I’m experiencing it here and now’

Butterell told In The Know that making the film after directing the musical in London allowed his imagination “to fly.”

“If you’d have told a young boy from Sheffield,” the first-time film director said, “that he’d be here tonight, he would laugh at you. But he would hope that this was the case. And he’s here. If that’s a fairy tale, I’m experiencing it here and now.”

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on September 17.

Other films and series at Outfest include Gemmel & Tim, an investigative documentary about convicted political donor-turned-felon Ed Buck; La Queenciañera, a portrait of Latina transgender activist Bamby Salcedo; the Grindr-produced comedy series, Bridesman; Lyle Kash’s meta-critique on trans representation, Death and Bowling; a portrait of RuPaul’s Drag Race season one winner BeBe Zahara Benet, Being BeBe; and The Sixth Reel, a comedy film from drag legend Charles Busch.

The festival’s closing night film on August 22 will be Fanny: The Right to Rock, a film about the first female rock band to release an album with a major label.

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If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s stories from Behind the Drag here.

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