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Holding the Man stars ‘pretended to be a couple off-screen’

By Attitude Magazine

In our June issue – available to download now – Neil Armfield, director of Australia’s tear jerking gay drama Holding the Man, talks about his connection with the film, the relationship between the film’s two stars, Ryan Corr and Craig Scott, and being gay in the 1970s.

The award-winning film is an adaptation of the 1995 memoir of the same name by author Timothy Conigrave (played by Ryan Corr), which tells the story of his lifelong relationship with childhood sweetheart John Caleo (Craig Scott).

Armfield explains that the two main actors “sort of fell in love” as they pretended to be a couple off-screen to stoke their onscreen chemistry, and for Ryan – who unlike Craig, is straight – the experience was eye-opening.

holding the man

“They pretended to be a couple off-set to get a relationship going… They walked around Melbourne holding hand and, particularly for a straight actor, that experience is shocking. The feeling of suddenly finding yourself as the other.”

He adds that acting intimately away from set also helped when it came to the pair’s sex scenes.

“They had to get to a place of feeling very safe with one another where they would do whatever they needed to do,” he explains.

You can check out all our coverage of Holding the Man in the current issue of Attitude, available to download now from, in shops, and to order from

Also in Attitude’s June Issue, alongside all your usual news, reviews, fitness & travel:

  • Queers & the cuts: In a special feature marking a year of Conservative majority rule, we look at the toll austerity is taking on the LGBT community.
  • Titan of musical theatre Bernadette Peters looks back over a glittering career as she prepares to return to the UK – and tells us why she has no time for diva behaviour.
  • The Fifth Harmony girls talk boys, gay pride and X Factor as they continue to take over the airwaves with the fruits of new album 7/27.
  • Interview with Ariana Grande talking about her highly anticipated Dangerous Woman album.
  • Mathew Horne spills the T on playing gay in Sky’s detective series Agatha Raisin.
  • MTV’s Maya Jama sees whether she can pass for a homo in How Gay Are You?

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