‘Dating Amber’ stars discuss making a “hopeful” queer coming-of-age story

(NEW YORK) — In the new comedy Dating Amber, Fionn O’Shea and Lola Petticrew play gay classmates in mid-90s Ireland who pretend they’re dating in order to avoid ridicule from their peers. Along the way, they help each other come to terms with who they are.

O’Shea and Petticrew, who became best friends in real life during the making of the film, tell ABC Audio it was important for them to portray a hopeful queer coming-of-age story on screen.

“You don’t want to scare people out of coming out of the closet, you want to show them that, you know, especially within the LGBTQ+ community, your family can be the family that you choose and that there are going to be people there that will love you and accept you,” Petticrew says. “And I think that was always in the back of our mind when we made this film.”

In fact, making the film helped Petticrew come to terms with her own sexuality.

“During filming, before and after, I had realized that I’d given Amber and her journey all of this weight and I hadn’t done it for myself,” she says.

“It sort of gave me this sort of re-coming out in a way, and I found the label queer to fit me most,” she adds. “It really was a completely sort of life-transforming experience for me, playing Amber.”

O’Shea, who most people know as the much-hated character Jamie in Normal People, was happy to play someone a little more likable this time around. He says he felt a connection to his character, Eddie.

“I absolutely felt from the moment I read it that I really understood Eddie and just knew that I wanted to play him,” he says. 

Dating Amber is out on demand and digitally now.

By Andrea Tuccillo
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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