In the new film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Emma Thompson stars as a repressed former religious ed teacher who goes on a sex-positive journey of acceptance with the help of a much younger male escort, played by Daryl McCormack.

The two characters – who meet each other under the aliases Nancy Stokes and Leo Grande – end up changing each others’ lives in different ways, and both Thompson and McCormack agree that making this film was a life-changing experience for them, too.

“I think that’s not an exaggeration, is it?” Thompson, 63, tells ABC Audio. “It’s a timing thing in your life and I think that Nancy and Leo certainly hit us right in the center of our souls, right at the right moment; it’s bizarre. I don’t think I could have played her even five years ago.”

McCormack, 29, adds, “Just seeing a young man presented on screen in that way … the sensitivity that he had, yet he felt masculine, he felt he knew who he was. And I just haven’t seen men portrayed on-screen like that before.”

Thompson and McCormack also had to build intimacy with each other quickly, which they say was aided by the tight production schedule and COVID-19 restrictions.

“We shot it in 19 days. It was all in lockdown. We couldn’t go out with anyone else,” Thompson says. “So we were very like Nancy and Leo. We were locked in a hotel for 19 days making this.” 

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is available now on Hulu.

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