Heroes in heels: ‘EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE’ cast and director find courage in glam high school musical


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Stop waiting for permission to be YOU.

Talk about a beautiful message to carry home after watching the endearing EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE—and that’s only one of many. 

The award-winning musical is based on the story of Jamie Campbell, as featured in the documentary DRAG QUEEN AT SIXTEEN. The documentary was adapted for the stage in 2017. It follows teen boy Jamie New (renamed for the show and portrayed by newcomer Max Harwood), who aspires to be a drag queen while navigating the turbulent times of growing up in Sheffield, England.

The film adaptation reunites the stage production’s creative team, including Jonathan Butterell as director, the screenplay and lyrics by Tom MacRae, and the score by composer Dan Gillespie Sells and Anne Dudley. Other members include Lauren Patel (also making her big-screen debut) as Jamie’s best friend Pritti Pasha, Richard E. Grant as Jamie’s mentor Hugo/Loco Chanelle, and Sarah Lancashire as Jamie’s caring mom Margaret.

Fresh Fiction reporter Preston Barta recently sat down with Butterell, Harwood and Patel to discuss taking the stage musical to the big screen. We also chat about the magic of the song-and-dance numbers, how Campbell’s story gave them courage in their lives, and how the realities have shifted.

Enjoy the conversation below, and catch EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE in select theaters this weekend or on Amazon Prime Video next week (9/17)!

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.