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Why Everybody's Talking About Jamie cut a major song from the musical

"I knew instinctively – that wouldn't work on film."

The movie adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie lands on screens very soon, but some fans of the musical may notice there's a big change in the film.

On stage when Jamie first meets Hugo, his backstory is explained in the song 'The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress)'.

However in the film, this has been replaced with brand new song, 'This Was Me'.

richard e grant, everybody's talking about jamie
20th Century Studios/Film4/Regency Films

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, director Jonathan Butterell explained: "The form tells you what is needed, really.

"The theatre is a different form to cinema, clearly. We knew there's a song in the theatre show, 'The Legend of Loco Chanelle', which I knew instinctively – that wouldn't work on film.

"And also, what it gave us the opportunity to do at that particular moment, with 'This Was Me', for instance, a new song, was to deepen the story of Hugo."

He added: "The conversation between Jamie and Hugo, and Hugo taking him back to when he was essentially Jamie's age, and showing him how he lived through his life.

max harwood, richard e grant, everybody's talking about jamie
20th Century Studios/Film4/Regency Films

"I'm not quite as old as Hugo was. I'm of the other generation that went through Section 28, that went through the HIV/AIDS pandemic that lost friends, that lost loved ones, that fought for loved ones, that fought for our place in the world.

"And not that young ones now don't have to do the same fighting in many places, but the conversation's shifted and changed.

"To share that history was really important for me."

Richard E Grant, who plays Hugo/Loco Chanelle in the film, added: "I had many friends who died of AIDS, one of whom was the late, great Ian Charleson, who was in Chariots of Fire.

"I had had the experience of seeing people on the streets of New York who, on street corners, had been abandoned by their families.

max harwood, everybody's talking about jamie
20th Century Studios/Film4/Regency Films

"They had no healthcare, and they were literally dying on street corners, in the richest city of the world.

"And ironically, because that was seen and experienced, certainly in the West, as such a particularly gay plague – a pandemic – the fact that globally everyone has had an experience now of the COVID pandemic, I think that will really inform how people will experience, and what they can take away from what Jamie is offering as a movie."

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is released on Amazon Prime Video on September 17. For more about the movie, check out the latest issue of Digital Spy Magazine on Apple News+.

The West End show of Everybody's Talking About Jamie is booking until September 26, and will return to theatres in 2022.


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