Nick Robinson made his name acting in YA dramas, but after the huge success of Love, Simon in 2018, he was ready to move on from high school corridors and teenage heartache. Kate Mara and director Hannah Fidell had other ideas, though. With the script for A Teacher, they presented the actor with a character whose naivety is entangled in a complex web of lust and manipulation, and a story that offsets innocence with exploitation. Dealing with delicate, provocative themes, this was a story that provided all of the grit, nuance and challenges Robinson had been looking for.
Based on Fidell’s 2013 film of the same name, the FX mini-series centers an affair between 18-year- old student and soccer team captain Eric (Robinson) and his English teacher, Claire (Mara). After following the relationship escalate and quickly combust, in the second half of the series Fidell explores its uncomfortable consequences as they unfurl, and we’re left to grapple with the lasting trauma Eric faces.
Speaking to Mara a few days before the series’ release and in the midst of the US election count, Robinson reflects on the challenges of the role, working with Ed Harris for his recent stint in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, and the importance of staying politically energised and engaged.
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