New film Unicorns arrives in UK cinemas today having debuted at Toronto International Film Festival last year – telling the story of an unexpected cross-cultural romance that develops between a single father mechanic and a drag queen.


The film – which is co-directed by Sally El Hosaini and James Krishna Floyd – stars Ben Hardy and newcomer Jason Patel in the lead roles and shines a light on London's queer Asian scene while also exploring the difficulty Patel's character experiences having to hide his true identity from his socially conservative family.

It's a moving film, and in an exclusive interview with ahead of the wide release, Patel revealed an impactful message he'd received from a fan who'd been touched by a screening at a festival last year.

“I had someone DM me on Instagram, saying about how much the film had touched them," he explained. "And that it got them to, like, come out to their parents – which I think is so lovely. It's so sweet."

He added: "And I don't know, I don't want to cry about it. But it's so nice... the impact that cinema has, and the work that you make... it just makes you realise that you're doing the right thing, and you're making work that you care about."

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Meanwhile, Hardy explained how he and Patel had "instantly had some chemistry" when they first met, and revealed that the directors made the interesting decision to keep them apart before shooting to help keep that chemistry fresh.

"Sally and James wanted to keep hold of that and not let that... saturate, for lack of a better word. So they kept us apart until the first day of filming. And that helped kind of keep that sort of nervous energy around the two of us, but still having that natural rapport."

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He continued: "The first time we filmed together, we were doing the lovemaking scene as well. So it was kind of like, 'Hey, good to see you again for the second time in our entire lives. Let's get naked!' It was pretty intense."

"What's that thing when they say like, is it picture the audience naked or something like that?" Patel added. "And the fear goes away. But for us, like, we were actually… we just were there like that. And so afterwards, it was like, well, we've gone in the deep end, like, it doesn't matter.”

Unicorns is now showing in UK cinemas.


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