‘The Prom’ is personal for director Ryan Murphy 

The cast of The Prom on Netflix (Photo by Melissa Gordon/Netflix)

When Ryan Murphy went to see The Prom on Broadway, he was struck by the audience’s reaction. The story of four theatre stars who band together to fight for a young lesbian who is told she can’t take her girlfriend to the school dance inspired joy and celebration. But there was one audience member who it felt particularly personal for: himself. 

“The thing that was interesting to me is the heroine is from Indiana where she is denied, going to her poem and halfway through the musical, I realized that was my experience,” Murphy said during a virtual press conference. “I'm from Indiana and I was not allowed to go to my prom. So it became a very personal thing for me.”

Murphy saw the show in January 2019 and admits he was feeling “a little dark at the time” and looking for joy and optimism in his life. He took a met with the producer after the show and almost immediately agreed to make the movie. 

“It was just very quick and spontaneous. But I just loved the feeling, how it made me feel. It was very old-fashioned in its way, it was like a Valentine. And I love that about it,” he said, adding that he had always wanted to make a classic-style movie musical.

“The film just makes you feel good, and I think that it gives you hope in humanity,” Murphy said. “It’s about something that everybody is looking for, a sense of community, a sense of place and ultimately, the movie is just about love. It’s about love for each other, and boy do we need that now. That’s why I wanted to make it, I think that’s why people signed on. It’s the perfect time. It’s the holidays. It’s just a wonderful time to curl up with something that gives you hope in the world.”

The Prom premieres on Netflix on December 11 and is in select movie theatres now. 

Photo credit: The cast of The Prom on Netflix (Photo by Melissa Gordon/Netflix)