Disney+ has a new film that is putting a spotlight on kids chasing their dreams. In Better Nate Than Ever, based on the novel of the same name by Tim Federle, Nate Foster struggles to land roles in his middle school's drama productions while he fantasizes about becoming a Broadway star. Federle also directs and wrote this adaptation.
In the film, "when his parents leave town, Nate and his best friend Libby sneak off to the Big Apple for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove everyone wrong. A chance encounter with Nate’s long-lost Aunt Heidi turns his journey upside-down, and together they must learn that life’s greatest adventures are only as big as your dreams." It stars Rueby Wood, Aria Brooks, Joshua Bassett. Michelle Federer and with Norbert Leo Butz and Lisa Kudrow.
The film comes on the heels of the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida. The bill limits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms in the state, beginning as early as grade K. One Disney executive says she wants half of the characters in the films over the next year for the studio to be of LGBTQ+ representation.
Better Nate Than Ever’s young stars are outspoken on the issue and believe the film serves as a starting point for conversation. They are proud to be in a film that is inclusive.
“I absolutely think it is incredibly, incredibly important to protect LGBTQ youth and people, and all minorities,” Wood said in a recent interview with Shadow and Act. “I feel like the message of this movie is to find who you are and know that there's always somebody, no matter where you are, that will love and support you.”
Brooks shares similar sentiments, adding “LGBTQ rights are very important to me. I'm very passionate about speaking on them because no one should feel less than and no one should be made to feel less than because of who they love or who they identify as or what they identify with,” she added. “That is something that you can't control is just who you are. And we have to embrace being who we are. And I think it's even more important to focus on LGBT people representation and representation of people of color [and] protecting Black trans youth and really educating ourselves on supporting all LGBTQ plus youth.”
Better Nate Than Ever is streaming now on Disney+. Watch the full interview above.