In the new film The Beguiled, Colin Farrell plays a smolderingly sexy wounded Union soldier taken in by the women and girls of a Southern girls’ boarding school at the height of the Civil War.
Even though he’s fighting for the other side, it doesn’t take long for the women to form attachments to this handsome stranger named Corporal John McBurney.
Director Sofia Coppola says she wanted McBurney to not only appeal to females in the audience but to gay men as well.
‘It was hard to cast that part,’ she tells IndieWire of the male lead in a film that also stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.
‘The women were obvious to me, but who’s going to be the guy that can be mysterious, and so charismatic, and he had to be sexy?’ Coppola says.
‘I asked a lot of gay men and a lot of women what kind of guy they would be into and they all said he would be a hunk. I asked moms at school — I just went around town asking everybody. It was funny, my survey, everyone had a different opinion.’
She adds: ‘I wanted a guy that women and men would be attracted to.’