It’s all about chemistry: Jack Leger reports on Boy Meets Boy

One of the biggest hits at this year’s BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the freeform German drama Boy Meets Boy feels like Before Sunrise meets Weekend as two hot young men have an encounter in Berlin that becomes more intimate after they have sex. British actor Matthew J Morrison stars as Harry, who is using an app to have random hookups while on holiday, as you do. Then he runs into Johannes (Alexis Koutsoulis) in a nightclub, and the next morning they embark on a trip around the city while talking about their deeper yearnings.

Everything about this film feels natural and unscripted, although director Daniel Sanchez Lopez says he wrote about 70 percent of the dialog with cowriter Hannah Renton. “I’m from La Mancha in Spain, so English isn’t my native language,” he says. “So I would write the dialog, then ask the actors to make the words their own. And sometimes the only thing they knew was that they they needed to convey some sort of intention. For example, that you need to bring the boy home with you.”

This works, he says, because the chemistry between the actors is so strong. And Morrison says that was apparent from his first audition alongside Koutsoulis. “It was an ebb and flow,” he remembers, “and the back and forth seemed quite natural, going with something you feel or where the moment takes you.”

At the audition Lopez spotted this connection. “But I didn’t rehearse with them together,” he says. “I really wanted their attraction to show in the film, so you could see how much they like each other.”

Morrison said that he and Koutsoulis worked out their relationship both on and off camera. “Once we started production, he was literally my guide,” he says. “I spent all my time, apart from when we were sleeping, with him because he was actually showing me around Berlin.”

Meanwhile, as they shot the film, they were working guerrilla-style in the streets. And both Lopez and Morrison knew they needed to be careful. “Not all shops in Berlin are gay friendly,” Lopez says. “So we knew that telling them that we were making a queer film  was a no. Instead I would always say it was a comedy about Berlin!”

Morrison adds, “I know Berlin is a very liberal city, but every time I’d be shooting something that was overtly gay, I’m always thinking about being out in public. If we’re on a closed set, it’s fine because everyone knows what’s going on.”

Indeed, for the sex scenes Lopez worked to make the actors comfortable, even hiring an intimacy supervisor who brought tools and taught him some tricks. “So when they were naked and kissing, there were very few people in the room,” he says. “And we were just three people in the room when Matthew took the selfie of his butt.”

Morrison felt very well taken care of. “For the scene when I take a picture of my bum, Daniel basically gave me creative control. I was like, ‘I want the camera here, I want it from this distance.’ And he let me sign off on the scene before they allowed it to go in there.”

Director Daniel Sanchez Lopez

But this isn’t the first time he got naked on-camera. That was in the award-winning short The Devil’s Harmony. “I was literally scared to death,” he laughs. “What are my parents going to say? But the costume designer told me it would be OK, and she gave me something to protect my modesty. So after the first take I was fine with it, and honestly in almost everything I’ve shot since then I’m always getting naked. It’s what I do now!”

Boy Meets Boy is available now on major streaming sites, DVD and at

To Top