The actor defined that he was imagined to have his voice blended with Swedish singer Eric Mjönes’ earlier than the movie was launched, “however then the world acquired turned the wrong way up” and it didn’t occur. Nonetheless, Lemtov’s ludicrously sexual Eurovision monitor ‘Lion of Love’ gave Stevens a whole lot of perception into the character.
“I may instantly see the sort of character that he was, after which we seemed extra into that model of performer. Lemtov will not be significantly alien to the Eurovision model, that kind of pop/operatic model, extremely bombastic, very kind of sexualized staging. It simply seemed like a lot enjoyable.”
Stevens additionally notes that the competition itself has lengthy been a fixture not solely in Europe, however within the LGBTQ calendar, and whereas Lemtov’s magnetic character and efficiency is on the enviable centre of the annual occasion, he continues to be in turmoil.
“The opposite factor to notice is how necessary the music contest is to the LGBTQ group. For lots of nations, it’s one of many uncommon alternatives that they get to see that proven on a stage, they usually get to have a good time it,” he stated. “It’s a sort of secure haven for lots of people in that sense. They’ve an enormous following in that group in Europe, and around the globe. Even in America, I feel, it’s recognized for that. And that’s one thing that’s actually, actually celebrated. Clearly, Lemtov is torn as a result of he comes from a tradition that doesn’t permit him to acknowledge that. I suppose that’s his tragedy, and that’s what I believed made him such a well-rounded character, slightly than simply making him all-out absurd. There’s kind of this unhappy sort of interior battle: On the outside, he’s this wild, bombastic performer, however he’s not truly capable of dwell out his reality. A personality like Lemtov in his personal nation, only a few folks would have questioned his sexuality. I feel in case you look again at performers right here again within the ‘80s, lots of people didn’t suppose George Michael was homosexual. He was on the market performing, and no person was questioning that, particularly in England. How folks dwell their public persona versus their non-public persona — there are nonetheless, to today, in a whole lot of cultures, performers who dwell with that battle.”