Between Friends: Are they DTF or DTR?

Photo by Lola Scott

In his latest film, Bad Together, out filmmaker Jono Mitchell shares the evolution of a relationship between two seemingly opposite queer friends.

The story takes place over four years, with Robbie (played by Andrés Erickson) and Cameron (played by Queer Niro) learning to accept and love one another and themselves.

Robbie and Cameron are two young men who are desperate to connect with one another as friends but have different ways of achieving the bond. Both offer their own version of what each deems to be true friendship, but end up creating a relationship that may not be healthy for either one of them.

“I really wanted to explore the idea that a lot of the expectations we hold for ourselves and others can lead to sadness and conflict,” Mitchell explains. “Fundamentally you can connect with a person on the most basic level, but ultimately that connection still needs to be built on mutual expectation.”

Mitchell was inspired to write the story based on a similar friendship he experienced a few years ago. “I had an incredible friend who changed my life. He was so special to me, but life circumstances drove us apart.

“When everything changed, I had to accept the version of friendship that I idealized didn’t exist anymore. What we became is just as special, but I think I’ll always grieve for what we had.”

Filming for Bad Together took place in Atlanta, Georgia, where Jono Mitchell found the actors who would play Robbie and Cameron. Due to a familiarity with his work, Mitchell didn’t audition Andrés Erickson for the role of Robbie; he offered it to him outright. For his part, Erickson sees several similarities between himself and the role that he plays in the film. “Robbie is a caring guy, but like me he has a tendency to overanalyze, and I think we both like to talk things out as opposed to allowing bad feelings to fester.”

Where they differ is in their style of communication. “Robbie tends to be petty and more aggressive than I am,” Erickson says.

As for his choice of Queer Niro in the role of Cameron, Mitchell explains, “When you’re casting a character who may behave in unlikable ways, it’s important to find an actor who will naturally highlight some of the character’s more likable attributes. Niro’s charm makes it believable that someone like Robbie would look past Cameron’s mistakes and embrace him as a friend.”

“Cameron is me, just dialed up some notches,” Queer Niro adds, acknowledging that he played the scenes how he would handle the scenarios in real life. “Cameron is an endearing guy who longs to make something of his life but fears the possible consequences that come from change.” He hopes viewers will consider Cameron’s conundrum when deciding whether they are Team Robbie or Team Cameron. “Obviously, Team Cameron is the correct answer,” he laughs.

Photo by Lola Scott

True to character, Andrés Erickson takes a more neutral stance. “I hope people are reminded to take care of their friendships. People are complicated and they change and letting go can be necessary. It’s sad, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a bad thing.”

He also commends Jono Mitchell on writing a script that focuses on queer friendship. “It’s not something we see a lot of in queer cinema. There’s often a tendency to focus on the romantic aspects, when in real life things are much more complex and nuanced.”

Filmmaker Jono Mitchell is best known for his work on the Adult Swim digital shows, Dear Jono and Stupid Morning BS. His most recent works include Courtney Gets Possessed(2023) and Miles from Nowhere (2022). He hails from Atlanta, Georgia and in 2023, he was named a “2023 Creative to Watch” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Bad Together is available for TVOD rental across numerous platforms including Apple, Amazon, Google. It will be available on the Dekkoo streaming platform in 2024.

Ben Nelson

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