'Firebird' star Tom Prior on the perils of filming gay sex with a language barrier

April 29, 2022
Tom Prior is here, and he wants you to know.

The up-and-comer from the British stage has already waded into movies, with his roles in 'The Theory of Everything and 'Kingsman: The Secret Service.' Now Prior makes his bid for leading-man status with a deeply personal endeavor, the queer drama 'Firebird.'

Based on Sergey Fetisov's memoir 'The Story of Roman,' 'Firebird' follows Sergey (Prior), a young private in the Soviet army in the 1970s. Sergey's world gets turned upside down when he meets Roman (Oleg Zagorodnii), a handsome fighter pilot. The two men have an undeniable attraction to one another, but must keep their love hidden given the homophobic climate of the Soviet Union.

We sat down with Prior just before the US release of 'Firebird' to talk about his personal cultivation of the film, his choice to pen the script, and how the story of Sergey foreshadowed the current crisis facing LGBTQ people in Eastern Europe.

'Firebird' lands in cinemas April 29.


Video Editor: David Beerman.