Why ‘My Policeman’ Star Emma Corrin Was ‘Scared Sless’ of First Time Working With Harry Styles

Emma Corrin and David Dawson share some intimate moments with Harry Styles in “My Policeman.” To build that chemistry between the actors, director Michael Grandage introduced the three of them through a more musical approach.

In one scene in the movie, Corrin, Dawson and Styles get drunk at a bar and sing a song. “The first time the three of us got together, we were thrown into a sound booth,” Dawson recalled. “We got around the piano and we had to sing for each other, and that was a really clever way of breaking the ice.”

“Like a recording studio,” Corrin added. “Which is Harry’s natural habitat, but we both were scared shitless.”

Corrin, Dawson and Linus Roache sat down for a post-screening Q&A on Friday at New York City’s IPIC Theater.

Set in 1957 Brighton, “My Policeman” follows a complicated love triangle between closeted policeman Tom Burgess (Styles), schoolteacher Marion Taylor (Corrin) and museum curator Patrick Hazlewood (Dawson). The romantic drama, based on Bethan Roberts’ novel of the same name, jumps between two time periods: the 1950s and the 1990s.

“We were really lucky because we had about three weeks of rehearsal before we started shooting, which is incredibly rare,” Corrin said. “And we rehearsed as groups of three — I think mainly because of COVID, actually — but I wonder how it would have been different if we rehearsed as six.”

While the two groups never interacted with each other during rehearsals — aside from Zoom calls — Grandage did encourage the actors to have virtual one-on-one conversations with their older/younger counterparts.

“[Grandage] also freed us up in a way, saying, ‘We’re different people 40 years later, so don’t worry about trying to imitate your younger partner,’” said Roache, who plays older Tom. “It was a relief to be released from the person having to imitate Harry Styles.”

“My Policeman” spotlights the persecution of homosexuality in 1950s England. Asked how he channeled the mindset of younger Patrick during that era, Dawson said, “I have a man who’s very special to me who I worked with years ago, and became close friends with him. He used to tell me a lot of beautiful stories of him growing up as a gay man during this period.”

Dawson also watched BBC’s factual drama “Against the Law” and researched the “history of gay bars as safe spaces.”

“It gave me a real, greater appreciation of just what those spaces mean and symbolize, and made me feel incredibly privileged to live now, as a gay man, and have the freedoms and the rights that I have — and to not take that for granted.”

“My Policeman” hits Prime Video on Nov. 4.

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