In previous interviews with the director and cast of “Girlfriend,” the creators of the film were hesitant about revealing too many plot points. What was known was the plot involved a romance between “New Moon” star Jackson Rathbone and Shannon Woodward as ex-high school sweethearts, but a love triangle was also mentioned with the third angle not disclosed.
Earlier this week, on a visit to the set of “Girlfriend,” director Justin Lerner and his crew decided to share exclusively with MTV the large portion of plot they have been hiding secret: the film’s main character, Evan Grey.
Evan Grey (played by Evan Sneider, pictured, also inspired the character) is a man in his twenties with down syndrome who wants to find love from a woman, and the film (appropriately titled) is about his journey to find a girlfriend. During the course of the tale, Evan comes into some sort of means — which we assume to be money — that he uses to help the girl he’s loved since high school (Shannon), who is currently a single mom.
“Jackson’s character and I have an actual relationship that has since gone sour that still exists, but my relationship with Evan is a friendship,” Shannon explained of the “love” triangle. “And he doesn’t quite understand what having a girlfriend means.”
The idea for “Girlfriend” was concocted after Justin went home to visit his family and bumped into Evan. “We’re in an economic crisis, and [the film is set] in a small town where there’s lots of lying, deceit, jealousy, rage, violence,” the director noted. “Evan is pure good. He’s pure innocent love. How fascinating would it be to put pure, innocent, unconditional love […] into this world, and see what happens.”
Both Evan and his mother were in full support of the film. Evan’s mother had said she felt the film was, at heart, what her son truly wanted. Together she and Justin went through the script to try to make it as accurate an interpretation of life with down syndrome as possible.
“I really like this movie a lot. I’m glad to be working with Justin,” said Evan, who had worked with the filmmaker previously in his indie short, “The Replacement Child.” “In real life, Evan Sneider himself, would want a girlfriend some day. Because he feels like he would like to be happy with someone in his life who will always be good to him.”