‘Purple Hearts’ Star Sofia Carson Defends Netflix Movie After Backlash

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The numbers don’t lie. Currently in its second week, Netflix’s “Purple Hearts” has been watched for over 100 million hours. The drama, starring Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine, follows a liberal musician who agrees to marry a Marine in order to get health insurance.

While the film became a huge hit on the streaming giant, it also faced criticism over misogynistic and racist themes; During one scene, a Marine toasts and says, “This one’s to life, love, and chasing some fucking Arabs, baby!” As Cassie from Carson calls her before storming off, Luke from Galitzine ignores her and it’s soon forgotten, along with her more conservative views that she once resented.

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Although director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum was focused on positive reactions to the film, she saw the reviews.

“I hope people understand that for characters to grow, they have to be flawed at the start. So we very intentionally created two characters who were raised to hate each other,” she told Variety. have flaws in the beginning and that was intentional. For the red heart and blue heart to somehow turn purple, they have to be pretty extreme. Some of the people around them are even more flawed than they are. are.”

Nicholas Galitzine as Luke and Sofia Carson as Cassie in “Purple Hearts.”Mark Fellman/Netflix / Mark Fellman/Netflix

“They’ve both been neglected by the system; he’s injured in a war that doesn’t seem to be ending and he’s slipping through the cracks of the healthcare system,” she continued. “So they’re both left out of the system, and then they live under the same roof, and in those extreme circumstances, they learn to moderate each other and listen to each other and love each other.”

She adds that the country is “very flawed” right now, which they wanted to present in the film.

“That was the biggest and most important part of the theme,” Rosenbaum explains. “I hope anyone who’s been insulted in any way understands that our intentions are very pure, and that’s because we think people need to grow up and start becoming more moderate.”

“The reason I fell in love with the film is that it’s a love story, but it’s so much more than that,” adds Carson, who serves as the film’s executive producer. “It’s two hearts, one red, one blue, two worlds apart, that are really raised to hate each other. Through the power of love, they learn to lead with empathy and compassion and to love and transform into that beautiful shade of purple. We wanted to represent both sides as accurately as possible. What I think I’ve learned to do as an artist is to separate myself from all that and listen to what the world feels and reacts to with the film. It has been so beautifully overwhelming and so many people have felt seen or comforted by this film. That’s all we could wish for as filmmakers and as artists.

Sofia Carson as Cassie and Nicholas Galitzine as Luke in "Purple hearts."
Sofia Carson as Cassie and Nicholas Galitzine as Luke in “Purple Hearts.”Mark Fellman/Netflix / Mark Fellman/Netflix

On the other hand, the film has been praised for portraying in a positive way what it is like to live with type 1 diabetes, something Rosenbaum and Carson worked on with Laura Pavlakovich, the association’s founder. nonprofit You’re Just My Type, and Dr. Michael Metzger. , who was a medical consultant on set.

Also, with such a small budget, they couldn’t afford the insulin pump, so they hired a Medtronic consultant, who ended up being the one on the scene who administered the pump for the first time. .

“We all felt so emotional when she finally got the pump because it makes your life different,” Rosenbaum said. “We both felt like it was an important part of the story and a cool responsibility to be able to shed some light on it. But every time we talk ahead to someone who has type 1 diabetes, they’re so thankful because it’s usually like a weakness for a movie character, and a lot of times they’ll die of it. If you watch “Steel Magnolias,” and those are great stories too, but it was great to have to watch someone strong and try to overcome that.

Carson noted that Rosenbaum “set the tone” for the film to ensure it was conducted with honesty. “The more we learned about diabetes, the more we really wanted to represent what it means to be a type 1 diabetic in 2022 in the United States, in the most accurate and vulnerable way possible,” she says. “Working with Laura, meeting doctors and doing my research on what they face every day to literally survive – sacrificing everything they have to get the insulin they need to wake up the next day – is terribly unfair. .”

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