‘The Greatest Showman’ Songwriting Duo Pasek & Paul Tell Us About The Film’s LGBTQ Themes

· Updated on May 28, 2018

The Greatest Showman is a musical epic about one man’s refusal to give up on his dream of running a circus and also the struggle of a bearded lady who’s played by an actress who doesn’t have a beard in real life even though I don’t think I was busy when they were shooting this but whatever, 20th Century Fox, you made your choice.

Anyway, we here at INTO recently had the chance to meet up with the Academy Award-winning songwriting duo behind the P. T. Barnum biopic to talk about how a bunch of the songs came together and how their themes might resonate with LGBTQ audiences.

“[“Rewrite The Stars” is] about wishing society would see everyone on equal footing,” Justin Paul tells interviewer Micah Jesse. “It’s about two characters who are told they can’t love each other It’s about fighting against what the world tells you that you’re allowed to be or the love that you’re allowed to have and getting to decide that for yourself.”

“This is Me,” a song that heavily features the bearded lady role that honestly and truly would’ve been my big break, plays with similar themes of resilience and determination, they said.

“It’s a declaration,” said Benj Pasek. “I refuse to keep living in the shadows I’m part of the LGBTQ community, and definitely, there’s a sense that you’re told you’re not lovable or that you feel there’s some part of you that’s broken and you have to learn to love yourself.”

The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zendaya, and Zac Efron, hits theaters Dec. 20.

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