Nick Robinson interview: ‘A Teacher’
“It explores the really tricky nature of consent,” explains Nick Robinson about the themes of “A Teacher.” For our recent webchat, he continues, “It takes years to sometimes come to terms with being in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“A Teacher” is the FX on Hulu limited series adapted from a 2013 film of the same name. Robinson plays Eric, a senior high school student who is groomed by and engages in an affair with a young female high school teacher (Kate Mara). The actor admits, “I realized these relationships happen more than you expect and a lot of them don’t become public. Things are swept under the rug, and most of the stories you hear are a clickbait article after it happens. You don’t get a lot of follow up. Part of what was exciting about this is how you really got to see the fallout of this relationship and how it ruined both of these character’s lives in very different ways.”
In researching the role Robinson says, “I got to speak with a psychologist who works a lot with male victims of childhood sexual trauma. He said that survivors don’t see themselves or the relationship as abusive until much later. After, they gain hindsight and find more normal relationships. When you are younger, you don’t have much to base it on. You think that is what a relationship is. Eric’s emotionally unprepared to deal with an affair with a married woman who is twice his age. These relationships are fetishized quite a lot, and that’s what he was thinking about rather than the actual consequences.”
To help explore these ideas, the series jumps forward in time. This allows not just the relationship to be examined but also the fallout. Robinson confesses, “The trickiest thing was to show the passage of time for these characters. What is the fastest way to age Eric ten years? We landed on a wig. That was difficult, because we couldn’t find the right hair color. It was this whole saga. On top of that, we were shooting some scenes that were ten years in the future and some in the present on the same day. So there was negotiating back and forth between this headspace here and this headspace there. That was one of the reasons this series had a lot to say. It had scope. We got to see these characters in the before, the during, and the after.”