Netflix’s new musical film, The Prom, is a big-hearted effort with messages of inclusivity and acceptance.

Shadow and Act recently spoke to stars Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose and Andrew Rannells who talked about their own prom experiences and much more.

“I think it takes more courage to accept something than it does to do just about almost anything in the world,” said Key. “More courage to change an opinion, more courage to open yourself up to a different idea and do whatever you have to do to circumvent the fear so that you can move forward and see another in their shoes. There’s a courage aspect to it [the film].”

Rannells added, “And I think there’s also just an opportunity for conversation, right? There’s several characters in this film who don’t necessarily see eye to eye about everything. And I feel like hopefully if it not only promotes inclusivity and acceptance and will also promote just opening up a dialogue.”

“There’s so much to take away, but I think I’m so proud to be part of a film that in these unprecedented times, while we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and an economic downturn and institutional racism and the climate crisis…there’s just so much that we’re dealing with and to be part of a project that just brings so much love and joy and celebration into people’s homes and hearts,” explained Washington. “It’s really exciting. And I hope that people get reminded about how important it is that we love and accept each other unconditionally. Like I think Mrs. Green is on a journey where she thinks she knows what’s best for her child, which I think happens with a lot of parents, particularly in communities of color. Mrs. Green learns that in order to love her child unconditionally, she has to accept who she is fiercely and meet her where she is and not expect her to be who she wants her to be, but love her for who she is. We all deserve to have that sense of belonging and to receive that kind of unconditional love.”

Watch the full interviews below, via Dec. 9’s Shadow and Act Live episode, below;