Austin Crute steals the scene in any film he's in. The Greatest Hits is no exception.

From Booksmart to They/Them, Crute has done it all in his young career. In The Greatest Hits, he plays Morris, the best friend of Harriet (Lucy Boynton). The ultimate best friend, Morris helps Harriet process the loss of her former boyfriend, played by David Corenswet, as she discovers a new love, played by Justin H. Min.

The film implements time travel into its story. Certain songs transport Harriet back to her former relationship. That holds her back from fully finding love with Min's character, and she processes her grief throughout.

Upon its SXSW premiere in March, The Greatest Hits got a limited theatrical release from Searchlight Pictures. It subsequently premiered on Hulu on April 12.

ClutchPoints spoke to Austin Crute during the press day for the film. He discussed the role music plays in his life, his real-life Morris, and compliments Lucy Boynton.

Austin Crute-The Greatest Hits interview

Justin H. Min and Lucy Boynton in The Greatest Hits.
Searchlight Pictures.

ClutchPoints: I was doing some social media stalking, and I saw that at the South by Southwest premiere, you were enjoying some barbecue. Shooting The Greatest Hits in California, can you shout out maybe your favorite restaurant spot or something you ate during the shoot, if you can remember?

Austin Crute: You know, there was sushi, but I forget where from. Although, if you are looking for it, since this is a love letter to L.A., one of my favoritespots that I did frequent while I was filming was Stevie's Creole Café in Mid City. So, so, so good.

I love soul food, I love Black-owned business, and I love Cajun food as well, so that is just such a good spot.

CP: I'm a big music person. I grew up being a musician, so music means a lot to me, but I also read that you make music, so could you talk to me about the power of music both as a listener and enjoyer and also as a creator?

AC: Yeah, so I definitely make music. I'm a big time recording artist in terms of my goals and my dreams [and] aspirations. My process when it comes to ingesting music, making music, anything like that is really the vibe — what the message is, yes, but also the sound. I love irreverent songs, I love Sexy Red, I love when a song could be as deep as a SZA album or just have fun like the City Girls.

And also [with] mumble music, they always say [that with] mumble rap or even R&B nowadays, people will be mumbling and stuff. I love when sometimes you have to kind of work to understand what the artist is saying, because it's about the vibe and you're not being served on a platter, what you're supposed to receive.

You almost have to make sure that you dive in. and immerse yourself into the syntax, the dialect, the pentameter of the artists that you're listening to and sometimes getting to know the artists.

I'm from Atlanta, born and raised. Future's from Atlanta, Young Thug is from Atlanta. It took me a minute to really start understanding them. But then when I started understanding them, it almost makes the lyrics even more potent when they didn't tell you but you just got it.

So, I love the vibe of music. I love the medium of music. And it's my number one medium in terms of entertainment, for sure.

CP: Are there ways that music inspires your performances in film and TV?

AC: For sure. So for example, I was in this show called Daybreak on Netflix where I had to play [a] Samurai in the apocalypse. I was listening to a lot of pump up music, trap music — I love that regardless of any vibe that I'm on simply because that's just me and that is what turns me up.

But then, in They/Them, which was a Blumhouse movie available on Hulu as well (Editor's note: They/Them is available on Peacock), I kind of had to get into my sad boy era and listen to different [artists], Lana Del Rey and [other] artists that were going to elicit some of that more emotional melancholy vibe out of me.

So, it's definitely a part of my process, but I think also just a part of my overall setting the tone for what my day is going to be and what work I have to deliver for that day.

CP: You've done a wide range of work. You mentioned They/Them, which is a slasher, and Greatest Hits is more of a romantic drama, I guess. So, what was it about Greatest Hits that was so intriguing that you just had to join it?

AC: Well, it was the first time that I have ever done a movie with quite this tone. It's very grounded, but it's also interlooping sci-fi elements. And there's drama in it, but there's also comedy to it as well.

And between the music and the queerness of my role in it and the overall aesthetic and the amazing people that were a part of it, I felt so grateful to even be able to put my name forth to be a part of it. I'm just so glad that I got to work with these incredible people. Ned [Benson] is an icon, and Lucy [Boynton] and Justin [H. Min] and David [Corenswet], they're all icons.

CP: I was reading about the film and Lucy spoke very highly of you — I think she said that you were the coolest person on set. So let's return the favorite bit. What are some memories and things about her that really stood out as an actress getting to be her co-star?

AC: You know, she is a wonder to watch. She is a consummate professional. I learned so much from her gleaning from her acting process. She is able to channel emotion at the drop of a dime. It was so easy to gain chemistry with her.

I play her best friend in the movie and you never know when you show up on the set, whether you're going to actually connect with the person or whether you're going to have to really act it out. She is just so easy to connect with. And the first day meeting her, I just knew that it was going to be a breeze working with her.

She is just a light and a joy. [She's] funny. And she's so cute. I mean, we did karaoke at Ned's house and when it's her time to sing, she just wants to just sing all cute and small — very similar to how Harriet and David, Lucy and Justin's characters, were interacting in [the] karaoke [scene] in the movie.

I mean, she's very humble, and yeah, I love her. She's great.

CP: Do you remember what the go to karaoke tracks were that night?

AC: You know what? They just said it and reminded me what the tracks were. I don't remember. I remember mine was “Thinkin About You” [by] Frank Ocean. I don't remember what David's was, but he sang some classic jazz. But yeah, I don't remember right off the top of my head, but that was mine.

CP: You did mention your character Morris, the character is like the ultimate best friend, I think everyone wants a best friend just like that. Can you shoutout a friend in your life that's your Morris?

AC: One of my friends, her name is Norika. She is definitely there for me in the way that my character is there for Harriet. [She's] always able to talk, [she's] my therapist, I would say — she's like my therapy friend. Uh, I would still be walking around here trying to be straight.

I'd be walking around here saying that, “I ain't never doing none of that gay stuff” if she was not in my life. So, big shout out to her and she's an incredible artist and musician as well. I love her.

CP: Did you get any sort of input in the song choices in the film? And if not, do you have a favorite needle chop?

AC: Ooh, ooh. Ned took the reins so well with the music in this film. I don't even think that there is a place where I could have even added any expertise of mine into the mix.

To be quite frank, I am a little bit on the younger side when it comes to my music taste, my music experience. So Roxy Music was introduced to me really thoroughly through this experience and “To Turn You On” is so groovy. It almost has this kind of like hip-hop feel to the beat and the bounce.

And we listened to it so much on set [with] the concert scene at the end and the record store scene. It really became one of my favorite songs after this whole experience.

So, I would say definitely “To Turn You On” [by] Roxy Music.

The Greatest Hits is streaming on Hulu.