BEN IS BACK

JU­LIA’S SOB- FEST

NW - - The Big Turn On -

Ju­lia Roberts is the queen of the weepy flick, but she’s go­ing even deeper – and darker – in her lat­est role as des­per­ate mum Holly Burns, who is strug­gling to keep her re­cov­er­ing son Ben ( Manch­ester

By Th­e­sea’s Lu­cas Hedges) out of the clutches of a drug ad­dic­tion that is threat­en­ing to tear their fam­ily apart. And while the Os­car-win­ning mum-of-three re­veals the movie was “a beau­ti­ful piece to get to be a part of”, she also ad­mits that it was a chal­leng­ing film to shoot... What at­tracted you to Holly’s strug­gle to help Ben stay clean? It’s a page-turner, this script, and I was drawn into it im­me­di­ately. It’s re­ally able to show how heart­break­ing it all is. There’s not a good guy and a bad guy... I think it just shows how truly im­pos­si­ble it is to judge. Peo­ple think, “Oh, well you wouldn’t find me in a sit­u­a­tion like that as a par­ent or as a per­son.” It just brings it all back to a place of great hu­mil­ity, where it can hap­pen to any­one – and it does hap­pen. How did you get into the mind­set of Holly? My re­sources were on the in­ter­net. I found a lot of on­line fo­rums that were ded­i­cated to moth­ers of ad­dicted grown chil­dren. Lot­sof Lots of sto­ries, lots of video that

I watched, and I was so im­pressed with these moth­ers – their abil­ity to share so openly, so freely... Was there a par­tic­u­larly hard

scene to shoot? There were no easy days, but I’ve kind of re­alised that’s the way that I like it. If I’m go­ing to leave my fam­ily – be­cause we shot this dur­ing the school year – who wants easy days? How was the dy­namic of hav­ing Lu­cas (the son of the di­rec­tor, Peter Hedges) play your on­screen son? One of the rea­sons Lu­cas was hes­i­tant to work with Peter [was that] he didn’t want there to be a fam­ily dy­namic with him. He wanted to be with me. We un­der­stood each other very clearly and deeply in a way, and I didn’t want to be in­tim­i­dated by hav­ing his dad on the set [ei­ther]... I wanted to treat Lu­cas like my son, and have that re­la­tion­ship. That’s what he wanted, too, and Peter gave us the space to do that. Did you bond with your other cast­mates? I had an im­me­di­ate and close con­nec­tion with Kathryn (New­ton, who plays her daugh­ter, Ivy) and Lu­cas, which was in­fin­itely help­ful for me to have that sense of love with them. They were both away from their mums, so I was able to feel like there was space for me. It was a unique and spe­cial tim time. Ad­dic­tion and de­pen­dency af­fects so many fam­i­lies, doesn’t itit? I know a lot of peo­ple that are some­one s in this movie. I think ev­ery­body eve does – ev­ery­body has some some­one who goes to their church or some­one who lives in their neig neigh­bour­hood or goes to their scho school. Do you findfi it easy to talk about dif­fi­cult ssub­jects within your

own fam­fam­ily? Our din­ner table is a pretty op open fo­rum, and I’m al­ways fas­ci­nated when ques­tions come out. In­side In­sid you go, “Ah­hhh” and out­side you y go, “I’m so glad you’ve asked tha that”, be­cause [the fact they] feel safe t to ask ques­tions and say “What does do that mean?” or “Have you ever heard of this?” makes me so happy. hap It’s when my hus­band [Dann [Danny Moder] and I feel we must be do­ing some­thing right. In ci­cin­e­mas Thurs­day Jan­uary Jan 31

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