Wednesday, November 12, 2014

'Still Alice' co-director Wash Westmoreland on casting Kristen

AFI Fest: You assembled such a strong supporting cast around Moore. Can you talk about how Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish came to the production? Were any of them hesitant to take on such emotionally challenging roles?

WM: Everyone graduated to it magically! Kristen’s agents reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in her for the role. That was a happy day. We’ve long been fans of her work and said that we would love to meet her. Kate Bosworth is currently caring for her grandmother, who is living with dementia, and she had inquired after the rights for the book. So we all met up and found we really clicked. Alec Baldwin’s role was the last role to fill. We went through a long list of names with Julianne, as we wanted someone she would feel comfortable with. When we came to the end she said, “I could text Alec Baldwin.” We were like, “Yes!” They had worked together on 30 ROCK and were eager to do another project together. We thought it would be such an interesting change of pace for Alec, and that the role would reveal a side of him that audiences hadn’t really seen before. So then we just had to find Hunter Parrish in New York to complete our family. And act like a family they did – getting close and supporting each other through the difficult scenes. None of them were afraid of the emotional challenge though. That is what actors live for.