Crosby Street Hotel, New York
Left to right: Co-director Wash Westmoreland, author Lisa Genova, Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth & Kristen
Transcript of all Kristen's answers
• Q: For the actors, What was your reaction when you got the script? Were you afraid a movie about Alzheimer’s wouldn’t be a big blockbuster, and make people say, “That’s depressing” and not want to see it?
Kristen: Every experience is different when you’re an actor, and doing it for the reasons we do. Yes, it’s definitely morbid, and it’s not a walk in the park, but sometimes filmmaking can be very important. As soon as I read Julianne’s part in this, I knew that she was going to be doing something important. I knew this movie was being made so she could do something that would say something. It was intimated to me that it was our job to just hold her up.
One reason that I possibly felt so driven about this film is because Wash and Rich hired me. I felt like if they thought I could do it, then I could. It’s not that I don’t like that people can go to the movies and laugh, but sometimes I think a movie can really say something.
Kate: I felt the same way. I’d read the book before the script, and I think everyone in some way knows someone who has been effected by Alzheimer’s. In my family, both grandparents had Alzheimer’s, and my parents rallied the family to take care of them, and that touched me deeply.
I felt like this is an opportunity to shine a light on this disease in a way that hadn’t been done dramatically before. That was the real draw for me, as well as being able to work with Julianne. I’ve known her for years, but never had the opportunity to work with her before. I was excited to be able to watch her. It’s incredible and spectacular to be around her, and be part of the process.
Julianne: I did it for the money. (laughs) No, sorry, it was just such a great wonderful script and such a great book that Lisa wrote. What she did that is so remarkable is that she presented the disease completely subjectively. What would it be like? What does it feel like to go through this process? We never get to see that.
Also, Rich and Wash took the novel and made it cinematic in a very deceptively simple way. It was a thrill to be involved in something like that, and I think that’s what attracted us to it. It’s the human side of the story. You’re watching this family’s journey through this very difficult situation.
Kristen: It’s interesting that this is the kind of story where you know if it is done right, everyone is going to talk about it. If it were done badly, well…(laughs) The alternative is so polarized. So I thought, “if we do it right, it’s going to be more important than anything we’ve done in a long time.”
Wash: We didn’t want this to be a depressing movie. We wanted to shine a light on the human element, and the connections people can make during even the most difficult times. We wanted to make a powerful film about what it means to be alive.
Q: Kristen, was that something you related to, as well?
Kristen: Personally I did relate to it, as well. You have two starkly different representations of people. Lydia has so many traits of her mother [Alice] and because of this accelerated period might be able to find that key and reach a level with each other and appreciate each other. But first you have a girl [Lydia] who does not want anything to nail her down. Lydia is not isolated but she is different than her family. She is a very creative person and she wants to live every moment and appreciate it.
One other thing the movie shined the light on is the present moment. Being there and not being ruined by protecting [yourself] too much. It’s funny that Lydia becomes sort of a backbone. It’s counterintuitive. She’s flimsy but then she actually ends up being emotionally the strongest for her mom and she learned a lot.
Q: Kristen, I saw the Assayas film (Clouds of Sils Maria) and you were at the New York Film Festival and so fantastic and I wonder after a big franchise that you had, do you feel if you have to redefine yourself as an actor now?
Kristen: Gosh, luckily through by my experience and by my gut, I don’t have to do anything (like that). At this point, I’m just doing what inspires me and what I love and it’s falling off the truck the way that you see it.
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