Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern tackle teen mental health in new film The Son

while preparing for their roles in SonOscar-nominated actors Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern talk about their acting styles.

“For the most part, I’ve been able to — however intense — go home and quit my job,” Jackman told CBC News in an interview last September during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Then came French playwright Florian Zeller’s screenplay, in which divorced couple Peter (Jackman) and Kate (Dern) become increasingly desperate – and forced to make an unimaginable choice – as their teenage son Nicolas falls into a state of severe depression. Have come.

“I wasn’t with this one, and I think it touches on the insecurity and powerlessness that you feel as a parent,” he said. The film was released in Canadian cinemas on Friday.

Dern told CBC News she cried after reading the “flawless script” from Zeller, who also directed the film — an adaptation of his 2018 play le fils,

“As an actor, to read something right in its storytelling is already really emotional and moving, ’cause you’re inside the story as an audience,” Dern said.

From left, Zane McGrath, Laura Dern and Hugh Jackman in a scene from The Son, playing a divorced couple with a teenage son who is in severe depression. (Line Garten/Sony Pictures Classics/Associated Press)

Son Zeller’s 2020 film has a spiritual sequel Father (also adapted from his own theater work), both address mental health and its impact on family members.

But as a parent herself, the story resonated even more, she added.

“In some cases no matter how much shame or guilt or blame we put on anything, we can’t fix what we can’t control in this life,” she said.

“Whether it’s a lover or a parent or a child – we don’t get them, and we can’t even know what’s best for someone else. That’s why Florian so beautifully gave us a film like which is not – as [Hugh] As always said – it doesn’t have the answers, but it invites us to a conversation.”

Parenting is ‘a precarious job,’ says Jackman

A man in a suit looks up.
Hugh Jackman stars as Peter in The Sun. ‘For the most part, I can – no matter how intense – go home and quit my job,’ Jackman said. ‘I was not with it.’ (Jessica Kourkounis / Sony Pictures Classics / Associated Press)

Jackman’s character has a mid-film standoff with his own father, a cold and ruthless Anthony Hopkins (playing a different character from his starring role in the film). Father,

Just as Nikolas reminds Peter of his youth, Peter fears becoming the kind of parent his own father was – a theme that resonates deeply with Jackman.

“All of a sudden, the scene comes on halfway through the movie, and it reminds you that we’re all daughters and sons and children of parents, and we carry it all with us,” she said.

So we like to do what we get to do.– Laura Dern

“I think one of the saddest lines in the movie is when he says, ‘I realize I’m becoming more like him, I’m saying things I used to hate about my father, and they’re coming back to me. coming out mouth,’ … it’s almost like he can’t stop it. The harder he tries, the harder he works at it, it’s almost like he’s more underwater all the time goes. “

“I think it’s very human and very beautiful about the script,” Jackman said. “It’s a precarious job. We make mistakes and if we can accept that as a given as parents – you’re going to make mistakes.”

Dern on ‘cinema’s greatest gift’

A woman is standing at the door looking at a young man standing in front of her.
Laura Dern, left, and Zane McGrath in a scene from The Son. The actor added, “In some cases, no matter how much shame or guilt or blame we put on anything, we can’t fix it, which we can’t control in this life.” (Line Garten/Sony Pictures Classics/Associated Press)

Dern, who landed her first starring role in 1985 with the coming-of-age drama smooth talksaid family dramas provide a sense of community — and she recounted her own experiences in the ’80s for her favorite movies.

“It’s interesting because Hugh was talking about the movies that made him love movies and as a filmmaker we all queued for that,” she said. “Our generation, you know, I remember standing in line for an hour, a three-block long line ordinary peopleAnd the sense of waiting for that experience of community around the inexplicable.”

,Saint It does it in its own way,” she said. “I mean, it is – surprisingly – a family drama of the utmost core.”

“When filmmakers give us the gift of being able to invite us into that experience, it allows us to come inside. And that’s cinema’s greatest gift. So we love doing what we get to do.” Is.”

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