For any actor playing a true-life character, there’s always a commitment to get it exactly right, however, there’s perhaps no greater challenge for any performer than playing one of the director’s parents.
Such was the situation for Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong who respectively portrayed filmmaker James Gray’s mom and dad in his autobiographical Focus Features movie Armageddon Time.
As the duo explain above, after much research, Gray gave them the reins to make it their own.
“James wasn’t interested in a portraiture of his parents or some sort of documentary or reality version of his parents,” Strong tells Deadline.
One of the many facets explored in the 1980s set-story is that of tough love parenting and the effect of that, something which Gray is unabashed to show from his childhood in the film. Hathaway explains how after playing a tough scene with Banks Repeta, who portrays the younger version of the filmmaker, she received several comments from those on the set how they related, and knew that particular type of matriarch.
“‘That’s some old school mothering’,” Hathaway kept hearing.
“It’s not without love, but it creates, I believe, a traumatic effect later on in life,” says the Oscar-winning actress.
Also in the above video interview, Gray talks about recreating a real-life cameo from his youth, that of Maryanne Trump, Donald Trump’s sister, who visited his school. Gray casted Jessica Chastain in the part and kept the lid on it during shooting.
Focus Features has yet to set a release date for Armageddon Time. Thirty five reviews out of Cannes propped the movie to 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
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