12.03.18

Julia Roberts & Lucas Hedges Discuss Their Roles In "Ben Is Back"

"Ben is Back" follows 19-year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) as he unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben's mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe.

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>>> THANKS, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WELCOME TO BUILD, I'M YOUR HOST. RICKY CAMILLERI. IN THE NEW FILM, "BEN IS BACK," TWO OF THE BEST WORKING ACTORS TODAY TEAM UP TO TELL A TRAGIC, YET THRILLING STORY THAT IS CURRENTLY ALL TOO AMERICAN.

>> LUCAS HEDGES COMING HOME AS HER SON WHO COMES HOME UNANNOUNCED, AND JULIA ROBERTS IS HIS MOTHER HELPING HIM WITH RECOVERY AND HIS PAST. TAKE A LOOK.

>> OH, MY GOD. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

>> HI, MOM.

>> IS IT YOU?

>> IS THAT BEN?

>> DID YOU SEE IT, HE'S GAINED SOME WEIGHT, AND HE'S GOT THE SPARKLE BACK IN HIS EYES. CLEARLY HE'S DOING BETTER.

>> WHY ARE YOU HIDING EVERYTHING?

>> WE SAID WE WEREN'T GOING TO DO IT AGAIN, REMEMBER?

>> I'D AGREE IF IT WEREN'T CHRISTMAS.

>> YOU GET A DAY. THIS TIME TOMORROW YOU ARE BACK IN SOBER LIVING. YOU DO NOT LEAVE MY SIGHT EVER. FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS, YOU ARE MINE, ALL MINE, GOT IT?

>> I GOT IT.

>> I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD.

>> HOLY --

>> OH, MY GOD!

>> I PUT MY FAMILY IN DANGER.

>> THIS IS ON YOU.

>> IF I DON'T DEAL WITH THIS, THEN IT COULD BE WORSE NEXT TIME.

>> OKAY. YOU GO IN, PAY THE MAN, AND GET RIGHT BACK OUT.

>> LOCK THE DOOR.

>> JUST BE CALM. I CAN'T BE CALM.

>> YOU NEED TO GO HOME. IF YOU REALLY KNEW ME, YOU'D BE DONE WITH ME.

>> I KNOW YOU.

>> NO. YOU DON'T, MOM. YOU DON'T KNOW ME.

>> UNLOCK THE DOOR, BEN, RIGHT NOW.

>> I TOLD YOU NOT TO BELIEVE ME, AND YOU DIDN'T LISTEN.

>> BEN? \M\M

>> AH!

>> ALL I NEED IS FOR YOU TO DO ME JUST ONE MORE THING.

>> I'M LOOKING FOR MY SON.

>> I CAN TELL THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG.

>> YOU NEED TO COME HOME.

>> NOT WITHOUT BEN. I JUST NEED YOU TO FIND MY SON!

>> THE THINGS THAT I'VE DONE TO MYSELF AND OTHERS --

>> YOU CAN'T SAVE THEM, BUT YOU'LL HATE YOURSELF IF YOU DON'T TRY.

>> JUST TELL ME, SON, WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BURY YOU.

>> I'M NOT GOING TO DIE. ANYWAYS, HERE I AM, STILL HERE, SO THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR -- [ APPLAUSE ] \M CATCH ME IF I SINK OR SWIM \M

>> EVERYBODY, PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR THE GREAT JULIA ROBERTS AND LUCAS HEDGES. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> HI.

>> HEY.

>> HEY.

>> HEY.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE. CAN I TELL YOU, I LOVE YOUR DRESS.

>> THANK YOU.

>> IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE THE COLORS ON THAT DRESS.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> I NEVER DO THAT, BUT I --

>> I WOULD IMAGINE. BUT JUST TO BE JOYFUL.

>> CONGRATULATIONS ON THE FILM. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. IT'S HEARTBREAKING AND SURPRISE TO ME, I DIDN'T KNOW GOING BO IT, IT'S A THRILLER, AS WELL. IT'S -- USUALLY WE TELL STORIES ABOUT ADDICTS IN OUR CULTURE A LOT, ESPECIALLY NOW. RARELY DO WE GET THEM WRAPPED UP IN SOMETHING SO THRILLING, AS WELL. WHAT DREW YOU TO THE SCRIPT WHEN YOU FIRST GOT IT?

>> JUST THE SCRIPT -- I MEAN, LUCAS AND I WERE TALKING ABOUT IT SO MUCH YESTERDAY --

>> JUST THE SCRIPT, RIGHT?

>> IT WAS JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. PETER HEDGES WHO DIRECTED THIS AND, FUNNY, HAS THE SAME LAST NAME AS LUCAS, HE WROTE THIS BEAUTIFUL, FRAGILE, SIMPLE, COMPLICATED STORY OF THIS FAMILY, AND I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

>> YEAH. AND THIS IS PETER HEDGES, YOUR FATHER?

>> YES. YES.

>> WHAT WAS -- HOW DID HE GET THE SCRIPT TO YOU? HOW DID HE ASK YOU TO BE PART OF THE MOVIE?

>> WELL, I TOLD MY DAD FROM A YOUNG -- NOT NECESSARILY YOUNG AGE, BUT ONCE I -- HE ASKED ME TO BE IN ONE OF HIS MOVIES, AND I THOUGHT THE IDEA SOUNDED UNCOMFORTABLE. I TOLD HIM I WOULDN'T BE IN ANY OF HIS MOVIES. HE NEVER ASKED ME IN THIS. HE SENT IT TO ME BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE A CHEERLEADER FROM THE SIDE. AND I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A PART FOR SOMEBODY MY AGE. AND I READ IT, AND FELL IN LOVE WITH IT, AND -- REALLY DIDN'T WANT ANY OTHER GUY MY AGE TO PLAY THE PART. AND -- I WAS STILL HESITANT. WHEN JULIA SIGNED ON, THAT SORT OF TIPPED ME OVER THE EDGE.

>> JUST LIKE ODDLY PROFESSIONAL MEANS OF GETTING YOU INVOLVED FOR A FAMILY AFFAIR --

>> WE HAD A MEETING WHERE WE WENT FROM OUR FIRST FLOOR TO OUR GROUND FLOOR, THAT WAS SORT OF LIKE THE TRANSITION INTO OUR MEETING, LET'S GO DOWNSTAIRS AND TALK ABOUT THE PROJECT --

>> WAS HE TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU TO BE A PART OF IT, OR WERE YOU TRYING TO CONVINCE HIM?

>> NO, I WASN'T TRYING TO CONVINCE HIM. MY DAD IS, LIKE MOST PARENTS I KNOW, HE REALLY THINKS I'M A GREAT ACTOR AND REALLY SUPPORTIVE --

>> AS DO WE ALL.

>> WHOO.

>> YEAH, WHOO.

>> KANSAS CITY!

>> NO. YEAH, BUT I FELT LIKE -- I. LIKE ACTUALLY THE FACT THAT HE WAS MY DAD COULD END UP SERVING ME, AND I -- I REALIZED I RARELY GET SUCH UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM MY DIRECTORS. SO FELT LIKE NOBODY REALLY SUPPORTS ME MORE THAN MY DAD. SO IT FELT APPROPRIATE TO WORK WITH HIM.

>> THE MAJORITY OF THIS MOVIE IS A TWO HANDER, ALMOST ALL OF IT IS A TWO HANDER, THERE ARE OTHER ACTORS, BUT MOST OF IT IS YOU IN THE CAR OR TRAVELING TOGETHER AROUND TOWN. HOW MUCH REHEARSAL TIME DID YOU HAVE? HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU SPEND WORKING OR TALKING BEFORE YOU GOT ON CAMERA TOGETHER?

>> WE STARTED FILMING IN EARLY DECEMBER, RIGHT, SORT OF MID-NOVEMBER, LUCAS MOVED IN WITH US.

>> YEAH. KIND OF.

>> REALLY?

>> KIND OF.

>> I HAD THANKSGIVING WITH HER AND HER FAMILY ACTUALLY. MY AND MY DAD TOOK A TRIP TO CALIFORNIA AND SPENT TIME WITH HER AND HER FAMILY. IT WAS LESS OF A REHEARSAL PERIOD AS IT WAS -- I WOULD SAY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER PERIOD, BUT IT DIDN'T FEEL THAT FORMAL. LIKE THE IDEA OF US GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER SOUNDS KIND OF -- I DON'T KNOW. IT JUST FELT LIKE WE GOT TOGETHER AND SPENT TIME -- IT ALMOST FELT LIKE -- YEAH, I HAD A BUNCH OF SLEEPOVERS AT YOUR HOUSE IN A WAY. LIKE IT WAS -- I FELT LIKE A -- SORT OF LIKE A COUSIN OR OLDER BROTHER OF SOME KIND.

>> RATHER THAN LIKE A SORT OF ASKING POINTED QUESTIONS ABOUT EACH OTHER, SORT OF GETTING COMFORTABLE BEING AROUND EACH OTHER.

>> EXACTLY.

>> SHARING SPACE AND JUST WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE IN EACH OTHER'S SPACE. AND -- MY KIDS JUST WANTED HIM TO STAY AND STAY AND STAY. I SAID, WELL, EVENTUALLY HE HAS TO GO BACK TO HIS ACTUAL FAMILY. BUT WE INVITED HIM OVER LAST NIGHT.

>> YEAH. I WAS -- I WENT TO A RANGERS GAME. SO I COULDN'T GO. I WAS ACTUALLY REALLY --

>> YOU TURNED DOWN HER INVITATION LAST NIGHT? IS THAT WHAT SHE ALLUDED TO?

>> I WASN'T --

>> IT'S AN OPEN INVITATION. BUT MY OLDEST SON TEXTED YOU AND SAID, HEY, COME OVER.

>> YEAH. HE WAS -- HER OLDEST SON IS, IT'S BIZARRE DYNAMIC. I SWEAR TO GOD I FEEL LIKE -- I FEEL LIKE HIS YOUNGER BROTHER IN A WEIRD WAY. AND HER SON IS LIKE IN EIGHTH GRADE. BUT HE TEXTED LIKE, I HEARD YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. I WAS LIKE, YEAH. HE WAS LIKE, ATTA BOY. I WAS LIKE -- LIKE, WHAT? THERE'S A CONFIDENCE TO HIM THAT I STILL DON'T HAVE.

>> ATTA BOY FROM AN EIGHTH GRADER. AN OLD SOUL FOR A --

>> PART OF ME WAS LIKE, ALL RIGHT, I DID GOOD.

>> AND HE WAS -- WHEN I TOLD HIM, HE WAS VERY EXCITED. REALLY, WHO IS SHE'S? TEXT HIM. CALL HIM, ASK HIM, GET THE DETAILS.

>> DID YOU HAVE ANY INITIAL HESITATION WORKING WITH LUCAS AND HIS FATHER ON SET? WAS THERE ANY SENSE OF LIKE, OH, HOPEFULLY HE DOESN'T GET DIRECTION LIKE, DAD, NO?

>> IT DIDN'T OCCUR TO ME. I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT WHAT THAT WOULD BE LIKE, BUT IT DIDN'T -- JUST DIDN'T OCCUR TO ME. PETER WROTE THIS BEAUTIFUL DOCUMENT, AND WANTED TO MAKE IT INTO A MOVIE. AND I -- I REALLY WANTED LUCAS TO PLAY BEN. SO IT DIDN'T -- I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME FUNNY HICCUP TO THEM BEING RELATED. AND I'M ALSO GOOD AT COMING BETWEEN PEOPLE IF I NEED TO. SO I FEEL LIKE I FOUND MY WAY OF FEELING LIKE SOMEHOW I WAS THE -- I WAS THE PARENT DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME AND NOT PETER.

>> WHICH ALSO PROBABLY HELPED PLAY FOR THE MOVIE, AS WELL, CONSIDERING YOU'RE THE PARENT ON CAMERA.

>> YES.

>> A LEVEL OF METHOD TO THAT, I GUESS YOU COULD SAY.

>> YES.

>> DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A METHOD ACTRESS? I WOULD NEVER ASK THAT QUESTION BY THE WAY.

>> MAYBE.

>> I WISH. I WISH. I'M NOT.

>> NOW YOU KNOW, YOUR CHARACTER IS IN RECOVERY. HE'S A RECOVERING OPIATE ADDICT. CURRENTLY IN THIS COUNTRY WE ARE IN THE GRIPS OF AN OPIATE CRISIS THAT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS. CURRENTLY THE NUMBER OF OVERDOSE DEATHS OUTWEIGHS THE NUMBER OF GUN HOMICIDES AT THIS POINT. THERE'S A LOT OF RESEARCH THAT CAN BE DONE ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I'M WONDERING WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH THE TWO OF YOU DID, WHAT KIND OF CONVERSATIONS YOU HAD ABOUT ACTUAL ADDICTS LIVE AND STRUGGLING.

>> WELL, IT'S -- I THINK IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO KNOW BEFORE I STARTED WORKING ON THIS PROJECT, THE STATISTICS. BUT WITH RESPECT TO WHERE MY RESEARCH WENT, THE STATISTICS CAN'T REALLY HELP ME. I HAD TO FOCUS ON THINGS THAT WERE VERY SPECIFIC. AND SPECIFIC REALLY TO ME AND MY OWN DIFFICULTY IN -- WITH THE PLACE I GREW UP. A LOT OF THE MOVIE IS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS FOR THIS KID TO TRY TO RECONCILE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS -- WITH A PLACE THAT FEELS LIKE HE'S, I DON'T KNOW, MESSED UP BEYOND BEING ABLE TO REPAIR WHAT HE FEELS IS THE -- AS THOUGH HE DID WRONG. SO I GUESS MOST OF MY WORK WAS JUST EXAMINING ALL OF THE THINGS THAT I'M MOST -- I FEEL MOST GUILTY ABOUT. IN MY OWN LIFE AS WELL AS GOING TO AS MANY MEETINGS AS POSSIBLE, A.A. AND N.A. --

>> A MEETING --

>> IN A WAY --

>> THERE'S A MEETING IN THE FILM THAT FEELS LIKE IT IS FOR THE MOST PART, THOSE DON'T FEEL LIKE EXTRAS FROM CENTRAL CASTING. THAT FEELS LIKE AN ACTUAL MEETING --

>> I THINK THEY ARE EXTRAS FROM --

>> REALLY? WILL.

>> NO. I DON'T KNOW --

>> HALF OF THEM WERE.

>> SOME OF -- I THINK -- I LIKE TO THINK, YEAH, WE DID A GOOD JOB. MY DAD DID BRING IN A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HE KNEW HAD BEEN IN CIRCLES LIKE THAT. SO IT DIDN'T FEEL -- IT WAS CASTING, BUT IT WASN'T, YOU KNOW, NOT LIKE LET'S TAKE THIS ACTOR AND THIS ACTOR. IT WAS LIKE HE WANTED PEOPLE WHO BELONGED IN THIS WORLD. AND -- AND HAD REALLY IDENTIFIED WITH THE STORY.

>> I KNOW, JULIA, THE STRUGGLE OF A MOTHER WITH A CHILD THAT'S IN RECOVERY OR IS STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION IS SOMETHING ALL TOO FAMILIAR RIGHT NOW, AS WELL. WERE THERE ANY MOTHERS OR STORIES THAT YOU LOOKED AT THAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT? OR IS IT ALL IN THE SCRIPT REALLY?

>> WELL, IT WAS ALL IN THE SCRIPT. I THINK THAT FOR ME TO BEGIN WITH ENTERING INTO JUST ONCE I STARTED WORKING ON IT THERE WAS A LOT OF THE STUFF I FOUND ON LINE, FORUMS DEDICATED TO MOTHERS OF ADDICTS SPECIFICALLY. SORT OF READING THOSE STORIES AND THERE'S BLOGS. THERE'S A SAD ENDLESS AMOUNT OF STORIES TO GO ON. AT THE POINT OF SHEER HEARTBREAK, I STOPPED READING THEM AND JUST FELT AT THAT POINT TO JUST KNOW THAT I POSSESS ALL THAT UNDERSTANDING AND THEN FOCUS JUST ON THE PERSON THAT PETER HAD WRITTEN AND HOW TO MAKE HER COME TO LIFE.

>> WHERE DID YOU FIND HER IN THE PLACE WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH HER SON'S ADDICTION, WITH PARENTS SOMETIMES IT'S LIKE THEY'RE IN THE THROES OF TRYING TO HELP THEIR SON, OR THEY'VE HAD TO ESSENTIALLY GIVE UP AND MOURN THEIR SON, AS IF THEY'RE NOT DEAD YET. BUT THEY'RE GOING TO DIE. SHE STRIKES ME AS SOMEWHERE AS ON THE CUSP OF THOSE THINGS.

>> I THINK THAT ON THE CUSP IS THE PLACE THAT YOU SORT OF EXIST THE MOST BECAUSE CHANGES RADICALLY EACH MOMENT WHAT IS THE BEST THREATENING TO DO FOR THIS ADDICTED CHILD. I THINK IN THIS STORY. SO IT'S -- IT'S THIS CONSTANT PUSH AND PULL, AND I THINK THEY'VE DONE THIS A NUMBER OF TIMES, AND THIS IS JUST THIS ONE TRULY UNEXPECTED MOMENT OF HIM COMING HOME. AND I LOVE WHEN EVEN THAT SHE TURNS INTO HER FAULT OR RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE SHE SAYS TO THE GREAT COURTNEY B. VANCE, SHE, ME, HOLLY BURNS, SAYS TO MY HUSBAND IN THE MOVIE PLAYED BY COURTNEY VANCE, HE ASKED ME WHAT I WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS, AND I SAID "HIM HOME," AND I NEVER THOUGHT HE WOULD DO IT. SHE EVEN THINKS THAT HIM COMING HOME IS BECAUSE HE WANTS TO PRESENT HER WITH THIS GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT. AND ISN'T THAT SWEET AND LOVING AND HOW CAN ANYBODY BE MAD ABOUT THAT? SO I THINK THAT REALLY SETS THE TONE FOR THE WAY HER MIND WORKS ON HIS BEHALF IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

>> THERE'S ALSO A SENSE THAT SHE BECOMES AN ADDICT IN HER OWN RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO HIM AND DEALING WITH HIM IN THE SENSE THAT SHE HAS TO HIDE THESE THINGS HE'S DOING FROM PEOPLE SHE LOVES. SHE GETS FILLED WITH SHAME AND HIDING EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON AROUND HER.

>> AND I THINK THAT'S WHERE OUR WONDERFUL KATHERINE NEWTON WHO PLAYS MY DAUGHTER IN THE MOVIE --

>> SHE'S GREAT.

>> SHE'S AMAZING. AND SHE DOES SUCH A BEAUTIFUL JOB IN THE MOVIE. AND SHE REALLY, HER CHARACTER IS SUCH A GREAT ILLUSTRATOR OF LOGIC AND SENSE AND POINTING OUT, WOW, MOM, YOU'RE HIDING ALL THE PILLS AND ALL THE JEWELRY, YOU KNOW, DOESN'T THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING? AND WHAT DO I SAY? I THINK I SAY, I WOULD DO THE SAME FOR YOU, AND SHE SAYS, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO. SHE'S CONSTANTLY TRYING TO BRING A CALM AND A REASON TO ALL OF THIS. THE TWO PEOPLE SHE LOVES THE MOST IN THE WORLD, WHAT A HORRIBLE PLACE TO BE STUCK.

>> YOU'VE WORKED WITH KATHERINE BEFORE, RIGHT? SHE WAS IN "THREE BILLBOARDS"?

>> PLAYED MY SISTER IN "THREE BILLBOARDS." SHE HAS A PART IN "LADY BIRD," AS WELL. SHE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMS. UNRECOGNIZABLE. ME AND KATHERINE, I HAD MY DAD COMPLETELY CAST HER BECAUSE HER AUDITION WAS BRILLIANT. SHE WAS THE LAST PERSON TO COME ON. WE HAVE A REALLY, REALLY STRONG CONNECTION. SHE'S ONE. THOSE PEOPLE THAT WHEN I'M WITH WE JUST LAUGH. LIKE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR US JUST TO NOT LAUGH. EVEN -- EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE REALLY SERIOUS. IT'S SORT OF ALWAYS, I DON'T KNOW, INSTANTLY CAN TURN ON ITS HEAD.

>> YOU SAID THAT WHEN IT CAME TO YOUR CHARACTER AND THE RESEARCH YOU DID, IT LOOKED FOR HOW IT ENGAGED WITH YOU PERSONALLY AND HOW YOU FELT. AS MUCH AS THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR DAD IS WRITE BEING SOMEONE ELSE AND TELLING A STORY -- WRITING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE AND TELLING A STORY, THERE'S FLOW WAY WHEN HE'S WRITING HE DIDN'T KNOW IT --

>> NO, I NEVER FELT LIKE THERE WAS A MOMENT WHEN -- PART OF WHAT IS SO SCARY ABOUT SHAME AND FEAR IS THAT IT -- IT SEEKS TO REALLY ISOLATE US FROM THE WORLD. SO MOST EVERYTHING THAT I WOULD DIP INTO FOR MY OWN LIFE, LIKE IT'S NOT STUFF THAT -- I'M NOT HAVING AN OPEN DIALOGUE WITH MY FAMILY, WITH MY DAD, LIKE HE'S NOT SAYING, OH, I'M GOING TO STEAL THIS FROM THIS THING YOU TOLD ME. IT'S -- SO I FELT LIKE THIS WAS VERY MUCH HIS CREATION, AND --

>> PRETTY FAR REMOVED --

>> YEAH, DEFINITELY. IT DIDN'T FEEL LIKE A PAGE OUT OF MY PLAYBOOK, YOU KNOW, IN THAT WAY. THERE WERE SOME -- SOME LIKE -- I HAD TO CONNECT SOME DOTS THAT WEREN'T NECESSARILY OBVIOUS, YEAH.

>> WHAT WAS -- THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFICULT SCENES BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU. DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT SCENE FOR THE TWO OF YOU TO SHOOT TOGETHER THAT YOU WORKED ON THE HARDEST, AND MAYBE HAD THE MOST TREPIDATION ABOUT?

>> GOSH, THAT'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS YOU JUST SAID. THAT WE WORKED THE HARDEST, WE HAD THE MOST TREPIDATION. PROBABLY --

>> I -- YOU KNOW, I RARELY EVER FIND THE DIFFICULT SCENES DIFFICULT. I ALWAYS FIND THOSE ARE THE EASY ONES FOR WHATEVER REASON. LIKE THE REALLY EMOTIONAL ONES ARE -- IT'S ALWAYS THE PLAYFUL, EASY ONES THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE. LIKE THE FIRST SCENE WE HAD TOGETHER IS SUPPOSED TO BE THIS SORT OF FUN LOVING MOMENT. AND IT'S JUST SO MUCH EASIER FOR ME TO STEP ON TO A SET AND BE ON THE VERGE OF LIKE CRYING THAN IT IS FOR ME TO ACTUALLY LIKE LET OUT A LAUGH, YOU KNOW. THERE'S SOMETHING MUCH MORE VULNERABLE ABOUT --

>> WHAT'S UP, LUCAS, YOU OKAY --

>> EXACTLY. NO. IT'S -- IT'S A SIMPLE LIKE STAGE FRIGHTENING, YOU KNOW. LIKE -- WHAT'S UP, MAN? YOU OKAY? THAT'S FUNNY.

>> THANKS.

>> THAT WAS GOOD.

>> GAVE ME THE JOB FOR A REASON.

>> I HAD AN ACTING COACH ONCE WHO TOLD ME THAT THE TWO THINGS THAT GO OUT THE WINDOW WHEN YOU GET UP IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE ARE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR AND YOUR SEX DRIVE. THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS THAT I THINK IF YOU WERE TO SHOW WOULD IMMEDIATELY MAKE YOU UNLOVABLE. LIKE THOSE ARE THE TWO MOST VULNERABLE. THAT COMPLETELY RESONATES WITH ME. THAT IF I -- IF I CRIED UP HERE RIGHT NOW, ALL OF YOU WOULD BE LIKE, AW, THAT'S SO SWEET. AND IN SOME RESPECTS I'D WIN YOU OVER. LIKE -- BUT IF I MAKE A JOKE -- IT'S JUST MUCH MORE RISKY. MUCH MORE DANGEROUS.

>> THAT'S WHY STANDUP COMEDIANS FOR THE MOST PART DON'T LAUGH AT THEIR OWN JOKES WHILE THEY'RE TELLING THEM, AS WELL, RIGHT? THERE'S A SENSE OF SELF-SATISFACTION BY LAUGHING AT YOURSELF --

>> I THINK I WOULD KILL PROBABLY ANY OF I GUESS WHO MADE THEM SEEM BRILLIANT IF THEY WERE LAUGHING AT THEMSELVES.

>> I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THAT.

>> OF LAUGH -- OF WHAT?

>> LAUGHING AT MYSELF. THINKING I'M THE FUNNIEST PERSON.

>> NO, YEAH, HAVE YOU EVER DONE A STANDUP BIT AND -- I FEEL LIKE --

>> EVERY DAY AT LUNCH.

>> YEAH, I GUESS. YEAH. BUT YOU'RE -- I DON'T KNOW.

>> ISN'T HE AWESOME? ISN'T HE SO SWEET AND SINCERE, AND I'M LIKE SCHECKY GREEN ALL THE TIME?

>> WAS THERE A PARTICULAR SCENE THAT WAS DIFFICULT FOR YOU? ARE YOU THE OPPOSITE OF THAT WHERE THE DRAMATIC SCENES ARE HARDER AND THE CASUAL MORE, FUN SCENES --

>> IT'S ALL HARD. I DON'T KNOW THAT THE HARD SCENES ARE EASY FOR LUCAS. OKAY. I FIND IT ALL HARD AND CHALLENGING. THAT WAS THE GREAT THING ABOUT BEING TOGETHER ALL THE TIME. IT WOULD BE THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND 20 BELOW ZERO OUTSIDE, AND WE WOULD BE, OH, OUTSIDE --

>> IN A CAR.

>> AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE THE WINDOW OUT. WE ARE IN A CAR THAT WE MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE. WE WERE COLD, AND THAT MADE US HAPPY SOMEHOW JUST TO BE TOGETHER AND THINK, WOW, COULD WE DIE? WELL, WE'RE TOGETHER. LET'S -- ANYTHING YOU WANT TO TELL ME BEFORE YOU DIE? WE WOULD JUST, YOU KNOW --

>> HOW MANY NIGHT SHOOTS WERE THERE? HOW MANY NIGHTS WERE YOU SHOOTING IN THAT CAR?

>> IT WAS HALF THE SHOOTING.

>> YEAH.

>> WAS NIGHT.

>> HALF. THAT'S LIKE -- I DON'T KNOW LIKE THREE WEEKS, TWO WEEKS -- 2.5 WEEKS, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> SITTING IN THE CAR TOGETHER GOING OVER THIS -- YOU WERE USED TO THAT. THAT WAS A LOT OF "MANCHESTER BY THE SEA" WAS SITTING IN A CAR --

>> WHAT WAS FUNNY ABOUT "MANCHESTER" IS WHILE WE WERE FILMING THOSE SCENES, EVERYTHING -- ALL THE SNOW WAS MELTING. IT WAS LIKE 60 DEGREES OUT. ON THIS, IT WAS LITERALLY FREEZING. YEAH.

>> I THINK WE HAVE TIME FOR QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE. WHO HAS A QUESTION? RIGHT HERE. HI.

>> HI.

>> HI.

>> SO I WAS WONDERING WHAT YOU GUYS LOOK FOR IN A SCRIPT WHEN YOU'RE -- WHEN YOU PICK A MOVIE THAT YOU WANT TO WORK ON, AND DO YOU FIND A MOVIE LIKE THIS SERIES -- MORE SERIOUS TOPIC MORE SATISFYING TO WORK ON?

>> THOSE ARE GOOD QUESTIONS. THE SHORT ANSWER FOR WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR, I'M NOT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC. IT'S JUST A FEELING THAT I HAVE WHEN I FINISH A SCRIPT AND I ALWAYS THINK, OH, I'M GOING TO MAKE THAT INTO A MOVIE, OR I THINK, WELL, THIS WILL JUST RECYCLE BEAUTIFULLY.

>> I --

>> A LOT OF RECYCLED SCRIPTS IN THE CORNER OF THE HOUSE?

>> KIND OF DID A COFFEE TABLE WITH THEM FOR A WHILE, BUT THAT SEEMED BRAGGY.

>> I AGREE WITH JULIA. I DON'T LOOK FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC. I LOOK FOR SOME SPARK, SOME INTUITIVE CONNECTION, AND I TRY TO -- BECAUSE WITH MOST PROJECTS YOU END UP WAKING UP LIKE -- AT LIKE 6:00 IN THE MORNING OR 5:00 IN THE MORNING, AND I FIND I'M REALLY NOT A MORNING PERSON. SO FOR ME, THE BIGGEST SIGN OF WHETHER OR NOT I WANT TO DO SOMETHING IS IF I WOULD WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO GO WORK ON IT. LIKE THAT -- IF I WOULD BE EXCITED ABOUT THAT, THEN I GOT TO DO IT.

>> I IMAGINE IT'S OFTEN COLLABORATORS, AS WELL, BOTH OF YOU SEEM TO TAKE ON PROJECTS WITH GREAT DIRECTORS OR GREAT WRITERS MOST OF THE TIME. I THINK OF "HOMECOMING" NOW WITH -- SAM ESMAIL.

>> SAM ESMAIL. YEAH.

>> AND YOU HAVE "THE WAVERLY GALLERY" AND DENNIS IS BACK AS YOUR DAD IN THE ACADEMY AWARD-NOMINATED WRITER AND DIRECTOR. HOW OFTEN IS IT COLLABORATORS FOR YOU, AS WELL?

>> WELL, IT IS, AND YOU CAN OBVIOUSLY TELL A LOT BY SOMEONE'S PREVIOUS WORK. BUT AS I ALWAYS SAY, EVERYBODY'S GREAT AT LUNCH. ANYBODY CAN SIT AT A LUNCH FOR AN HOUR AND MAKE YOU THINK THAT THEY'RE THE GREATEST PERSON IN THE WORLD THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO WORK WITH THEM. AND THEN YOU KNOW, IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND FREEZING OUTSIDE, AND IS THAT THE SAME PERSON THAT I HAD LUNCH WITH SIX MONTHS AGO?

>> RIGHT. GIVE THEM THREE WEEKS OF 16-HOUR DAYS, SEE HOW THEY GO.

>> YEAH. BUT YEAH, YOU TRY TO SEE SOMEONE'S POINT OF VIEW AND THEIR BODY OF WORK AND WHAT THEIR REAL INTENTION FOR A STORY IS. AND HOPE YOU MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS.

>> YEAH.

>> YEAH. I DEFINITELY -- I -- COLLABORATORS, ABSOLUTELY. IF IT WAS SOMEBODY I WANTED TO WORK WITH AND READ THE SCRIPT AND THOUGHT THIS IS TERRIBLE, I PROBABLY WOULD BE CONCERNED AND WOULDN'T DO IT. FOR THE MOST PART PERKS I LOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO CREATE WORLDS I WANT TO LIVE IN AND LIKE WORLDS THAT I -- IT'S INTERESTING THAT I FEEL LIKE ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I WANTED TO ACT IS BECAUSE I WAS -- I FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING I SAY IS SO DEPRESSING. I WASN'T SATISFIED IN THIS WORLD, WITH REALITY. GOD.

>> IT IS DRAMATIC.

>> CAN WE GET ONE OF THESE COUCHES UP HERE FOR LUCAS JUST TO LAY DOWN ON, AND WE CAN TALK?

>> I'LL LAY BACK.

>> ABOUT SOME STUFF.

>> AND I -- AND FILM WAS LIKE, OKAY, LIKE I WANT TO BE IN THESE WORLDS, BUT I FIND THAT THE MORE WORLDS I GET TO BE A PART OF, ALMOST THE MORE I END UP ACTUALLY ENJOYING THE REALITY THAT I AM -- I FIND MYSELF IN RIGHT NOW. OR JUST WHEN I WALK AROUND THE STREETS. BUT YEAH, I THINK I LOOK FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY LIKE WORLD MAKERS, YOU KNOW, WHO CAN REALLY CREATE A REALITY OF THEIR OWN.

>> JULIA, "HOMECOMING" IS YOUR FIRST SERIES, RIGHT, ON TELEVISION?

>> YES.

>> YOU DID "THE NORMAL HEART" WHICH WAS A MOVIE, BUT THIS IS YOUR FIRST SERIES. IT'S INCREDIBLE. CONGRATULATIONS.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I CAN'T IMAGINE PICKING A BETTER SHOW TO START WITH --

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> YEAH. HOW'S IT FEEL TO BE DOING TELEVISION? HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE SHOOTING IT?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, EVEN WELL-VERSED TELEVISION PEOPLE THAT WORKED ON THIS SHOW TELL ME, AND I KNOW THIS, I DIDN'T MAKE A TV SHOW.

>> YEAH.

>> BECAUSE SAM WAS OUR ONE DIRECTOR, OUR ONE LEADER. HE'S SO MASTERFUL, AND HE'S HONESTLY SUCH GENIUS IT'S CRAZY.

>> NO SHOT ON THAT FEELS LIKE A TV SHOW.

>> WE FILMED IT LIKE A MOVIE. WE DIDN'T HAVE EPISODES, SO THAT GAVE THE LUXURY OF SHOOTING IT LIKE A MOVIE. OUR FIRST A.D., PETER COHN, WAS MY FIRST A.D. ON "THE PELICAN BRIEF."

>> WOW.

>> IT WAS REALLY -- A LOT OF THE CREW WERE MOVIE PEOPLE THAT I HAD WORKED WITH BEFORE. I WAITED FOR IT FEEL DIFFERENT. ONCE I LEARNED THE TERMS, YOU KNOW, DEFINITELY THE CALL SHEET WAS DIFFERENT TO BEGIN WITH, AND I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND ALL THE LETTERS AND NUMBERS TOGETHER. THAT SEEMED TO BE THE ONLY DIFFERENCE. AND SO -- BUT PEOPLE THAT DO TV FOR A LIVING, ASSURE ME I HAVE NEVER MADE A TV SERIES, AND I BELIEVE THEM BECAUSE WE DID IT SO MUCH LIKE A FILM.

>> THAT'S INTERESTING TO BRING UP THE FIRST A.D. OFTEN WE TALK ABOUT ACTORS AND COLLABORATORS, WE TALK ABOUT THE DIRECTOR. THERE IS THIS HUGE CREW OF PEOPLE WHO WILL IF YOU'VE AMASSED A BODY OF WORK IN FILM AND TELEVISION, YOU SHOW UP LIKE, OH, THAT'S THE FOCUS, OR I KNOW HIM FROM THAT JOB, I KNOW THIS PERSON.

>> YES.

>> HOW OFTEN DO YOU FIND THAT TO BE THE CASE? SOMETIMES YOU'RE MORE EXCITED TO MEET UP WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CREW THAT YOU FIND --

>> ABSOLUTELY. AND IT WAS LIKE "OLD HOME" WEEK COMING ON TO THE OLD SET OF "HOMECOMING." PEOPLE WHO ARE THE BEST AT WHAT THEY DO ARE A FOCUS PULLER, THE BEST, DOLLY GRIP, THE BEST.

>> YOU CAN SEE THAT IN THE SHOTS, YEAH.

>> AND THAT'S THE REAL COLLABORATION IS TALKING TO EACH OTHER AND SAYING, OKAY, HOW DO I GET AROUND THIS CORNER, WHERE YOU CAN GET AROUND -- IT WAS -- IT WAS SO LIKE A PLAYFUL SURGERY EVERY DAY FIGURING OUT HOW TO MAKE IT WORK. IT WAS REALLY INCREDIBLE. YEAH, AS WE SIT HERE, THE TWO OF US, THERE ARE 178 PEOPLE SITTING BEHIND US, WHICH ARE THE ONLY REASON WHY THE TWO OF US ARE SITTING HERE.

>> YEAH.

>> THAT'S THE WAY IT IS ON -- ON ANY JOB.

>> I GOT TO GET MORE QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE, BUT I WANT TO ASK ABOUT WORKING WITH ELAINE MAY AND THE WAVERLY GALLERY --

>> I DO, TOO.

>> HER FIRST TIME ON BROADWAY IN YEARS, SINCE 1956 OR '66?

>> I THINK SHE'D BEEN ON AGAIN SINCE, BUT IT'S THE SAME THEATER SHE DID IN "EVENING" WITH NICHOLS IN THE '60s.

>> FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, ELAINE MAY IS A LEGEND. SHE WROTE SOME OF THE BEST MOVIES OF '70s HOLLYWOOD AND "ISHTAR," GO BACK IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT, IT'S GREAT.

>> AND DID "THE HEARTBREAK" KID AND "TOOTSIE,."

>> AND "HEAVEN CAN WAIT," AT THAT BABY FILM. SHE'S AMAZING. AN INCREDIBLE PERFORMER. THIS IS HER FIRST TIME ON BROADWAY FOR YEARS AND IT MIGHT BE HER LAST TIME ON BROADWAY. IT FEELS SPECIAL OUTSIDE FROM THE FACT THAT IT'S A KENNETH LONERGAN PLAY.

>> I GET TO GO OUT AND SUPPORT HER. A STORY ABOUT A GRANDSON TELLING, RECOUNTING HOW HE LOST HIS GRANDMOTHER AND HOW SHE -- HER DISSENSION INTO ALZHEIMER'S --

>> QUITE FUNNY.

>> VERY FUNNY.

>> IT SOUNDS HILARIOUS.

>> I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD PREFACE.

>> IT IS.

>> NOT FUNNY LIKE WHAT LUCAS THINKS IS FUNNY. IT'S FUNNY WHAT I THINK IS FUNNY.

>> BUT IT'S -- WE ALL SORT OF ORBIT HER IN THE SHOW. IT'S LIKE SHE IS -- SHE IS EVERYTHING AND WE ALL SORT OF GO LIKE THIS, AND WE TAKE -- I DON'T KNOW. I FEEL LIKE I DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. I JUST GET TO TELL HER STORY, AND EVERY NIGHT SHE GOES OUT THERE AND LIKE JUST DANCES AROUND THE STAGE. AND WE GET TO JUST -- IT FEELS REALLY, REALLY SPECIAL. AND --

>> WHEN THE LIGHTS COME UP AND YOU LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE, HOW MANY CRYING FACES DO YOU SEE EVERY NIGHT? I SAW IT, AND I WAS A BLUBBERING MESS WHEN IT WAS OVER.

>> YEAH. IT'S A -- IT'S COOL. I ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE A LOT. AND EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I'LL BE TALKING AND SOMEBODY WILL BE LIKE -- I'M LIKE, YES -- SOMEBODY WILL BE LIKE -- I'M LIKE, YES. THERE ARE A LOT OF -- SOMETIMES YOU CAN HEAR PEOPLE LIKE VISIBLY OR AUDIBLY LIKE SUPPRESSING SOBBING. THAT'S GOOD --

>> YOU'RE MAKING PEOPLE CRY ALL OVER TOWN.

>> YEAH. WHAT CAN I SAY?

>> YOU ARE.

>> MY LIFE IS SO DEPRESSING THAT I CAN'T HELP IT.

>> YOU CAME OUT LIKE, I JUST WANT TO DO THINGS WHERE I MAKE PEOPLE CRY.

>> EXACTLY.

>> I THINK I HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE QUESTION. HI.

>> HI. THIS IS A QUESTION FOR JULIA. YOU'RE VERY NEW TO INSTAGRAM. WHY DID YOU JOIN, DID YOU DO SO BEGRUDGINGLY? WHAT ARE SOME OF HIGHS AND LOWS OF YOUR EXPERIENCE?

>> I CAN'T -- I DON'T DO ANYTHING BEGRUDGINGLY, I JUST DO IT. I AM THE MOTHER OF TEENAGERS, SO IT IS A TOPIC AT OUR KITCHEN TABLE. SO IT WAS SUMMERTIME, AND I THOUGHT, I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE ON SOMETHING THAT I THEN HAD NO TIME TO ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE IN. SO I WAITED FOR SUMMER, AND I POSTED TWO THINGS. AND THEN I THOUGHT, WOW, I'LL -- I'M OUT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO. LIKE I WAS SORT OF LIKE READY WITH TWO POSTS. AND THEN I WAS DONE. AND THEN I THINK I POSTED A PICTURE OF -- I WAS OUT RUNNING, AND I POSTED A PICTURE OF THE -- OF A STICKER ON SOMEBODY'S WINDSHIELD. AND MY SON, FIN, WAS LIKE, MOM, THIS STICKER -- NOBODY WANTS TO SEE A STICKER. IT SAID, I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU, IT WAS INCREDIBLE. HE SAID, YEAH, YEAH, THAT'S NOT -- THAT'S NOT HOW IT -- EVERYBODY, GO FIND THAT STICKER AND LIKE IT, PLEASE. HONESTLY THEN I CAN SHOW FIN, NO, PEOPLE DO LIKE THE STICKER.

>> I LIKE THAT STICKER.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THE STICKER SAID "I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU"?

>> YES.

>> THAT'S NICE.

>> THAT'S REALLY NICE. I THOUGHT IT WAS NICE. I'LL REPORT BACK TO MY KIDS --

>> NOT EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET HAS TO BE SNARKY.

>> IT'S FUN FOR ME. I DID LEARN ONE LESSON ON INSTAGRAM. I THOUGHT I WAS KIND OF BEING LIKE, OH, I BUMPED INTO THIS, I'M GOING TO SAY SOMETHING. AND THEN PEOPLE WERE SAYING, OH, JULIA ROBERTS CLAPPED BACK. AND I --

>> CLAPPED BACK?

>> YEAH. I WAS LIKE WHAT'S A "CLAP BACK" THE WORDS MAKE NO SENSE TO ME. HAS ANYBODY HEARD "CLAP BACK"? YES.

>> LIKE YOUR RESPONDING, THAT'S A CLAP BACK?

>> CLAPPED BACK --

>> I CLAPPED BACK. I DON'T KNOW. SNAP AND A Z FORMATION.

>> WHAT IS IT --

>> THAT'S A CLAP BACK --

>> HOW DOES IT LOOK?

>> DO IT AGAIN. YOU GOT TO DO IT AGAIN. JULIA ROBERTS IS ASKING --

>> HE WAS DOING HIS OWN VERSION OF A CLAP BACK.

>> THERE IT IS.

>> OKAY. I DID IT, AND I -- I DID IT SUCCESSFULLY APPARENTLY. I WAS BEING -- I WAS BEING HERALDED FOR MY CLAP-BACK, AND THEN I FELT BAD. AND -- BUT FORTUNATELY, OKAY, THIS ALL SOUNDS SO STUPID. LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW SAD YOU ARE.

>> DEFLECT. DEFLECT.

>> NO. SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN SOMETHING --

>> IS THAT A CLAP-BACK, THROWING IT BACK --

>> NO, THAT'S A "SAVE ME, BABE," JUMP IN ANY TIME. INSTAGRAM I'M FINDING VERY ENJOYABLE. AND I WILL NO LONGER COMMENT ON SOMEONE COMMENTING SOMETHING ABOUT ME. I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE FUNNY, AND I REALIZE ON INSTAGRAM IT'S BETTER JUST TO BE FUNNY IN REAL LIFE.

>> THAT'S -- YEAH.

>> GUYS, I LOVE THE FILM.

>> THANKS.

>> CONGRATULATIONS. IT'S TWO BEAUTIFUL PERFORMANCES AND A REALLY BEAUTIFUL FILM.

>> THANK YOU.

>> AND EVERYBODY, CHECK OUT "BEN IS BACK" THIS FRIDAY WHEN IT OPENS IN THEATER --

>> COMEDY COMING TO YOU, "BEN IS BACK."

>> AND CHECK OUT "HOME COMING" AND SEE "THE WAVERLY GALLERY" WHILE IT'S UP AND RUNNING. ALL OF THESE INCREDIBLE PROJECTS THEY'RE PART OF. GIVE THEM A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE. LET'S HEAR IT.

>> THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]

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