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The recently released dramedy Stuck in Love focuses on the complicated relationships between a famous successful novelist Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear), his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly) -- who left him for a younger man -- and their two children, collegiate daughter (Lily Collins) and 16 year-old son Rusty (Nat Wolff), a hopeless romantic.
The supporting cast includes Logan Lerman as Lou, a classmate of Samantha's and her love interest and Liana Liberato plays Kate, Rusty's first love with a troubled life.
Stephen King as himself and Kristen Bell as Tricia offer delicious cameos.
The 18 year old Nat Wolff and Liana Liberato step into the interview room just as an exclusive one-on-one ends with director Josh Boone, an impressive young filmmaker who has also written the feature.
Though this is his first feature, Boone has assembled this impressive cast including Wolff and Liberato who themselves have already lined up an impressive set of credits.
The one on one with this precocious film couple starts right in following up on a comment from the conversation with Boone.
Q: We were talking about the various records we like...
Nat Wolff: That was one of the reasons I got cast in this movie because Josh and I connected on favorite movies and books and music.
Q: What were some of them?
Liana Liberato: Josh actually asked me to read a book and said it would change my life. It’s called The Secret History. I’m in the middle of that, it’s difficult but I’m enjoying it so hard.
NW: The main thing that Josh and I bonded up on was a real appreciation of movies from the 70s. We love Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman movies; Five Easy Pieces and Kramer Vs. Kramer and all these movies that were really more character based which we both want to bring back. Midnight Cowboy, there’s a lot of movies that are so lasting but are really of the time and I get a sense of that era.
Q: This movie has a touch of that.
NW: I think that instead of trying to be clever or trying to be hip, it just goes for honesty and real characters.
Q: How did you developed your characters. How was that family forged into a cinematic reality?
LL: Well Nat and I knew each other before this film and wanted to work with each other for a while.
NW: She sent me a script, and I also knew Lilly since I was 11 and always had a brother sister type relationship and I told her that she needed to read this script and that she’d be perfect for it.
She was the first person I thought of so I want to take credit. She fell in love with it like we did. For my character, it was so well written. I didn’t realize that he was based on Josh when he was younger but it makes sense because it’s so honest.
I come from a family of musicians and actors and that creates a household of people who like to talk about the same thing and it ends up with a lot of conflict that comes out of that. In this movie, it’s about people who are really obsessed with the same thing which makes it easy to relate to but also difficult in some ways.
LL: In the previous drafts, we did have a scene with Rusty and Kate having dinner at her parents and it seems that someone could draw from the fact of how troubled she is that her parents are really distant and disconnected from her life.
My parents are definitely not like that. I kind of had to go around and do some research on people who have the same issues that she does because I have never really been exposed to that.
Q: What did your parents think about you pursuing the acting world?
LL: They’re supportive. I’ve been doing it for eight years and they haven’t complained yet so hopefully they’re ok with it.
Q: What did you think of the music choices for the film?
NW: For me, one of the most exciting parts of the whole process was seeing my songs on the soundtrack and my songs in the movie. Seeing that between Elliot Smith and the idea that that is on the same cd is amazing.
Q: What do your parents do?
NW: My dad is a jazz musician and my mom is an actress.
LL: When we walked into our hotel rooms when we first got in, Josh had made us all mixed cds for each of our characters. Music was very present.
Q: You’ll have to play a jazz musician sometime.
NW: I would love to. That’d be great. So much fun.
Q: Having your mother actually be an actress, did you have expectations of what it would be like working in films?
NW: I started off working with her when I was younger and it was her idea, the show. I think as I got older, I sort of pushed away and don’t work with her anymore but she will always read the scripts that I’m gonna do and she always has great ideas. It’s always been to my benefit not to just be an insolent teenager and push her away. As much as I sometimes want to, because she is my mom, she has so many good ideas and things to say.
Q: Do you ask her about what you should be in?
NW: Not really at this point. I think I’ve developed my own taste that is separate from my parents but I really do value their opinion. Think my own taste has developed from watching what they’ve gravitated towards because they’re both really true artists.
Q: You did the David Schwimmer directed Trust and had as hard hitting role (as a sexual abuse victim) as is this one. They’re both victims but in very different ways. Where do you find within yourself the insight for playing these kinds of roles?
LL: I feel like a lot of research because I have never been a drug addict or been taken advantage of by an older man. When I first tried out for Trust, David took me to a foundation that he’s a part of called the Rape Foundation and I was able to listen to young girls talk about their experiences and that was incredible helpful.
Q: Did you go to a rehab center for this one?
LL: Yeah, I did. I talked with a girl who was a recovering addict who went through a very similar situation that Kate did when she was 17 so I was able to pick her brain about the type of things that she has to deal with in her everyday life.
Q: Did you ask yourself why you would have that boyfriend in the first place?
LL: Well, she’s troubled.
NW: Girls always fall for those jerky guys in the beginning and then they know better.
LL: In my head, he introduces me to drugs.
Q: How was it working with Stephen King and did you talk to him?
NW: I had never met or talked to him before. I got Greg to call and do a Stephen King voice and talk to me. Because of Josh, and I really love a lot of film adaptations of his books like Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption and I read The Body, but I wasn’t an obsessive fan like Josh was. Through getting to know Josh, I became a bigger Stephen King fan. For me, in that scene, I related it to Paul McCartney calling me on the phone and asking me about talking about my phones. That would be the feeling.
Q: How do you divide your mind between acting and music and do you try and do projects where you can merge the two?
NW: Yeah, hopefully I can. It’s really a wonderful thing when those two worlds come together. When I’m doing them separately, I think I’m equally passionate about both but I’ve been really lucky because I haven’t had to pick one or the other.
Q: Do you think you’ll do an album that’s inspired by a film idea or a film that’s inspired by an album?
NW: That would be really interesting. I know music plays a very important part for me on set. I’m always listening to music and it’s nice to have a playlist given to you by the director because you can listen to that. I know as a performer, sometimes I can feel a little uncomfortable and I find myself building an onstage character and I don’t think I could do that without being an actor.
Q: Did you see High Fidelity?
NW: I love that. I read the book too.
Q: You and Greg Kinnear have great chemistry with each other in the movie. What was it like working with him?
NW: Great. I was a huge fan of his before I did the movie. He was one of my idols and I’m even a bigger fan now. He’s a wonderful actor but he’s really calm onset. He always seems like he’s not working that hard but in reality he is.
It took me a while to realize that he’s just laughing with the crew but is in reality making himself comfortable enough to do his thing.
LL: He apparently would call Josh at all hours of the night with random thoughts and ideas. He thought of very tiny thing to. Like the scene where Rusty takes Kate back to his house, he was just supposed to walk in and have a quick conversation with us and then leave and he did the smallest thing but it was so brilliant because it made him more human, he got a bowl of cereal and it makes the whole scene.
Q: What about how was working with Jennifer Connelly who plays your mother in the film?
NW: What’s great about her is she’s not going to be working on a movie unless she really cares. She cared so much about this project that it spread to everyone.
The only actress that I’ve worked with who is as easy to work with as Jennifer is probably Liana. It’s weird that they’re not playing mother or daughter because they are really similar in a way. Acting with both of them is like breathing air. It’s just so easy. They give so much.
Q: Have you made any lists of songs and records that you’ve been listening to lately?
NW: Of course. Top bands would be The Beatles, The Clash, The Stones, The Replacements. I’m just thinking bands because can’t get into songs. Probably Simon and Garfunkel too.
LL: He’s so much more present in music than I am.
Q: What about movies then?
LL: Don’t ask me that either. I don’t know.
Q: Try one off the top of your head.
NW: I gave her a list of movies to watch myself.
LL: I’m going to say this and you’re going to think it’s really cliche because apparently every single girl says this but one of my favorite movies is Girl Interrupted. That’s one of my favorites.
A really recent movie that I have a strange obsession with is 127 Hours. I just love that movie.
NW: We saw Blue Valentine together and that movie is unbelievable.
Q: What are you doing next?
NW: I did a movie called Behaving Badly with Selena Gomez which was a wild scene, we called it Ferris Bueller on crack. I also did this movie called Palo Alto with James Franco. I play what is the devilish version of James when he was a kid. There’s the angel version done by someone else and I’m the evil version. I played a really awful guy and it was fun.
LL: A week ago, I left Colorado having just finished a film called Dear Eleanor with Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson and Josh Lucas.
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