Q: To the actresses: I want to know how you got into the heads and hearts of your characters, and whether there was anything in your personal lives or youths that you drew on to play them.
Annasophia Robb: I definitely agree with Toni. My character, Susanna, was all on the page. I drew everything from the script. It’s nice to see a girl-next-door character be multi-faceted, not just one-dimensional. She’s going through things herself. Being on set and being with all these people just really got me into the headspace I needed I remember my first meeting with Nat and Jim and how we clicked. The chemistry felt so natural and comfortable. Being able to spend time with Liam and getting to know each other for the first time was great and I felt sort of adopted by Allison in a way. Being able to hang out on the set was a real privilege for me.
Q: Summer is often a time of transition and change. Jim, you talked about it a little before but can you, Nat, and your actors recall any of your memorable summers of change?
Annasophia Robb: I started acting when I was nine, and I think last summer, when we shot this, was probably my most transitional. I had just graduated high school, I was 18, it was my first movie when I was on the set by myself, and it was kinda scary and a little bit lonely at times. But to be able to spend time with an amazing cast was so much fun for me and it’s now so exciting to see the final film because it reminds me of that time.
Q: By the end of the first act, I was waiting for Owen and Trent to have a huge confrontation. I wanted something like McMurphy vs. Nurse Ratched. I don’t understand why you guys didn’t do that!
Sam Rockwell: We did do that. Owen confronts Trent at the water park. I understand your expecting more but it’s probably good you’re left wanting more. I think a taste, a little moment, is all you need.
Nat Faxon: Jim and I always try to use restraint in what we do, both in our writing and our directing. When we worked with Alexander Payne on The Descendents, we admired his ability to recognize that less is more.
Jim Rash: I think there’s something so subtle in Owen’s action, when he steps between Trent and Duncan. I think it’s almost expected that they will have a big blow-up and a throw-down, but by having him do something as small as a simple physical move, we were achieving the same thing.
Sam Rockwell: I was going to muddy that moment with an adlib, and they pulled me back. They were right because it would have diluted the moment.
Toni Collette: You may want a confrontation because you care about Duncan, but I think it makes sense that Owen confronts Trent in a gentlemanly, minimalist fashion. Duncan’s the one who gets to push him and actually show his anger, and that’s who you want it to come from.
Annasophia Robb: I think it feels real, also.