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THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

Family of Four, Plus One
Annette Bening [plays Nic in the movie]: With movies, everything follows from the writing. To me, The Kids Are All Right is a great and poignant story about a family who very much love each other, and who are going through what a lot of families go through – things that we all share and can relate to. There's so much heart in it, so much genuine feeling – and it's not saccharine, or earnest; earnest is boring.

Julianne Moore [plays Jules in the movie]: One of the reasons that I really responded to the wonderfully funny script is that it's about where you are when you've been in a relationship for a long time and you have children. Annette and I have both been married long-term, have children and know what it's like to parent. When you have a child that's leaving home, it's a big transitional time for everybody.

Mia Wasikowska [plays Joni in the movie]: Family dynamics change when people grow up and start living their own lives.

Annette Bening: All the characters in the story have their journeys. Nic and Jules are really good moms; they have brought up their children in a loving, supportive environment. They're human, like all the rest of us with our families.

The two women are very different from each other; I liked that in the writing, that they're each such distinct people. Julianne Moore: My character has tried different jobs; she was in architecture school, had a business, and now is trying to be a landscape designer. But she's been more the stay-at-home parent, and for her the idea that Joni is leaving home now is major. Because her whole life has pretty much been about staying home with the kids.

It makes for a complicated dynamic. In movies, characters generally have a clear idea of where they're going. In life, I've seen a lot of people who don't. So I wanted to play that with Jules; her predicament is that she doesn't feel like she can go forward or backward, she feels stuck – and Nic has to deal with that, they have to work it out together. I loved that Jules is at such an amorphous place in her life, and that seemed to be a compelling thing to play.

Annette Bening: I felt like I understood Nic; I saw her as a sane, stable, smart woman. The dilemma that she gets in, going through a hard thing – one of the joys of acting is trying to put yourself as much as you possibly can into the shoes of another person, and to look at the world through their eyes.

Mia Wasikowska: Nic and Jules bring out different things in Joni's personality. To me, Joni always came off as a fiercely driven person; very ambitious, and wanting to achieve in school. She's more involved in the life of the mind than, say, fashion.

Josh Hutcherson [plays Laser in the movie]: Laser gets along great with his moms, but when he meets Paul it's that, he hasn't really had any male influences in his life. At the beginning of the story, he's the one who wants to contact his biological father.

Lisa, Julianne, Annette, Mia, and I all talked about, "What would you do if it was your kid? Would you let him meet him?”

Mark Ruffalo [plays Paul in the movie]: Paul is kind of interested in the idea of picking up where the moms have left off a little.

I feel that Laser expects more of a traditional dad, but Paul is much more eclectic. Paul doesn't totally give up on him, but goes to where he's getting the most responsiveness, which is from Joni.

Josh Hutcherson: Laser keeps his guard up, but Joni is more outgoing, with Paul.

Mia Wasikowska: At first, she's very apprehensive, as it's an unexpected relationship she finds herself in.

Mark Ruffalo: Paul has never really learned to make any real emotional connections to women, other than as f—k buddies. When he g

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