Peter Hedges didn’t write the position of Ben Burns, a 19-year-old recovering drug addict in “Ben Is Again,” for his Oscar-nominated son Lucas Hedges.
It was really Julia Roberts who nudged Lucas Hedges to contemplate portraying her on-screen offspring within the emotional drama a couple of mom who makes an attempt to assist her son after he returns dwelling from rehab.
“I assumed studying a Peter Hedges screenplay that this nice half for a younger man, that was a killer half, was a fait accompli,” Roberts mentioned on the New York premiere of “Ben Is Again. “I pictured Lucas, and he was good in my thoughts’s eye, as I knew he could be.”
However when the award-winning actress met with director-writer Peter Hedges to debate who would co-star, he got here ready with plenty of younger actors who have been suited to painting Ben. None of which have been named Lucas.
“I knew I had an issue after I met with Julia, and she or he wouldn’t hearken to any of my concepts for who may play Ben,” Peter Hedges advised Selection. (The director wouldn’t, nevertheless, open up to the commerce anybody on the listing of potential leads he got here armed with the primary time he met with Roberts.) “She mentioned, ‘I would like Lucas to do the film.’ We talked by means of it, so I used to be thrilled when he lastly determined to learn the script.”
For his half, Peter Hedges understood that his son may not need to star in a film that his father is directing.
“Who desires to go work together with your dad when you may work with Greta Gerwig?,” Peter Hedges mentioned, laughing. “You’ll be able to work with Martin Mcdonagh, Kenny Lonergan… why would you need to work with me? I get it. I might need to work with them earlier than me.”
Lucas Hedges doesn’t deny Roberts’ affect, however couldn’t assist give his dad his due.
“He doesn’t give himself sufficient credit score,” Lucas Hedges mentioned of his outdated man. “He wrote an unbelievable script, and he’s additionally on the finish of the day, the one motive why I do that. I might have come alongside to it, however Julia accelerated the method.”
It’s been a banner yr for Lucas Hedges, who additionally starred alongside one other Hollywood heavyweight, Nicole Kidman, within the coming-of-age drama “Boy Erased.” He’s presently working together with his “Manchester by the Sea” director Kenneth Lonergan in “The Waverly Gallery” on Broadway.
“I’m a kind of folks that the much less I do, the extra exhausted I’m. The extra I do, the extra energized I’m,” the 21-year-old actor mentioned. “It retains me going, doing all this.”
All of the familial bonding made Peter Hedges a basket case on set. Roberts teased the director for routinely crying whereas they have been filming. (Peter Hedges justified the waterworks saying, “I learn as soon as that worry is the anticipation of the attention’s future.”)
Proper earlier than the film rolled on the AMC in Lincoln Sq., Peter Hedges launched the forged, capping off the kudos by citing “my favourite actor on the earth, Lucas Hedges.” Like clockwork, Peter Hedges received choked up as tears streamed down his face.