Oscar-winning screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon had big shoes to fill after reaching Hollywood’s highest peak for their win for The Descendants in 2011. How do you follow up after such a successful movie? The duo decided to go for a smaller film with a more indie feel. What developed was a movie called The Way, Way Back.
It’s the tried-and-true coming of age story surrounding one 14-year-old’s summer vacation with his mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s daughter. The hilarious story unfolds at a water park where he finds a surprising friendship. The movie stars Toni Collette, Steve Carrell, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell. It premiered to huge success at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Press Pass LA was able to catch up with some of the cast on the red carpet at the recent Los Angeles Film Festival. River Alexander who plays Peter in the film talked about his favorite moments on set with a few of the cast members. Alexander said, “When me and and Allison Janney would sing songs before we went on set like [sings] “Is she really going out with him? She’s awesome! Sam Rockwell would always make jokes on set and we would have so much fun. We would go to the beach, it was on Cape Cod. It was like a vacation.”
Toni Collette shared her thoughts on the indie film. She said, “I like movies that feel true somehow. Although it’s very funny, it’s very much grounded in reality. Those two [referring to Jim Rash and Nat Faxon on the red carpet] made it all happen.” Collette continued, “I love my character. She’s very sweet and vulnerable and she learns from her son. This is one thing that I really loved, it’s the young person teaching the old person. She embraces the fact that the strong relationship she has with her son will suffice for now.”
Liam James, who plays the title character, Duncan, talked about what the film meant to him. James revealed, “I didn’t really know how to answer that question until I had seen the film. I think for me what I mostly got is that Sam’s character takes me under his wing. No teenager gets along with their parents, so having someone who is not too serious and not trying to parent you, it’s really essential.” James giggled when talked about his own relationship with his parents and said, “My parents are great, but I still have those teenage moments.”
While the cast applauded the message of the film, it was screenwriter Faxon who understood the real victory. He told Press Pass LA, “You get to a point where you made the movie and you did it on your own terms, it’s a big deal.”
The Way, Way Back opens nationwide on July 5. Watch the trailer.