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Patricia Arquette's 'Boyhood' Journey

The acclaimed new film “Boyhood” follows Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, from first grade to twelfth grade. Director Richard Linklater filmed the movie over 12 years, assembling the cast for a few days of filming each year.

The project required a great deal of commitment on the part of the actors, but as Patricia Arquette — who plays Mason’s mother Olivia — told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “the only thing that was hard about this movie, oddly enough, was last year. To have this beautiful experience every year, I really wasn’t ready to finish it and I wasn’t ready to give it to the world.”

But Arquette’s mindset has changed recently, as she has witnessed audience reactions to “Boyhood.”

“We all felt very emotional about this movie; in making it, it felt like love. It felt like building love with people. It meant a lot to us,” she explained. “The amazing thing is that many people in the audience have matched that. We felt like that was our thing, this deep, resonating feeling. But we found it returning to us.”

Interview Highlights

On looking back 12 years

“It’s funny because I had no idea how beautiful I was. I always was anyway fighting against that, and I didn’t feel like as a woman I was supposed to present that.”

“I didn’t want to Hollywood it up. I knew this woman was really busy going back to school, and trying to provide better for her family and trying to find her way, trying to find herself, to find herself even in the world.”

On her character’s parenting

“Show me the perfect parent, and I’ll show you a liar. People make mistakes, people don’t understand the impact of the things that they say and do. I think we become much better parents, but we’re human beings and we’re all flawed. And we wanted to show that in this movie with every character.”

On watching the film in the mindset of her character

“There was so much pain and resentment between these two parents. But when I got to watch the movie from my character’s perspective and she got to see the scenes she wasn’t in and the qualities he gave his children as a father, suddenly I had this real revelation as a human being that we shouldn’t hold onto so many resentments. Ethan’s character is very philosophical and he’s really interested in where his kids are at. She’s more doing the day-in-day-out and trying to survive and trying to take care of them, and having to be the law. At the end these kids get her work ethic, her show-up attitude … and from him, they’re getting this philosophical sense of individuality itself.”



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In this still from "Boyhood," Olivia (Arquette) reads a Harry Potter book to her children Mason (Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) (Matt Lankes/IFC Films).
In this still from "Boyhood," Olivia (Arquette) reads a Harry Potter book to her children Mason (Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) (Matt Lankes/IFC Films).

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