We Had Brunch with the Women of The Glass Castle & It Was Life-Changing
Brie Larson is a force to be reckoned with. While she’s been acting since before she turned double digits, she’s been dominating the scene in recent years, thanks to the likes of her Oscar-winning part in Room, the release of Kong: Skull Island earlier this year, her casting in the upcoming Captain Marvel, plus her portrayal of Jeannette Walls in The Glass Castle… which hits theaters today!
So you can imagine how delighted I was to be invited to sit down for tea (and scones — you cannot forget about the scones) with the 27-year-old actress, as well as the author of The Glass Castle and Academy Award-nominated Naomi Watts this week to discuss the new project. (I’m on the far left in the photo below.)
During our afternoon chat, the three amazing women sat beside the equally amazing Tavi Gevinson, who acted as moderator, to openly and honestly speak about the riveting — and biographical — tale about a young girl (Jeannette, played by Brie) who “comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother (played by Naomi) who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father (played by Woody Harrelson) who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.” And, let me tell you, the brunch, the book, the movie — all of it was nothing short of life-changing.
In Jeannette’s own words, “There was pain and there was joy and there was agony and there was hurt and there was redemption and it’s all of those things; it’s life. And I was just so grateful to Destin [Daniel Cretton, the director] and each of the actors for doing layered nuanced storytelling.”
One of the key phrases behind The Glass Castle is, “Find the beauty in the struggle.” Through Jeannette’s work, it’s clear what that statement means to her. As for Brie, though, it takes on a far different, yet equally compelling, meaning:
“Can you imagine if I was, like, an actor still, but I had never experienced heartbreak or pain before?” she questioned. “What would happen? What kind of roles would I be playing? I mean, it just would be weird. So, I’ve had to, as my life has gone on, really get close to those things and realize that they are, like, the gems that are inside of me; they’re not the things that I’m ashamed of.”
Another key element that’s presented in the film is forgiveness. Despite growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who turned a blind eye to the turmoil he caused, Jeannette forgave both of them. “A lot of people say, ‘How can you forgive your parents?'” the author acknowledged. “And the person I had to forgive was myself because we, who pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, and have to make some tough choices to get by, I think of myself as selfish, and that was one of the transformative things about watching this movie was seeing Brie Larson making these tough choices. I loved her and was, like, rooting for her in a way that I never loved or rooted for myself.”
Experience the life-changing story for yourself, in theaters now. Fair warning: the tears WILL come.