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The Indiewire Springboard: ‘Boyhood’ Brother and Sister Duo On Watching 12 Years of Their Lives Onscreen

The Indiewire Springboard: 'Boyhood' Brother and Sister Duo On Watching 12 Years of Their Lives Onscreen

Every Friday, Indiewire Springboard column profiles up-and-comers in the indie world who deserve your attention.

Puberty is a stage that everyone goes through in their lives that we’d all probably like to forget. For “Boyhood” stars Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater, that’s impossible. As the brother-sister pair at the center of Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-making opus, Coltrane and Lorelei (Richard’s daughter) grow up onscreen from their childhood years up until early adulthood. Watching the two evolve over the course of 12 years, both in their appearances and as actors, makes for a viewing event unlike any other. For Coltrane and Lorelei, the experience of watching the completed film was an intense one that they’re still mulling over. Here’s what it was like for the two to make and watch “Boyhood,” in their own words.

READ MORE: Was Richard Linklater’s 12 Year Production ‘Boyhood’ Worth the Wait? In a Word, Yes.

Ellar Coltrane

I didn’t have any expectations before I watched it, and it totally sent me for a ride. It was insane to watch.

At first, watching it, I was very lost in the perception of myself. It’s very intense to watch it. Recently, I’ve been able to experience it more as a whole and take in the movie for what it is.

I learned a lot about myself watching it the first few times.

It’s very therapeutic, all of this. Even doing interviews, it’s good to talk through your emotions. To watch it and have that intense catharsis, and then go in and revisit it from a more stable perspective is beautiful. It’s a thing that very few people get to do. It’s a cool thing that Rick has given me.

I was a physically uncomfortable teenager. Watching it back I don’t look as weird as I felt at the time. So it’s kind of comforting.

I almost didn’t realize what I was doing for a lot of it because Rick has this very ethereal way of going with the flow, as corny as that sounds. He just allows things to evolve. When I was young it wasn’t me crafting anything. It was just Rick gently guiding me.

There was definitely a point where I wanted to stop pursuing acting outside of “Boyhood” and I did. That’s why I haven’t been in anything else.

I went through phases of less confidence. I became much more self aware as shooting progressed. But Rick does a good job of making you feel comfortable.

Art and filmmaking in general appeal to me now. What I discovered from working on the film and now sharing it, just being lost in that creative process is what makes me happy. I hope I get to work on more projects. But there’s also a lot of other stuff I want to do.

I don’t have much of a life outside of promoting this film right now. I write and I play banjo. That’s my stress relief I guess.

Lorelei Linklater

I asked my dad if I could be in it. I had wanted to act from an early age. I was interested in it as a kid.

It’s difficult and strange to talk about the film, because there are a lot of things that I don’t remember. I wish that I had more that I remembered from the earlier years. I have a very shoddy memory.

My dad showed it to me once before Sundance. I watched a preliminary screener before it was completely done. It was a very intense experience. I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely painful experience for me. I was crying through most of it. I didn’t think it was going to be hard to watch. He hadn’t let me see any of the footage before that. I didn’t relate to the person onscreen at all. It was very intense.

It’s hard to describe the feeling I had watching it. It was weird to see myself go through really awkward stages physically, I’m not going to lie. I don’t want to sound shallow or vain, but it was hard. I was like, “Wow, do I really look like that?” He fabricated it to be un-glamorized and he made our characters look down.

I cried for the next two days after seeing it and ranted a lot. I couldn’t actually be mad at my dad ’cause I know it’s a beautiful film. But at the same time I just felt really angry. Towards what, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t talk to him a whole lot about it the days following, ’cause I knew I’d probably say things I regretted. I’ve calmed down about it. I’m much more at peace with it now. I know it’s a good thing, and I’m very lucky to be a part of it.

I became less interested in acting as I got a little older. I became more interested in visual art. At one point I asked my dad if my character could be killed off, ’cause I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore. But towards the later years I started to like it a little more. It was always fun getting together every year and filming.

I do definitely hope to pursue acting in the future along with visual art.

My favorite movie of my dad’s is “A Scanner Darkly.” I like the animation a lot.

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