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Juliette Lewis talks family drama and her new film 'Hellion'




Juliette Lewis stars as Pam in
Juliette Lewis stars as Pam in "Hellion."
IFC Films

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The new film "Hellion" looks at a broken family facing difficult times in Texas.

The mother has died and dad, played by Aaron Paul of "Breaking Bad" fame, is left to take care of his two rambunctious sons. But being a single dad proves difficult for him. He drinks too much and leaves his kids alone way too often. 

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Child protective services steps in and takes his younger son away and places him with his aunt Pam, played by actress Juliette Lewis. Family dramas seem to be her thing of late. Lewis also appeared last year along with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the film "August Osage County."

She joins Take Two for more on her newest role. 

Interview Highlights:

On what drew her to "Hellion":

“You just look for, or they come to you and its shocking, little diamonds in the rough, and that’s what 'Hellion' felt like. It was so well written, so moving and beautiful and unpredictable.”

“Then I met Kat, the director, Kat Candler, and that was such a thrill because she’s so sensitive, thoughtful, and she has such a great eye. And then Aaron Paul is an obscenely beautiful talent and I love that this is a new chapter for him. He’s gorgeous and incredible and moving in the movie”

On her intense scenes with Aaron Paul:

“She (Pam)’s not really volatile and emotional, but he is and I love that balance in acting. When you know what your place is in the story.”

“In some of these scenes, he’s blowing it big-time, but she’s really gentle with him because in an odd way, their family…It felt so real, I love it.”

On working on August Osage County:

“It was a dream. It all starts with the material. So you have Tracy Letts; he’s just brilliant…His characters jump off the page.”

“To play Karen (her character in "August Osage County"), whoa, she is just a bundle of anxiety and denial. It was an uncomfortable skin to live in and I relish it. And to work next to Meryl Streep, she’s a dear, she is everything you want her to be.”

“It was uncomfortable material, you know, even though my character is kind of funny, but to me she’s tragic.”

On dealing with personal challenges while shooting the film

“I’m still going through lots of colors in life. I’m mid-life, so this is the time where parents and mortality become real. My dad had a heart attack and he’s ailing in a lot of ways and has dementia. It was touch and go for a minute…my sisters and I came together to help him recuperate.”  

Lewis acknowledges that her recent work and her personal life have similarly shown what comes out of you in times of family crisis: "All the colors — your strengths and your weaknesses.”