Actress Patricia Arquette remembers when writer-director Richard Linklater first called her about his new film Boyhood, which opens on Friday areawide. Linklater sought to capture a child's experience over a 12-year period by filming in real time. Arquette loved the concept even though there wasn't even a script.
"We spoke directly about it," she says via phone from her Los Angeles home. "I just thought it was a brilliant idea. The more we talked about how he saw the movie – this boy aging from first grade through twelfth and the changes the family went through — the more I liked it. We didn't originally have a script but he did have some architecture. I loved the way it felt."
Linklater and crew started filming the movie in 2002. Arquette plays Olivia, a single mom trying to raise her son Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) and daughter Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) by herself after her husband (Ethan Hawke) has left her and the kids. The group of actors would shoot for only a few days each year — the film wrapped last year. Arquette identified with her character on a personal leve.
"The way I felt about this woman in certain ways reminded me of my mom and I had a deep place where she resided," says Arquette. "There were a lot of weird crossovers."
And like Mason Jr., her character changes as she grows older.
"She does lose some of her joy along the way," says Arquette. "That's part of what she's looking for in a relationship. She's drawn to these men who seem like they're providers or protectors and seem like they'll be partners for this work of life and this responsibility in life that can weigh on you heavily. They create so much damage and are worse than anything. She's also a self-actualized person. She wanted to grow and not just to provide for her children."
So is there any chance Linklater will continue to work with these actors and produce another film in 12 years?
"As far as I know, it's done," says Arquette. "You can't ask Rick right now. It's like asking a woman who's in the middle of labor if she wants another baby. Just let him push this baby out. A lot of people want us to do more but I don't know. It was so hard to even finish this movie. We all cared about the people and they were based on someone in the room's truth."