In our exclusive interview – Diaz speaks about how it was a challenge to take on the role of Sara, a mother who engineers a child to save the dying one she can't watch perish.
Vassilieva has the task of playing Kate, a sister who has lived with the knowledge of her life being extended through her sister's pain. Breslin, with priceless panache, is Anna – who carries a secret through the film that is only one aspect of what makes My Sister's Keeper the must-see of the summer.
Jodi Picoult's beloved book gets the big screen treatment and in the hands of The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Diaz, Breslin and Vassilieva as well as Jason Patrick as dad Brian and brother Jess (Evan Ellingson), the pain and joy painted by Picoult in her novel explodes with perfect-pitch emotion on movie screens.
SheKnows: First of all, thank you three for visiting with SheKnows.
All three collectively give us a 'thank you!'
SheKnows: This is such a treasure of a film, for each of you, a movie like this could be very easy to take home with you at night. Was that the case?
Sofia Vassilieva: I think there was such difficult material, and I know we sort of talked about it – you really have to balance the difficult aspect of it. The happiness and joy – Cameron says, they really come hand-in-hand. The love of life comes with the difficulties. Of course, there are scenes and days where we have to stay in it. And we really have to dedicate ourselves fully and there are other scenes where we can we have to take that time. We have to laugh. We have to enjoy. We have to crack jokes and all that. But, for me, it was very important to go home and to separate. I think Abby mentioned what you do. You go home and it's off limits. You go and live yourself. You leave it there.
Abigail Breslin: You're the character on set and when you're doing the scenes. Once you cut and you're done with that scene and you go home and you're you. You have your life and your family. I think that's important to keep it, the heavy stuff, on set in the scene.
SheKnows: Cameron, for you, playing a mom like this, I read somewhere that you didn't necessarily agree with the choices she made was that actually something that appealed to you for tackling the role?
Cameron Diaz: When I first, it was a momentary thing where I felt that when I first read it. God, I just don't know if I agree with this. And it's hard to know whether or not I should. Then you know I thought, I can't judge this woman because I'm not in this situation. I don't know what it's like to have a child who's dying. So, there's no way I could pass judgment on her. Only if you're in that position and then if you're in that position, you know how difficult it is. Not just make any decision -- you are not going to make the right or wrong one. You're just going to make the best one you can at the moment. I had no judgment of her at all.
SheKnows: For you all as a family, it felt like a family from the get-go. I know some films for action movies, they have a boot camp. Was there a boot camp for you guys to get…
The three stars begin to laugh…and then begin to talk on top of one another in excitement.
Cameron Diaz: We knew each other for a week before we started…
Sofia Vassilieva: It was backwards…
Abigail Breslin: I remember we did the camera test and…
Sofia Vassilieva: So awkward…
Abigail Breslin: It was such an odd day. They were taking all these pictures and filming all of us hanging out, I think it was you two and Jason (she says pointing at Sofia and Cameron), Nick (Cassavetes, director) says 'Abby, go in, go in.' So I go in, and Jason picks me up and says 'I'm Jason, I'm your dad.'
The room erupts in laughter.
Cameron Diaz: Could not have been a more awkward moment...
Sofia Vassilieva: That's how quickly we were thrown in together...
Abigail Breslin: I'm like, 'OK…'
Cameron Diaz: Abby's like 'I'm 12 years old. I don't know...but we also went to dinner one night. We somehow fit in a dinner (laughs). We had this relationship on the set while we were filming that was supported by a dialogue that was written. We clearly knew who our characters were and what our dynamics were supposed to be. As actors, we played those parts. Of the set, certainly we're all strangers who have come together to become this team that has decided to tell this story. We are all very different from our characters, so our dynamic was a completely different one than the family that you see onscreen. We didn't force anything off to be what it was on the screen off the screen.
SheKnows: Well, it was impeccable. Thank you and all the best with the film.
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