Annette Bening finds it “very easy” to be attracted to Julianne Moore — and her character, Nic, in Focus Features’ The Kids Are All Right so much so that she’s open revisiting the role as the bread winner in the lesbian family drama.
“I loved playing this character, it’s true,” Bening said Tuesday during a Back Stage-sponsored Kids screening and Q&A with out director Lisa Cholodenko and cast members Moore and Mark Ruffalo at the Arclight Hollywood. “The reason I said that is because I’ve played characters I very much wanted to play but once I was done with playing them, I was done; I wanted to do it, I wanted to explore that, but then once I had done it, I was finished. But with Nic, I just felt, yeah, I’d like to continue playing this character. I still feel that way. So who knows what may happen.”
Writer-director Cholodenko recently told AfterEllen.com that Bening’s remarks have her considering what would happen next were there to be a sequel to Kids.
“I thought about it like, ‘Huh? I wonder what a sequel would be like,’ ” she said in an interview. “I’m so in the thick of it with press and stuff, I didn’t give it a whole lot of attention, but I did have a few scattered thoughts about, ‘Well, where would I pick back up?’ “
During Tuesday’s Q&A, Cholodenko also discussed the film’s previous ending — which would have seen Ruffalo’s sperm donor, Paul, reunite with his biological kids and have a role in the family.
“(Co-screenwriter Stuart Blumberg and I) had at one point thought early on to do a Hollywood ending; we wanted to make a closed ending where Mark is reunited with the family,” said Cholodenko. “We had that in the script all the way to preproduction then I had a conversation with somebody where they questioned it and it just triggered me. I was like, you know what, that doesn’t effing add up and I don’t have to do it because no studio stepped up and told me to do it. So I’m going to make it the way that it feels like it has integrity, which is it ends where it ends for Mark’s character. I was really proud that I caught that because I think the other way would have felt artificial to most people. It would have felt transparent, I think.”
Longtime friends Bening and Moore also were playful when discussing their on-screen chemistry — with Moore noted that they “went out in college” and Bening added that they “dated for 10 years” — before they credited their longtime marriages for making their performance as a couple easy.
“We’d met over the years; we never worked together, but we did know each other,” Bening noted. “(The on-screen relationship) felt very natural to me. I enjoyed that part of it. … We’ve both been married for a long time so we get the long-term relationship aspect of (the characters).
“And it’s very easy to be attracted to Julianne Moore; she’s very beautiful. My only regret is that I didn’t get to kiss Mark Ruffalo,” added Bening, who then leaned in and kissed Ruffalo.
“Stay tuned for the sequel,” she added. “We all move in together.”