‘The Way, Way Back’ is the comic coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s summer holiday with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend and the boyfriend’s daughter.
Allison Janney (‘The West Wing’) plays the mother, Betty. She believes that while on the surface the film is about a teen’s journey from awkwardness to self-discovery, it is also a universal journey.
“Families that have been split apart trying to redefine themselves and be comfortable and whole again as families. I think everyone on this movie is trying to feel love and be loved and have a family situation that works; trying to put themselves back together again,” said Janney.
In Betty’s case, she is reeling from her husband leaving her after revealing that he is gay.
“What excited me about that character is I love when someone has worked so hard to cover up what’s underneath. We all have things that we hide, but Betty really was overcompensating and working double hard to make sure that everyone knew that she was fine [with the fact] that her husband left her and it’s going to be a fantastic summer and we’re going to have fun, fun, fun! You know she’s just working so hard and she was one of the most exhausting characters I’ve ever played,” she added.
The film stars newcomer Liam James as well as Toni Collette and Steve Carell. Sam Rockwell plays Owen, who manages a local water-slide park and becomes an unlikely mentor to Duncan.
‘The Way, Way Back’ is released in the UK on the 28 August.