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Meet the nice guy who plays 'Boyhood's terrifying stepdad

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A character actor with more than 80 film and TV projects to his name, Austin, Tex.-based Marco Perella is receiving his widest exposure ever—for a movie he finished shooting eight years ago. As the drunk disciplinarian stepfather of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) in Richard Linklater’s decades-spanning Boyhood, Perella plays the pathetic bully with a finesse that’s left some viewers thinking the movie was all too real.

EW spoke to Perella about his role in the film and the choice of words when he’s being praised for being bad.

The interview below references specific scenes and plot details of Boyhood. READ FULL STORY

'Boyhood' trailer: See Richard Linklater's little movie that took 12 years to make

There have been some great movies that capture the idea of childhood in a particular moment in a boy’s life. For example, Stand By Me. But Richard Linklater didn’t want to limit himself to one moment, or one age, or even one decade, as it turns out. For Boyhood, he cast a child (Ellar Coltrane) as his protagonist, Mason, and then built a story around him that he continued for 12 years, until the boy went off to college. It’s not a documentary, like the 7-Up series, but a complete, well-crafted character study. Not only do Coltrane and Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, who plays Mason’s sister, grow up literally before your eyes, but the parents — Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette — also age and grow and learn.

The cut of the film that screened at Sundance was bursting with nostalgic popular music — songs that may or may not be licensed as part of the finished film — but the trailer makes great use of “Hero” by Family of the Year. It’s the perfect tune to tell this story. Watch the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Richard Linklater discusses 12-year process of making 'Boyhood' -- VIDEO

Boyhood

Director Richard Linklater put an astonishing twist on the classic coming-of-age story when he decided to shoot his latest film, Boyhood, over the course of 12 years. The film follows the life of 7-year-old Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows and makes his way through his formative years from elementary school to high school.

EW’s Sara Vilkomerson sat down with Linklater and Boyhood stars Ethan Hawke (Getaway), Patricia Arquette (Boardwalk Empire), and Ellar Coltrane (Lone Star State of Mind) to discuss the process of making a film whose principle production started 4208 days ago:
READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Richard Linklater unveils 'Boyhood,' a movie 12 years in the making

It took 39 days for Richard Linklater to make Boyhood. Well, actually, to be more precise, it took him 39 shooting days, spread across 12 years — more than 4,000 days — to complete the ambitious cinematic experiment, which follows a boy and his complicated, constantly evolving family as he grows up. Linklater cast Ellar Coltrane as young Mason when he was only 6 years old, and began shooting in 2002. Every year after, the cast — which includes Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s divorced parents and Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, as Mason’s sister, Samantha — would reunite for three or four days to film a new chapter in the life of a boy. The finished result — a fluid 12-year odyssey compressed into 164 minutes — premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival, and critics were quick to heap praise on the filmmaker and the cast.

Linklater had just finished making Waking Life and Tape in 2001 when he sat down to write a film about childhood. But he was stymied by the cinematic limitations of relying on a singular time or event to express all his themes and ideas. “I didn’t really have enough to say about one moment,” he said last night, during a post-screening Q&A. “And so I just got this ‘Eureka’ moment of like, ‘Well, why couldn’t we just shoot a little bit and encompass all of it?’ so that was the idea.”

He pitched the idea to Hawke, his frequent collaborator, before they’d even decided to reunite for Before Sunset, the second in their Before trilogy with Julie Delpy. “We were just sitting at a little cafe in New York, and he got this weird look on his face and said, ‘That’s like the craziest idea… but yeah, I’m in.'” READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Richard Linklater's entrancing 'Boyhood' captures the Zen of growing up

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which premiered at Sundance last night, is an entrancing, one-of-a-kind act of dramatic storytelling: a beautiful stunt of a movie. It was shot over a period of 12 years, beginning in 2002, and it takes two hours and 40 minutes to tell the story of a boy named Mason as he grows up in Texas. The hook of the movie — and if it is a stunt, it’s a visionary one — is that Mason is played throughout by a young actor named Ellar Coltrane, who we literally watch grow up, year after year, on camera. That makes the film a kind of cousin to Michael Apted’s series of Up documentaries, but I’m not sure if this sort of thing has ever been attempted in a work of cinematic fiction before.

Linklater, of course, is a storyteller who reveres the art of naturalism, and Boyhood, though it’s a genuine movie, full of bustlingly staged scenes and performances and motifs and arcs, has the feel of a staged documentary about a fictional character. It’s lively and boisterous and very entertaining to watch, because stuff keeps happening, but the film also rolls forward in an almost Zen manner, so that everything that occurs — an angry family dinner, a camping trip, a haircut, an afternoon of videogames — carries the same wide-eyed, you are here significance. The film has that deadpan Linklater tone of slacker haphazardness, but you could also say that it’s almost Joycean in its appreciation of the scruffy magic of everyday life. READ FULL STORY

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