Chatting with actor Lucas Jade Zumann: '20th Century Women' Special

Posted Oct 11, 2016 by Markos Papadatos
Young actor Lucas Jade Zumann chatted with Digital Journal about being in the film "20th Century Women," and working with actress Annette Bening and director Mike Mills.
Lucas Jade Zumann
Lucas Jade Zumann
Sam Zachrich, used with permission
On his role in 20th Century Women, he said, "It was an amazing experience because I got to work with such amazing actors and despite our difference in experience, I was completely welcomed by them and never felt intimated. As well, we had an amazing crew. I think you can really see that energy and emotion that everyone put into it, on screen."
He was afforded the privilege to work with the ever-talented Annette Bening. "I wasn’t really intimidated because she was so welcoming. I think Annette and I, in particular, had a better mother/son-like relationship off camera than our characters did on camera. She was amazing to work with and I learned a lot from her. She was super supportive throughout the entire process."
The film was written and directed by Mike Mills. "I feel like Mike has such a unique style of writing and directing, in the sense that everything he writes is so “true” to every character, so that different aspects of each character are heavily relatable to the audience. Working with Mike was so wonderful and interesting because he is such a unique person, and (in playing a character based off of his own life experiences) I really wanted to have that person come through in the film. Because of how Mike brought his own memories to his story, my character, Jamie, was heavily influenced by Mike at my age. So while we were on set and conversing with him, there would be small moments in which you saw Mike’s inner character. I took note of all those moments so that I could try and express that through Jamie," he said.
The actor is thrilled with the fact that the film has been generating critical acclaimed and Oscar buzz. "I’m honored and truly happy for all the people who put so much work into this movie, in front of and behind the camera, that their work is gaining so much respect," he said.
Regarding his future plans, he said, "As an actor and amateur filmmaker, I want to continue doing projects in which everybody involved is emotionally dedicated. I would like to help create people’s artistic visions, and spread a message. In addition to the film world, I want to help people through meditation and natural medicine. I really want to use the voice that I hopefully gain from this business to encourage sustainable healthy living."
Each day, he is motivated by his desire to make the world a better place. For aspiring actors, he said, "I would give the advice to get as much experience as you can- whether that’s neighborhood, park district, school plays, or even just making little films with your friends. Every little bit of experience helps."
For his 20th Century Women fans, he concluded, "Something that is so amazing about this film, in my theory, is that you can watch it five times over, living vicariously through a different character, creating a completely different movie and experience each time. This has something to say about how in-depth these characters have been portrayed. Allowing for anyone to sit down, watch this film, relate and hopefully walk away having taken something from it or learned something about themselves in the process."