When “Mickey and the Bear” actors Camila Morrone and James Badge Dale wrapped the emotionally heavy final scenes of the indie drama, they needed a disco party and some Beyonce to decompress.
“It was taxing towards the end when we had to do those big, heavyweight emotional scenes in the last two days of filming,” Morrone told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven, to which Dale added, “With this film, it goes in a certain direction but we worked so hard to keep it light. We worked so hard to have fun on set.”
The two actors explained that they shot the last scenes of the films chronologically, so wrapping with the final shot that was the most demanding emotionally was a shock to both of them, because, as Attanasio says, there was no sense of “closure.” “It was actually quite shocking to end on that scene,” she added.
“The disco party in the trailer afterwards was pretty good,” Dale said.
“And then me at Beyonce the next night was pretty fun,” added Morrone. “I had to leave early because I had to go to this Beyonce concert. After I wrapped, I went to my trailer to put my clothes on and I had this decorated disco party with lights… I think they fit like 25 people in there.”
Attanasio’s film follows Mickey, a young girl living in Anaconda, Montana, with just her father, Hank (portrayed by Badge), who is an Iraq war veteran. Mickey’s mother has passed, so she takes on the role of wife and mother at times, while trying to live her life as a teenager and also deciding what’s next for her after high school.
“[Hank is] kind of her only familial tie left, so they have this close relationship where it’s quite loving but it’s also quite codependent at times,” Attanasio told TheWrap. “She fulfills the roles of wife and mother at times in the wake of her mother’s death and the movie explores what is the line between familial obligation and personal fulfillment, and how as a young woman can you overcome the potential patriarchal system you were born into to finally be free.”
And Morrone said she saw a bit of her own experience as a teenager in Mickey, and that’s why she decided to take on the incredibly challenging role.
“I signed on because Badge was on. I was like, ‘He’s a good actor, I want to be in whatever he’s in!” Morrone said. “I think I was initially drawn to it because I was a young 17-year-old girl not that long ago, so I have all those feelings of wanting to leave your home, grow up, expand, see what life is like beyond adolescence and childhood and that is Mickey’s struggle throughout the entire film… I thought it was going to be a challenging character to play as an actor to play and a good next step for me.”
Dale said he felt “frightened” by Attanasio’s script.
“Annie is a writer beyond her years and this material was so deep and I think Cami and I, we poured ourselves into it and sometimes it’s not easy,” Dale said. “It was scary material and I think anything that frightens you is worth running to.”
He added: “I just turned 40 when I read it, so I’m enjoying this new time of my life and it was the first father role I had been offered…. it was also kind of a continuation of some of the work I’ve done in the past. I’ve done a lot of work with veterans and played some roles and I felt like I had something to say here… This is was one of my favorite filming experiences I’ve ever had.”
“Mickey and the Bear,” written and directed by Attanasio, first premiered at SXSW this year and started screening in New York theaters last week. It hits Los Angeles theaters on Friday.
Watch the full interview above.