Foreverland was a film that
was literally life and death to its young writer/director Max
McGuire. The film was about a twenty-something man who was stricken
with the disease cystic fibrosis, who has to travel the length of the
west coast of the US to scatter the ashes of a friend who had just
died of the malady.
McGuire knows a lot about the subject, because he
has the disease.
Still, he did not want his movie to be a mournful
one. Instead, he wanted it to be an often light and at times
inspirational look at a man overcoming his infirmity as long as he
McGuireís surrogate character Will was played by Max
Theriot (Jumper, Chloe, Nancy Drew) as a man who
learns to live when he takes to the road and surrenders himself to
the uncertainty of the world. He is accompanied by his late
friendís cute sister Hannah
Ė played by French
Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf
Ė who shares crazy
road adventures with him and eventually becomes more than just a
Along the way, they run across such interesting
character actors as Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), Matt Frewer
(Max Headroom) and the current Best Actor
Oscar nominee DemiŠn Bichir (A Better Life).
It was one of the first English starring roles for
young Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf, who in recent years has
segued from being a popular actress in her native French to making
the leap into mainstream American roles.
Leboeuf was nice enough to sit down with us recently
and chat about the movie.
How did you get involved in
I started when I was pretty young, when I was about
ten years old. My parents are both actors from Quebec and I just
grew up in it. At one point I wanted to start auditioning and my
parents agreed. Since then, Iíve been in
series and movies here in
Quebec. Then I learned English, so why not try the English thing?
on in your career, you acted mostly in
French. Is there a difference in between acting in English and
Well, first I have to say that it was hard
with all the vocabulary for it to be easy to come out. Once
everything was there, it is easier in a way, because it feels like
youíre already something else. Just changing languages, a little step further from your
mother tongue, itís already different, in a way. So, maybe itís
easier to step into a character when itís in English. Itís just to
acquire the flow of it, to be able to act as well in French as in
English. The flow has to be going. Iím trying to reach that as
much as I can. (chuckles)
Also in Foreverland, you
had an American accent. You didnít really hear the French.
Is that hard to change your voice in such a fundamental way?
Yeah. Sometimes my accent can come out in moments
that I donít expect it. Then I have to think about that and correct
it. I have people on set to tell me how to adjust my accent.
If I speak English for [a while] Ė
because when Iím in Quebec, I
speak French all the time Ė
but when I go back to LA or somewhere, I
just have to get used to it for a week or two and then my accent is
gone. Itís much easier that way. But thank God I have people on
set all the time to look out for that.
What was it about the script of
Foreverland that appealed to you?
Of course, Maxís story really touched me, his
writing it. I met him two years before they actually made the
movie. The script just touched me Ė his quest and the way he was
dealing with his specific disease, cystic fibrosis, is just
something that Iíd never really heard about. Or, I knew about the
disease, but I never knew what it implied, really, and how you have
to live as if you knew when it was going to end. Thatís
freaky for everybody. Itís a very different concept of living, I
find. I thought Maxís approach to it was very brave and very full
of life. Youíd never know [he has the disease]. He just wants to
live. Iím very impressed about him doing his movie and fighting to
have a voice. I felt that was beautiful. I felt my character had
this great soft impact on everything, having known
it from her
brother, how to deal with it. Sheís just generous and open-minded
and I love that about her.
Hannah had seen all the pain
and hardship that her brother went through due to the disease. Why
do you feel that she was willing to take that on again with Will?
I think she wanted to first make sure that her
brotherís will was going to be respected and the ashes were going to
get to where her brother wanted them to. Then, she recognized
a lot of her brother in Will and maybe wanted to show him another
way of looking at things. I think thatís what attracted her to keep
going with him. (laughs) Obviously, she thought he was
pretty cute, too.
you ever taken a long road trip? What
was the wildest or weirdest road trip that youíve ever taken?
Not that much, but Iíve been really wanting to do it
from Montreal to LA, to go through the States and to go through
Canada. I havenít done it yet, but that is my goal, because
otherwise Iíve done short road trips and they are always fun. Iíve
been going from Montreal to New York or from LA to Vegas,
[that] kind of
thing. They are always crazy and fun, but I would be excited to do
it where I have to sleep in motels and stuff like that. Maybe next
time Iíll have a good story. (laughs)
Do you have a favorite road
trip movie? Did you kind of channel that into your role?
Thereís a few of them. Of course Thelma & Louise
is a classic that I canít deny. The one with Juliette Lewis, it
wasnít a road trip, I guess, butÖ whatís it called?
Do you mean Natural Born
Yes, yes. There we go. (laughs) Yes, thank
you, thatís in between a road trip and something really fucked up.
(laughs again) I kind of like it.
What was it like working with
Juliette? I know you only had a couple of scenes togetherÖ
Yeah. For me, itís really someone that I admired
the work. I thought she was there too short of a time. I wish we
could have worked together for more than a couple of days. Sheís
great. She has this great energy, this unique presence and sheís so
talented, so itís so easy to feed off of her. Sheís so great and
sheís really, really sweet. It was a great experience.
Were you familiar with Max
Theriotís work previously?
No, actually, Iíd never seen or heard of Max. Then,
when we first met in Vancouver, he became this reallyÖ our
relationship was kind of like the road trip in itself. It took a
little while to get to really know each other and to really feel
loose around one another. We have this great friendship whenever we
see each other now. It just built up, just like the road trip.
You ended up spending most of
the film with him alone Ė was that a challenge as an actress?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh my God, it was mostly the
whole movie, basically. (laughs) Definitely, it was
something that when weíd get together the first few times and talk
about what Max was going through, weíd see him take all his medicine
and stuff just to be able to evacuate a lot of what the script was
and what we wanted to do with it Ė it was so great to have a partner
like that. Someone that comes from such a different background than
me and that has different points of view on a lot of things that I
do. Itís nice to exchange ideas that way. It ends up that he comes
with a suggestion and I come with another and then we meet in the
middle. Itís something fantastic. Itís great to learn from someone
Bichir was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar today.
I know! I just called him this morning. I couldnít
What was he like to work with?
He was unbelievable. Honestly, he was there for such a short time, but you could just tell
how deep and soulful he is. I think thatís what makes him great and
a grand actor now, with his nomination. I donít doubt that he
deserves this nomination.
Oh, yeah, in A Better Life
he was amazingÖ
Yeah. I havenít seen it yet, but I will now. I
feel bad, but I havenít. (laughs) But you can just feel
some people in life, some actors that you just meet and you know
they are grand. He was one of them. It was brilliant to work with
him. I feel very blessed that I did.
Although the film takes place
all the way down the west coast of the US into Mexico, I believe
that it was mostly filmed in Canada, other than the Mexican
scenes. What was it like working in Mexico? Everything was so
different down there; do you feel that translated into the filming?
Oh, yeah, definitely. It was such a cool trip, just
to go. Thatís my dream, anyway, to be able to work and to travel
places. To really fall into the mood of the place. Just the heat
and the dťcor and everything is so different, so already youíre
projected into another state of mind and another vibe. Itís just so
great to be with your crew and the people you like. It was like the
road trip in the movie, while we were shooting it. (laughs)
It was brilliant. I thought it was great.
Will you ever be able to look
at miniature golf courses in the same way again?
(laughs) I guess not. I
guess not. Whenever I go Iíll wait for a miracle.
Obviously, the film was very
personal to Max McGuire, who has the disease himself. Did
that make it even more important to you as an actress to get his
For sure. Definitely. Max was so close to us the
whole time that it is important that it transcends what he is trying
to say and his vision of it. He was so present that I think we had
no other way but to do that. We never went astray from what he
envisioned and it was our responsibility Ė everyoneís responsibility
Ė just like in every movie [to capture his vision]. But this one,
particularly, to make sure that he did what he has been dreaming to
do for a long time. I think we did.
are starring in an upcoming movie called
with Cali with Paul Sorvino, who I believe also
directed the film. How did that job come about and what can we
expect from the movie?
This movie, itís been five years since we shot it.
I havenít seen anything. (laughs) I had met
Mira Sorvino when I was working on Human Trafficking, a
series that was on Lifetime. I think she suggested me to her
dad when he was about to cast his movie. I auditioned from Montreal
on tape. He really liked me. I did a call back and then that was
it. I ended up going to Pennsylvania and got involved in this whole
thing. Itís about a dysfunctional family, their story. This young
girl, Kelly, who gets involved with an older man and itís probably
not the best idea for her. But the whole family dysfunction is very
interesting to me. There was sort of a dreamy, eerie feel to this
movie Ė I think itís going to have. The tone is very eerie, I find.
You have another movie that
came out recently called
Immersion. What is that about?
Yeah, that one was great. That was with Kevin
Tierney, who was directing. Itís about some people from Toronto or
Ontario that came to Montreal to learn French. We play the French
adoptive families that are welcoming the English into their home.
It was pretty funny. I had a pretty small part in it, but I got to
play with my mom and my dad, who played my parents. We just had a
ball. It was just funny. We had so much fun. It was just great.
Youíve done a couple of guest
appearances on the SyFy Channelís
What is that like? Do you think youíll be going back
to do more?
That was great, too. One of my best friends,
Meaghan Rath, is the main character of the show. Iím so proud of
the show for her. Itís been looking so great and amazing. I just
came for two days, I think. My character was her lover back in the
day and now sheísÖ sheís dead. (laughs) So I think itís
going to end there.
Youíre still pretty early on in
working as an actress. In the long run, how would you like for
people to see your career?
My goal is to always transform and to always do
things that are going to challenge me. Things that Iím going to
look different and feel different. I hope people donít always
recognize me in things and donít always already guess that itís me.
I hope that I keep being versatile in my work and to keep going
forward. You learn every day. I learn every shoot that I do. All
the people I meet. Every new thing I do. I hope I keep doing that
and that I keep being versatile in my work.
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