Last week, I headed to the Focus Feature’s “Tully Movie” press conference in Beverly Hills, California to get the behind the scenes scoop. Director Jason Reitman and celebs Mackenzie Davis, Charlize Theron, Ron Livingston and Mark Duplass were in attendance to talk to mommy bloggers about the new film.
This touching, heartwarming, and gut-wrenching film is a MUST-SEE and hits theaters March 4th!
A new comedy from Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman [Up in the Air] and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody [Juno]. Marlo [Academy Award winner Charlize Theron], a mother of three including a newborn, is gifted a night nanny by her brother [Mark Duplass]. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully [Mackenzie Davis].
Check out my review here!
Thank you Focus Features for inviting me to screen Tully and attend the press conference. All opinions are my own.
Charlize Theron stars as “Marlo,” a loving mother of three in the film.
Here are some excerpts from the ” Tully press conference…
PRESS: We’ll take a photo for you at the end, that we can send out as well. But
yeah, let’s get started. I want to introduce you to the team of Tully, of Jason
Reitman, Mackenzie Davis, Charlize Theron, [APPLAUSE] Ron Livingston and
Mark Duplass. [ENTRANCE CHATTER]
CHARLIZE THERON: I will direct this. No matter what?
MALE SPEAKER: Guys, can we just go back to one and just try it one more
time? [LAUGHTER] That was a little weird.
JASON REITMAN?: But was natural, it was raw. I think it was good.
MALE SPEAKER: That’s true. It was very [PH] Duboisian.
CHARLIZE THERON: Two directors — very problematic. [LAUGHS]
MALE SPEAKER: They set us very far apart from each other. [LAUGHTER]
PRESS: All right, shall we get started on questions? Okay. First,
[INDISCERNIBLE-1:01] your name and outlet [INDISCERNIBLE].
PRESS: Good morning, everyone. My name is [PH] Bea Bashcroft. I’m with
[PH] allmommywants.com. And this film is so successful in walking the tightrope
between humor and content that is very serious and sometimes devastating. So
I’d really like to hear from all of you on how you walk that balance, to make the
tone work so well. [LAUGHTER]
CHARLIZE THERON: She said “tone” — that’s a director [OVERLAPPING]
MALE SPEAKER: Damn it.
JASON REITMAN: It starts with Diablo. And I think that’s — yeah, that’s where
the DNA of this film is — and that’s how Diablo’s always written. She’s found
things that could easily be considered tragic or dramatic. I mean, I even
remember when I was making Juno and I would tell people, I’m making a movie
about teen pregnancy and they would go — ohhh. [LAUGHTER] I’d say, no-no-
no. It’s a comedy. It’s going to be, it’s going to be funny. Really? And they’d be
confused. And now — you know, with each subsequent film I think people start to
understand, oh, this is going to be a funny film, despite what we’re talking about.
So I think that’s the thrill of reading her material, is that it’s right there on the
page. The drama and the humor are intertwined.
PRESS: This question is for Charlize. This is [PH] Megan from
[INDISCERNIBLE-2:17] .com and I wanted to talk to you about what your opinion
is on motherhood and how it differs in other countries and specifically, is there
something uniquely American? Or something uniquely South African that stand
out to you?
CHARLIZE THERON: I think — I think there’s something about being a parent
that just is the same for everybody. There was this documentary a couple of
years ago called Babies. I don’t know if you guys saw it.
CHARLIZE THERON: I saw it right before my kids came into my life and I — it
really moved me because ultimately what you see — yes, the experiences are
very different. And you know, in Mongolia you can actually tie a kid to a table
and not go to jail — and here that would probably be problematic. But ultimately –
JASON REITMAN: I mean, we still do it. [LAUGHTER]
CHARLIZE THERON: But ultimately — it’s the one thing that I think we all share
is just that we’re trying to get through every day — whatever — whatever we
choose to do to hopefully be the best things for yours kids — and it might be
different in how we go about it in different countries, but I think, as mothers, I
think we’re always in some weird way always — every decision gets made based
from our kids. Like — or at least I have found that.
There’s a thing in South Africa, we have this saying, “It takes a village to
raise a kid,” and I was raised that way. I grew up with a lot of people around me
and my mom — really sharing me with a lot of people and it was just great to grow
up that way and I, for me, it was always going to be how I was going to raise my
kids and from the moment they came home, that first night, my village was there
and they got to meet their village and that village is in their life now and I think will
be in their life, in their life forever.
And I rely on those people. They are kind of like my chosen family. And I
value what they bring to my kids’ lives and I know that I’m not solely responsible
for how great my kids are. There’s a lot of great people who are bringing so
much to their lives.
And I think this movie will maybe start that conversation a little bit more,
because when we talk about help it’s always — it feels so cold. But you know,
help can be something that’s really warm and — it doesn’t have to feel like this
isolated thing that you’re bringing in from the outside to help you. I think the
more you think about it, it’s like just becoming part of raising a child — instead of
just help. I think it makes it — you realize the value in that and I’m so grateful for
the people that I have, not only in my life, but in my kids’ lives.
PRESS: Hi. My name’s [PH] Yolardo from [PH] babble.com. I’m just wondering
— you’re talking about how it does take a village to raise a child and our villages
seem to have opened up to the Internet, social media. How do you think that has
changed the look of motherhood and how we parent today?
CHARLIZE THERON: Well, I’m no expert. [LAUGHTER] And I’m not very good
with social media and all of that, but I do see the positive in just being able to —
you know, I have some support groups, boards that I go to when I have
questions and things like that and I think it’s so valuable to have that.
But it can also become a place where, you know, you feel kind of like
you’re doing it all wrong, because everything that you see and hear is telling me
you’re doing it wrong. So it’s, you know, you have to kind of take it all with a
grain of salt. But I do think there’s something nice about having more access to
places and spaces where you can share your experience, you know, and change
the face of what we think parenthood should look like — and the more that honest
conversation takes place — I’m grateful for that. I mean, when I find my little
spaces where I can do that, I’m very grateful that I can have those conversations.
So like wean it out, like everything else in life.
PRESS: Hi, I’m [PH] Dallen from eatplayrock.com and this is for Ron and
Charlize. In our modern era of women in the workforce and men often being stay-at- home dads, we often still refer to moms as the parent and dads as like
the weekend person or the babysitter. What do you think it will take to change
CHARLIZE THERON: You’re a dad.
RON LIVINGSTON: I’m a dad. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, you know — I’m not sure. I
think maybe — A, more dads will have to do it and B, they’ll have to get better at
it. And so — that’ll feel like, oh, this is the way it can go. And then I think they
have to get a little prouder about talking about it. I think a lot of dads, even if they
are — primary caregivers and even if they are great at it, there’s sort of a, they
don’t want to — you know what I mean? They don’t want to like brag, keep
bragging about that during the football game, because it doesn’t, it doesn’t go
over well. So — there’s a little bit of that, I think. Yeah.
PRESS: Hi. I’m [PH] Cathy with [PH] Bel Air Mommy and I don’t know who to
ask this question to — in writing the script, what came about doing — the middle
child as the quirky child? Because I appreciate that watching that, because my
kid always — the special one. He’s so special that he bit the pastor on Friday at
school. So — [LAUGHTER] when I was — when you were having that
conversation with — I was like, I just had that conversation. [LAUGHTER] And I’m
crying and practicing and, and I’m just — it was just, I left one hot mess. So I
wanted to know how to [INDISCERNIBLE-8:23] — why did you guys fit that in?
Because I appreciated that and it’s great to know that you’re addressing that
because other moms don’t see what you’re going through — and they’re like, why
can’t you pull it together?
CHARLIZE THERON: Yeah. [CLEARS THROAT] [OVERLAPPING]
JASON REITMAN?: There’s something really clever about how Diablo did that
in this screenplay. You don’t really hear the — nor do you hear what was going
on with her son — you also never hear the term, you know, “postpartum
depression” in the film — and these are all complicated gray areas and I think it’s
really smart that Diablo never made it specific — because really, what either of
those are there to serve to is this idea that we’re only supposed to present half of
what it’s like to be a parent to the world. We’re only supposed to present the fact
that — it’s like what Charlize says, at the beginning when the principal says, oh,
you’re about to pop and Charlize goes, Oh, it’s such a blessing. [LAUGHTER]
And — it’s the kind of subtle, brilliant joke that only she could do. But that’s
how that script works. It’s playing off this idea that we’re supposed to present a
version there to the world that — we’re perfect. Yeah, we have a kid and life is
perfect and it would be shameful to say anything otherwise. And when a great —
when a movie works really well, it makes you feel less alone. No matter what it
is, no matter what you’re watching a movie about, the great ones make us feel
less alone. That’s why we watch them as a group, in a movie theater.
And hopefully, by taking this kind of nuanced approach to both her
relationship with her son, who finally says, maybe we don’t need this — I love
spending time with you, but maybe we don’t need the brush. We speak the idea
of letting go of shame. Letting — putting shame down and allowing ourselves to
PRESS: Hi, everybody. My question is for Mackenzie and for Jason. This
movie is such a great portrait, a real, raw portrait of motherhood that we don’t
often see onscreen. It’s really wonderful. Was there a trick to sort of modulating
what you would show and what you wouldn’t show, so as to not maybe scare off
people from motherhood? Because it can be kind of scary sometimes. And also,
you know, wonderful, too.
MACKENZIE DAVIS: Jason doesn’t function in that gear. [LAUGHTER]
By the way, no one at this table does. I mean, that’s kind of the [LAUGHTER]
JASON REITMAN: [INDISCERNIBLE] exciting thing about [INDISCERNIBLE-
11:02] this group of actors. A, their true understanding of what’s happening on
the page and you know, I’ve worked with actors who are very talented, but
[INDISCERNIBLE] there is a supreme understanding of humor in the drama and
what’s behind everything that’s happening here and because of that they’re all
interested in how to make moments feel more real. No matter what it is, no
matter how self-effacing it is. And so I — I don’t think any of us ever had a
conversation about — we should really hold back here and — [LAUGHTER]
I think there is a current in our culture that we’re not really supposed to tell
our kids about sex, because then they’re going to want to do it and we’re not
really supposed to tell them about child-rearing because then they won’t want to
do it. [LAUGHTER] But I feel like they’re going to do it either way, whether you
[LAUGHTER] tell them not, so you might as well.
PRESS: Did it scare you off from having kids? Or maybe [OVERLAPPING] —
MACKENZIE DAVIS: No, I’m all in. [LAUGHTER] I’ll enjoy the
PRESS: Hi, I’m [PH] Kat from [PH] Katinthewater.com and I read what Charlize,
I read your interview with Chelsea Handler and you gained a lot of weight for this
film and you said that you experienced a bout of depression yourself. And in the
film it’s [PH] “Girls Heal — No They Don’t” you know, and I thought that was a
very significant line when you talked about postpartum depression and
something like that. What do you want people to take from that line, you know?
How do you think people should feel from that?
CHARLIZE THERON: I think it’s a — it lives in a gray area — for all of us. Right?
I think it’s, it’s different for all of us. But I do kind of agree with what Chelsea said
in that interview, that we do — we hurt different than men and I think we — we
carry pain differently to men. And you know, I love that line. I loved saying it. It
felt so right for Marlo. But when I think about myself, I don’t necessarily know
that I believe that wholeheartedly. I don’t know if what we experience isn’t just
part of building who we are — and is that a bad thing?
Like, does that mean you’re broken? Is that the part that never gets fixed?
I don’t know. I kind of like not knowing, too. I mean I think that it’s going to be
something that I’m going to experience more, as my journey continues as a
woman and as a mom. And — that’s okay. Like I don’t fee like I need to know
that answer. Like it’s good to just acknowledge it and to talk about it. But I don’t
know if I have the answer to it. But I do believe in concealer, yes. [LAUGHTER]
A lot of it.
PRESS: I kind of love you for saying that. [LAUGHTER] Hi, I’m [PH] Carla
Renata; I’m the Curvy Film Critic and I wanted to ask Charlize — you have
become a producer as of late and you did Atomic Blonde and you produced this
one. Do you have any aspirations to do — producing projects or writing projects
for the small screen as opposed to the big screen?
CHARLIZE THERON: Well, I’ve been producing for a while now and — since
Monster and yeah, we have — I have a Netflix show with David Fincher called
Mindhunter that’s going —
MALE SPEAKER: [OVERLAPPING]
CHARLIZE THERON: Oh, thank you. Going into Season 2 right now. We did
one season of a show with Netflix called Girl Boss, that’s not continuing. And we
have, we’re shooting something over the summer that’s a limited series for
Netflix. Our company is definitely, I mean I personally feel that — that it’s not so
departmentalized anymore. It’s — good stories are — I mean, to me, the format is
so secondary and I think — what’s happening is television and streaming is
actually — sometimes more challenging than what I find a lot of times happening
in the theater.
And so in many ways I think what’s happening or has happened in that
field is — kind of kicked our asses a little bit in the film industry, to really step up
our game and to really write more challenging things for women because women
are killing it on television. And so we need more of that in film. Otherwise we’re
going to be in trouble. You know? But no, I love that side of it. I love making
things. I love — I love producing.
PRESS: Hi, I’m [PH] Kathy from [PH] mrskathyking.com. I know you’ve touched
on the subject a little bit, it’s for Miss Theron — what do you hope people will take
away — women and men will take away from seeing this film? The overall.
CHARLIZE THERON: I would have to say it’s what Jason just talked about —
just to not feel alone. I know that making this film made me not feel alone.
There’s — I think the honesty of the conversation that this movie starts is one that
you just can’t deny, because it’s, it’s not truthful. And I think when you live and
breathe in that place, then you realize you’re not alone. And I know for myself as
a parent, there have been days where I really needed that. I just, I really needed
to know that. You know? And I think every parent will tell you that.
And that’s kind of the feedback that we’ve been getting so far. People see
this movie and there’s a lot of moments where they see themselves and feel like
that has never been — they have never had that opportunity to see that part of
being a parent. And — that’s a nice thing. I think when you can kind of do
something that makes people feel on the level that that’s raw and honest and
undeniably truthful — that’s always a great place to be in.
You know, we didn’t water this down or to — we never came from an angle
to make this more appetizing for moms out there or families out there or trying to
say something that felt better about motherhood. We really just went for the truth
and we all responded to that and I think we just felt like other people would
respond to that as well.
PRESS: Hi. My name is [PH] Mildred Sun with [PH] Dandelion Moms and this
question is for you, Mark. What was your takeaway from the whole, you know,
the movie as far as motherhood? You actually, your character reminded me of
my brother. [LAUGHS] But I thought it was sweet.
MARK DUPLASS: Is he what they call a “rich dick”? [LAUGHTER] Is that a
PRESS:REIs this being transcribed? [LAUGHTER]
MARK DUPLASS: Shall we call [INDISCERNIBLE] now?
PRESS: Yeah, yeah. [OVERLAPPING] I do think it was sweet. I thought it was
sweet that you wanted to get that for your sister. But what was your takeaway?
What was your — you have children as well?
MARK DUPLASS: Yeah, I have two children. [OVERLAPPING] They’re 10 and
six. And I remember when I first read the script, it reminded me of a
conversation I had with I had with my wife, who I think in some ways was like the
earlier version of Marlo that’s hinted at of, you know, fun-loving, able to throw
parties and I think she really envisioned that she would be able to have it all and
do it all. You know, that it was like — somehow the Gwyneth Paltrow lore was
achievable and people would look at her and we always had this joke where we
say, how does she do it? [LAUGHTER] And everybody, everybody wants that
question asked about them. And my wife and I always joke about how she has
to avoid that desire to have people saying that about her and admit that — well, I
do it because I cry a lot in between and I get a shit-ton of help. You know, that’s
how I do it. And so I felt that immediately, this story was very good — not to be
reductive but, anti-Goop material in that way. [LAUGHTER]
And then for me personally, showing up on set, it was just so great to walk
into a movie they’d already been shooting for a while — I saw the special
chemistry between Jason and Charlize or, you know, they’d done a movie
together before and — and the way that they talked to each other, you know, just
speaking candidly — [LAUGHTER] when you have a successful director who’s
been nominated for all these things and a successful lead actress who’s been
nominated for all these things —
JASON REITMAN: Won. She’s actually won [OVERLAPPING] [LAUGHTER] –
MARK DUPLASS: But you have multiple Razzies, though, so you’re good,
Jason. [LAUGHTER] But normally there’s this — walking on eggshells kind of
thing. I don’t want to bruise your ego — I don’t want to [INDISCERNIBLE] — and
the way — they were like a brother and sister together and it would be like it, oh,
I’m just going to do that. That’s exactly — [LAUGHTER] I’m going to be Jason to
her in this scene and — and you know, I think it’s great.
The character Craig is interesting to me because he, you know, at once is
white, privileged male trying to tell a mom how to live her life — which is like — cut
the man-splaining. Right? Right away it’s got a problem. But at the same time,
the core of his message of being able to admit that you need some help — there’s
no shame in that — is right. So I like that little complexity there.
JASON REITMAN: Mark has one of my favorite improvisations I’ve ever see
anyone on my set, where he just said to Charlize — mid-take in the Tiki Bar —
kay, asshole, sit down. [LAUGHTER] And it was like — oh, I get this brother and
sister act. I really like that.
MARK DUPLASS: Which again, [LAUGHTER] it was exactly the way you guys
treated each other [LAUGHTER] on set. I really appreciated that.
CHARLIZE THERON: It isn’t how I like people to refer to me. [LAUGHTER] I
think it is a term of endearment.
PRESS: Hi. I’m [PH] Myla from [PH] Endless Bargains and this is for any of you
guys. In the movie Marlo used frozen pizza in the gross, watery, frozen broccoli –
– to get through dinner. What’s the best and/or worst time-saving crutch you
guys have had to use in a situation like that?
MACKENZIE DAVIS: I don’t have children, but I am disgusting. [LAUGHTER] I
think — to melt butter and put Sriacha in it and then dip bread into that.
MACKENZIE DAVIS: So. [LAUGHTER] Recipe available. [LAUGHTER]
MALE SPEAKER: Veggie burgers from upstate.
MACKENZIE DAVIS: Oh, that’s so Goop. [LAUGHTER] Veggie burgers?
Really? That’s disgusting. [LAUGHTER]
MALE SPEAKER: They defrost really quickly.
MACKENZIE DAVIS: Got it.
MALE SPEAKER: Oh, it’s [INDISCERNIBLE-22:06] has to be this guy
[INDISCERNIBLE] disgusting, but — [LAUGHTER] I did like —
MALE SPEAKER: In my house we’ve tried to sell something we call “cheesy
beef” — [LAUGHTER] which is — when none of us is prepared and there’s frozen
hamburger meat in the freezer — I throw it in a pan and as it cooks I start shaving
[LAUGHTER] the [INDISCERNIBLE] stuff off and throw cheese on it and a bunch
of salt and they eat cheesy beef. [LAUGHTER] I don’t know how long this is
going to last, but right now it’s working. [LAUGHTER]
CHARLIZE THERON: I do just whatever is left over in the fridge. But I call it the
“Mama Special”, [LAUGHTER] which makes it sound really exotic and now I get
asked, like, can we do a Mama Special? And it’s just a big tray with —
everything. Like, yes, everything that I could find in the fridge.
MALE SPEAKER: Isn't it great how dumb they are sometimes? [LAUGHTER]
[OVERLAPPING] I don’t want that to change.
CHARLIZE THERON: Yeah. And I sell it by saying, you can it in my bed.
Which is the stupidest thing to do.
MALE SPEAKER: I remember that being a super privilege. That’s a good to
know, like —
PRESS: Hi. My name is Ruby and I’m with Westsidemommy.com. I’m a mother
myself and as a mom of one child in Los Angeles, I feel like the whole timing of
this is very timely for me. This is a question for Charlize —
CHARLIZE THERON: You’re welcome. [LAUGHTER] [OVERLAPPING]
[LAUGHTER] Don’t tell anybody.