One of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, Kaitlyn Dever, is part of the stacked cast in director Jason Reitman’s latest film, Men, Women & Children. Exploring the many ways technology is affecting our relationships with one another, Dever co-stars as a teenage girl struggling to pursue a romance with another disaffected kid (The Fault in our Stars’ Ansel Elgort) while living under the roof of her Internet-fearing mother (played by Jennifer Garner).
A couple of weeks ago we sat down with Kaitlyn after the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, catching up on what it was like to work with Ansel, her own tech habits, and whether we’ll be seeing her return for the final season of Justified.
Check it out below and enjoy!
How’s the festival been for you so far?
Kaitlyn Dever: It’s been really fun. I’ve been doing press, but I’ve had a really fun time hanging out with the cast. It’s the first time all of us as a whole have been together since the movie shot. I’ve stayed in touch with the kids, but the adults –I hadn’t seen Jennifer [Garner] since we were shooting, so it was really good to see her again.
Was she the main adult actor you were working with through the film?
KD: Yes, she plays my mom. We had some really cool scenes together. It was a really fun time getting to work with her. She’s just the nicest woman and I look up to her a lot.
Tell us a little about your role in Men, Women & Children?
KD: I play Brandy Beltmeyer, who is a regular 15 year-old girl, but who is sad and a sort of quiet person. She doesn’t really know who she is yet because she’s trapped in this environment of her mom constantly checking her Facebook, and texts, and calls, and who she’s talking to, and deleting stuff off her computer all the time. She doesn’t have any freedom to do anything. She’s constantly watched. She has a tracker on her phone so her mom knows where she’s going at all times. It’s a trapped world for her and she creates an online identity behind her mom’s back. She puts on weird makeup and wigs and becomes a different person.
And then she meets this boy named Tim Mooney, played by Ansel Elgort. She meets him for the first time and he starts talking about how, in the world, nothing really matters, and how he doesn’t matter, and how it doesn’t matter that he’s going to come sit next to me and come talk to me. And it ultimately stands out, and we like each other, and we have this human connection that not a lot of people in the film do. We have a human interaction where we’re just having a conversation face-to-face without any technology.
Did you grow up very tech-savvy?
KD: I had a cell phone when I was ten, strictly for emergencies. I’m the worst texter and I always keep my phone on silent, but I’m constantly on Twitter and Instagram. But I catch myself sometimes like, “alright, I should probably put my phone away,” or not be on it as much. But I haven’t been really tech-savvy. I always had the latest iPod because I was really into music growing up.
You’re from Texas originally?