Trust is the second directorial effort from former Friends star David Schwimmer. In the film, Liana Liberato plays Annie Cameron, a 14 year-old girl targeted by a sexual predator who causes an emotional shockwave that threatens to tear her family apart. Her co-stars are Clive Owen and Catherine Keener as the parents who struggle to keep their family together. We had a chance to speak to Liana about the intense dramatic role and how the film has changed her personally and professionally. Check it out below. Audio version included at the end of the page.
We Got This Covered: How long have you been acting?
Liana Liberato: I started theater when I was three and I started doing professional acting when I was nine.
WGTC : What drew you to this role? It’s pretty intense.
LL: The challenge and the people. I’ve never really done a challenging role like this before, so I really wanted to face it. Definitely having Clive, Catherine and Viola involved with it was definitely a plus, because I’ve always wanted to work with people like that. And David, of course.
WGTC: How was David as a director?
LL: He was great. Him being an actor as well was very helpful. He was aware of how much time and effort it takes to really get to that emotional place. So, he’s very sensitive about that and a very personable person. He’s very open to you about talking about anything.
WGTC: You mentioned between scenes things would get kind of light. Do you have any moments that come to mind?
LL: Oh yeah. I don’t remember what we were laughing about, but there was a moment out of the dinner table scene where Clive and I were laughing so hard that he couldn’t look at me during the scene. I had to hide behind the camera and he had to look at a piece of tape on the lens. We couldn’t do it. We were laughing so hard.
WGTC: How has your online activity changed since you started filming the movie?
LL: It’s changed a lot. I never really knew much about this kind of situation or anything. It definitely opened my eyes more. I’m more cautious, because I have friends who add mutual friends on facebook. I used to think that that was ok. Now, it’s like” nope”.
WGTC: Speaking of friends, there was a part where’s Annie’s friend goes behind her back to a counselor as a sort of intervention. Have you ever or would you ever do something like that?
LL: There are a lot of messages in this film and that is definitely one. I’ve never personally done it before, but I do believe that if you truly care about someone’s safety that you would risk the friendship.
WGTC: What kind of movies do you like?
LL: I love all kinds of movies. I love a really good comedy and not the cheesy ones. My parents hate this, but I love horror films. Those are my favorite and of course, dramatic roles. I’m really drawn to those as well. All different genres.
WGTC: What you’ve done up till now has been pretty dramatic. Would you like to do a comedy? When do you get to be a kid?
LL: I’ve never really had a good opportunity to do something like that. So, I’m thinking the right time will come along and a really good comedy comes around. I’d totally do it. I’d like to do something with kids my age, something like that.
WGTC: Like High School Musical 12?
LL: (laughs) I was thinking of something more along the lines of Stand by Me. Something heartfelt and cute. That would be fun. I loved that movie.
WGTC: Did you do any research for your role as Annie?
LL: Well, David’s part of the Rape Foundation. I was able to go there when they were holding the fundraiser. I went there and listened to a girl close to my age and listened to her experience of being raped. That really, really touched me and got me closer to my character. Along with reading articles and things like that, I went to the Rape Treatment center in Santa Monica and was able to get a feel of where victims go to get all the evidence and also where they get therapy and everything.
WGTC: Has the role made you sensitive to what parents go through on a daily basis?
LL: I realized how hard it is, because there’s a big balance to evetything. You want to monitor everything your kids do, but you also have to give them their own privacy as well. So, I have a lot of sympathy for my parents especially.
WGTC: What was it like having both your screen parents and your real parents on set?
LL: My parents are very understanding. I need to put all of my heart and I have to focus on what I’m doing. So, it’s really hard to have your parents in your eyeline when you’re trying to talk to your stage parents. So they were always downstairs or in my trailer. If I needed them, they were always there for me. They made it really easy for me to focus on my work.
WGTC: So what do you do for fun?
LL: I hang out with my friends. I go on bike rides when the weather is nice. I have a really good, solid group of friends.
WGTC: How do they react to you being a big star?
LL: They’re actually really funny about it. Trust is coming into the theater we go to a lot, so the posters are up there and the trailer’s constantly playing. So, my friends want to get a big group together and go. They’re going to drag me with them. I think that’ll be fun. They’re very supportive.
WGTC: Now, do you live in California or Texas?
LL: We live out here. We have a house. We lived in an apartment complex for about five years and we just moved last year. We were back and forth for two years from California to Texas.
WGTC: Do you prefer it here?
LL: I can’t say. Honestly, it’s kind of equal. All of my family is in Texas. Of course, I miss my house in Galveston. I got a nice beach house and everything, but I have a really good second family here.
WGTC: What are you working on now?
LL: I just finished a movie with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman called Trespass and we’re hoping for that to come out in the fall.
WGTC: Sounds good. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and good luck with everything.
Be sure to check out Trust when it hits theatres on April 1 and follow the film on Twitter. Also, check out our interview with David Schwimmer, Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Liana Lberato. As well as our Trust review.