How 'SNL' and Norwegian Black Metal Helped Brie Larson Prepare for 'Short Term 12'

In the film, Larson plays a foster care worker at a facility for at risk teens.

Brie Larson as Grace and Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden in "Short Term 12" directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

Brie Larson as Grace and Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden in "Short Term 12" directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

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But then when you're off the clock you go home and you do things for yourself. You figure out what your hobbies are, the things that recharge you, so you never forget who you are and you can go back the next day and give more without feeling like you've given away all of yourself. It was something I had never really thought about. I just thought being as much as a selfless person was the most important thing. But you realize that if you just give it all away then you don't have the fuel to do it the next day.

So that is how I approached the film as well. I would - those 12 hours on set – give it everything. But then when I went home, it was making myself a bowl of really cheesy pasta and watching SNL and laughing and reminding myself as to who I am, so I didn't stay stuck in Grace's head.

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How was acting with the younger actors who played the children and teens at the facility?

These kids were so good and so professional — in a lot of ways they were more professional than a lot of the adults that I've worked with. They were very connected to their characters and the material, so there was no pulling out a performance out of them. They came completely ready and wanting to do right by these people.

There's also a real, pure honesty that goes with their performances. They're not like these characters at all, but had this ability to tap into it and while they're doing the scene really feel these emotions. Then the second they yell cut, they're back to themselves again. And I found that really inspiring. Sometimes you work with people that do the method acting thing — they're in it all the time. And it's really refreshing, it was exciting to see that these kids even though they were playing such dark characters, that they're going to be just fine.

Do you have any dream roles you want to play?

I just like playing characters and being in movies that don't manipulate an audience and bring up questions that don't necessarily have a perfect answer, that allow us to continue to have good conversations. My favorite movies are the ones that, after you've left a film you start talking with a friend about it and then you realize 40 minutes later you're still standing in front of the theater talking about it.

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