'While We're Young' NY Premiere: Ben Stiller, Noah Baumbach Talk Feeling Like Kids Pretending to Be Adults
Amanda Seyfried also reveals what her and Adam Driver's characters get out of their friendship with Stiller and Watts' older couple.
At one point in Noah Baumbach's latest film, While We're Young, Ben Stiller's character talks about thinking of himself "as a child imitating an adult."
His wife, played by Naomi Watts, indicates she feels the same way.
In fact, both Stiller and Baumbach said they still feel like kids pretending to be adults.
"I don't know if I stopped feeling that way, honestly. I think that's part of being a person is that you don't really see yourself the way others see you," Stiller told The Hollywood Reporter at the New York premiere of While We're Young Monday night. "And I hope that I always have that going on on a certain level. When you feel like you've grown up, you feel like you're giving in to something. I've talked to people who are older who have a youthful air, and they say they never think of themselves as old. So I hope I can keep that going for a long time."
Baumbach said he thinks that most adults occasionally feel like children pretending to be older and that he still feels like a kid.
Even though While We're Young touches on universal issues about family and what it's like to get older, Baumbach said that like all of his films, his latest title sprung from his own life, specifically turning 40, and that elements in the film ring true in his own life.
In the movie, which opens in select theaters on Friday, Stiller and Watts play an older couple who become friends with a married couple in their 20s, played by Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver. While the film's trailer abundantly illustrates how Stiller's and Watts' characters feel invigorated by their friendship with their younger counterparts, it's less clear going into the film what Seyfried and Driver's characters get out of their friendship.
"Validation," Seyfried told THR of what's in it for her and Driver's characters. "You know when someone is fascinated by you, you kind of play it up a little bit, and you kind of feel like, 'I do have something going on.' I think it's flattering that these people who are a little bit older are so invested in what we're doing, and they'll go to great lengths to experience what we're experiencing, so it's like we're the leaders in some way."
While Seyfried's and Driver's characters are drawn to the older characters in the film, actress Maria Dizzia, who plays the wife of Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz's character and a friend of Stiller's and Watts' characters, has been looking toward the future in her own life.
When asked if she felt like a child pretending to be an adult, the actress said she spent most of her life feeling the opposite.
"I think I've always felt old," she told THR. "I just totally always felt so old and that being young is hard, it's so hard. And I feel like each year that goes by, I feel more and more comfortable in my own skin. I'm definitely one of those people who is looking forward to being 80 and feeling like there's some freedom in having lived through stuff and knowing what you're capable of. I think it's really hard to be on the other side and not know what you're capable of. It's hard to be young."
Other castmembers who stepped out for the Paris Theater screening of the A24 title included Horovitz, Dree Hemingway, Matt Maher, Million Dollar Listing's Ryan Serhant and Matthew Shear, along with score composer LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. Guests spotted at the screening and Lexington Brass afterparty included Spike Jonze; Stiller's wife, Christine Taylor; Baumbach's longtime girlfriend, Greta Gerwig; Empire co-creator Danny Strong; Leslye Headland; and Grace Coddington.