While the actor admits that it was “surprising” that the story drew him in, Edgerton says that he wanted to play the role of Jim Green, the caring husband of Jennifer Garner‘s character, because of the “magical” aspect of the film.
“It reminded me of the movies that I really kind of devoured as a kid, E.T., and Big,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.
In the film, written and directed by Peter Hedges, Edgerton and Garner’s characters can’t have a child of their own. One night, they write down the qualities they wished their child could have, put in a box and buries it in the garden. After a storm, a 10-year-old boy (CJ Adams) appears from the garden claiming to be their son.
“My character in this is very unsure of himself at first, and then he starts to learn about himself, through having parenthood thrust upon him,” he says.
Edgerton says he didn’t have to give any advice to his 11-year-old co-star. “I didn’t want to tell him how to act,” he says. “A child teaches you how to act because they don’t have any impediments.”
The Odd Life of Timothy Green hits theaters on Wednesday, August 15.
Watch THR‘s full interview with Edgerton above to find out what part of the film was his favorite to shoot with Jennifer Garner.