[WATCH] Lucas Hedges (‘Manchester by the Sea’) on his character’s ‘deep emotional well’

“He has a very deep and profound longing and sadness,” reveals Lucas Hedges during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about his character in “Manchester by the Sea.” This Roadside Attractions release of an Amazon Studios production stars Hedges as Patrick Chandler, a Massachusetts teenager who is forced to deal with the sudden death of his fisherman father (Kyle Chandler). Upon reading director Kenneth Lonergan‘s script, he adds, “I could see he was very charismatic and funny,” but, “it’s clear that Patrick has a deep, deep emotional well that grounds him in the reality of his situation.”

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That situation becomes further complicated by the arrival of his uncle, Lee (Casey Affleck), who left his hometown after a tragic accident and must decided wether or not to return and become his nephew’s legal guardian. “Patrick just wants the approval and appreciation of his uncle,” explains Hedges, a dynamic that wasn’t too different from the off-camera interactions between the two stars. “I’m a young actor who, on-set, was searching for the approval of this veteran actor,” he admits, “and that’s the basis in Lee’s relationship” (with Patrick).

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Hedges is no amateur, however. He’s been acting since the age of five, making his feature film debut in his father Peter Hedges‘ “Dan in Real Life” (2007). Since then he has worked with such directors as Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom” [2012] and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” [2014]), Terry Gilliam (“The Zero Theorem” [2013]), and Jason Reitman (“Labor Day” [2013]). “I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been wanted by the filmmakers that I want most,” he divulges.

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In “Manchester by the Sea,” Hedges has been given his meatiest role yet, reflected in his recent Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Actor. The film also competes for Best Feature, Best Screenplay (Lonergan), and Best Actor (Affleck). Will the Oscars be next? Check out our full interview above for more, including how shooting on location helped his performance.

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Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Manchester by the Sea” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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