The movie Who Are You People follows the story of 16-year-old Alex (Ema Horvath) as she searches for her biological father who her mother Sarah (Yeardley Smith) kept secret. Alex learns more about her family’s past than she bargained for and must deal with these secrets herself.

In an exclusive interview with uInterview founder Erik Meers, Smith described why she took the role and what her character is like.

“Well the truth is I took the role because they asked me and, you know, I’m a pushover,” she laughed. “I really loved that Sarah, my character, that she’s very conservative, she’s very buttoned up. She’s quite religious, she likes things just so. Even the way she dresses, you know, she hasn’t really gone with the time, she hasn’t really adapted with the time. You sort of look at her and go, ‘what decade are you in?’ But despite all of those qualities, that seeming rigidity, she’s actually quite generous and flexible, you know.”

“She’s deeply invested in Devon [Sawa]‘s characters redemption and while she kind of makes him work for it every day,” Smith continued. “She is confident that he deserves a second chance even though this horrible thing happened years ago and then he sort of really s— the bed and didn’t help himself. Going forward, she’s like, ‘listen that doesn’t have to be your only story.’ And then, even as she’s sort of suspicious of Alex, which is Ema Horvath’s character, she comes to find great affection for her. So in that very last scene when Alex’s leaving and Sarah saying goodbye, I’m not one of those actors they can go, ‘Cry Yardley cry’ and I’m like ‘OK’ and it just happens, you know. I sort of have to get there, but all I had to do was imagine never seeing Ema again and I really was deeply saddened by that. So on the page, I think Sarah could seem kind of two-dimensional but it turned out she had a lot of layers and I was really delighted to play her.”

When asked about her favorite scene, Smith described the last one with Ema.

“I loved the last scene with Ema, you know, where we’re saying goodbye,” she began. “I really love that, I felt like there was a great vulnerability on both of our parts, which I always appreciate. I think vulnerability is incredibly brave and at the moment it feels very intimate, it doesn’t feel like, ‘oh this is going to be shown to a million strangers.’ You don’t think of it that way but there’s often a vulnerability hangover, so I can finish a day like that and go, ‘Oh God did I reveal too much?’ So there’s a little bit of that.”

Smith goes on to describe another favorite scene with Ema, “There’s also a great scene with Ema in the kitchen where she’s talking about how she doesn’t believe in religion and Sarah basically says, ‘listen to me, I know that you’re not like me but how dare you to be in my house and tell me that you think what I’m doing is absurd and that you think what I’m asking your father to do is absurd. How dare you.’ I love that scene, that’s a great scene. It’s very it’s short, but boy, it’s to the point.”

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