Momentum Pictures

In the new coming-of-age film WildflowerKiernan Shipka stars as Bea, a high school senior with two neurodivergent parents who’s had to grow up faster than most kids her age.

It’s a heavy subject matter, and Shipka tells ABC Audio she was very aware of that.

“There was definitely a weight to it. It’s an important movie,” Shipka says. “I really felt that going to work every day, wanting to do justice to this character, these characters in this film, and make it the best it could possibly be.”

Charlie Plummer plays Bea’s boyfriend Ethan, who has also had to grow up quickly due to his fair share of struggles. This, Plummer says, is what drew him to the role.

“That was something that Kiernan and I both were interested in going into doing this, both of us coming from childhoods in which we were working in acting,” Plummer says. “Even though it’s not at all the same circumstances as the film, there’s a certain connective tissue to those feelings of the responsibility of being an adult in certain settings, and then having this freedom of being a kid, and it’s hard to oscillate back and forth and feel free in doing so.”

And, while the film doesn’t shy away from showing struggle, Shipka says it is all rooted in love.

“I feel proud to be involved with a movie that is so based in love and acceptance and joy in one’s life, even if life is tough,” Shipka says. “That people can watch and maybe leave and want to hug someone or call someone or hang out with a family member – I love that. I’m just proud at large to be a part of a movie with a message I really love.”

Wildflower is out Tuesday on On Demand and Digital.

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