Look out, Suri Cruise: Katie Holmes has an equally-adorable daughter on-screen in her directorial debut All We Had. Eighteen-year-old actress Stefania LaVie Owen, who plays the role of Ruthie Carmichael in the coming-of-age drama, says she did in fact draw on Holmes's motherly instincts to help get into character. "We play a mother-daughter duo seeking a new life and navigating all the ups and downs of having such a close relationship," Owen tells InStyle. "Katie has a way of making everyone around her feel so comfortable that it was easy to bring the part to life. It didn't hurt that she brought baked goods almost every day we were filming." Here, Owen gives us the full scoop on set life.
You’ve said that you’re very close with your own mom. Did anything about the on-screen relationship remind you of her?
It’s very different in that you see our characters go from boyfriend to boyfriend and home to home--nothing stays the same for them. But what did remind me of my own mom is how strong of a bond they have. There’s this incredible closeness, so when things get bad you stick together. But at the same time, when you get angry with each other, you get really angry.
What did you do when you found out you got the role?
Everything happened really fast. I got the call, and two days later I was on a plane to go start shooting. The very next day I went to dinner with Katie to talk about my part.
What was the best thing you learned from Katie?
She inspired me to want to direct and act because of the way that she would switch hats so seamlessly. She made it look easy. And the way that she communicated with her actors was awesome. She was one of the best directors I've ever worked with.
Was there one big challenge you had to deal with?
Well, I had to play a character who was three years younger than I was at the time. Ruthie was fourteen, and I was seventeen when we started shooting. Katie told me, "I want you to listen to music that you listened to when you were fourteen. It will get you in the mindset." I also have a younger sister, she's three years younger than me, so it was really helpful to pick her brain.
What’s your best memory from shooting?
Katie loves Beyoncé, so every time we were in between takes she'd put on Beyoncé. Her favorite is "Drunk in Love," so I made a music video to that song. It includes most of the cast and crew. It’s currently still on my phone, but at some point we’d all like to put it online and show the world our music skills.
All We Had is in theaters and on demand this weekend.