Actress Kaitlyn Dever talks ‘Short Term 12’

Actress Kaitlyn Dever, who is best known for her role as Eve Baxter alongside Tim Allen on television’s “Last Man Standing,” recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about her role in Cinedigm’s new drama “Short Term 12.”

In “Short Term 12,” which opens Friday, Aug. 30 exclusively at Harkins Camelview 5, Brie Larson plays a 20-something supervising staff member of a foster care facility who navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.).

Question: What about this project appealed to you as an actress?

Answer: It was such a deep and beautiful script. Destin Cretton wrote and directed it. I feel like it was his. He knew the backstory. He knew everything. And it just came out on paper. To be able to bring it to life with [Brie Larson] and the whole cast was just so awesome. And then for us to win the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW was so amazing.

Q: Tell me about your character. Specifically, what about her did you like from a performer’s point of view?

A: I play a girl named Jayden who goes to Short Term 12, which is sort of this foster care home for kids who have been abused or have just had really bad lives at home. My character cuts herself. She is depressed. Her dad abuses her and her mom died so she has got this really dark life. It was really amazing being able to do that because I had never really done anything like it. I feel like Jayden has so much going on.

Q: She does. But the movie also shows that there is hope for those who have got, as you called it, a “really dark life.” Right?

A: By the end of the movie, me and [Brie Larson’s] character bond in a really great way that helps the movie kind of come to an end. And I also help Brie Larson’s character find herself as a person because she had the same childhood that I had. When she meets me, I remind her of her childhood because she was abused by her dad and she cuts herself as well. So we really bonded together in the end and it was just an amazing experience.

Q: This is the second time that you have appeared in a movie with Brie Larson. You two were also both in “The Spectacular Now.” What is she like?

A: I never met Brie on the set of “The Spectacular Now.” We didn’t have any scenes together. And when I read “Short Term 12,” I knew that most of my scenes would be with her so I was excited to get to be able to get to know her as a person. We would talk with one another between takes and it was such a pleasure because she was so cool. I felt like she was my older sister.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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