Brie Larson draws on complicated family for The Glass Castle

His acting career has spanned tending bar in Cheers to fighting a war in The Hunger Games, while she has won a Best Actress Oscar before turning 30.

Now, US actors Woody Harrelson, 56, and Brie Larson, 27, are in new film The Glass Castle, which opens here on Sept 21.

An adaptation of Jeannette Walls' best-selling 2005 memoir, the drama chronicles her poverty-stricken childhood in an eccentric and dysfunctional family, with Larson playing the author and Harrelson her alcoholic father.

Brie, what attracted you to this character? Was it because you haven't spoken to your father for over 10 years?

Larson: I think it has to do with family being complicated and having lots of negatives and positives. I feel life is like that; you do not get to pick and choose what parts of life you get, you just get all of it.

I think a lot of us feel like we are not allowed to be who we are, least not allowed to be at the completeness of who we are.

I want to encourage more people to feel like they can be all things. You can be complicated.

How similar are you to your character?

Harrelson: I think an important thing with any character is to find out what is in the character that is just like you, and make up the rest with imagination.

But (we are alike in that) he wants to be free, his belief that education (is) better when it is experiential, better to get out in nature and experience what you are talking about, as opposed to sitting in a classroom. Some of his views on the medical system I tend to agree with too.

Woody, you directed a movie released this year titled Lost In London. Would you like to direct more?

Harrelson: Yeah. Now that my looks have betrayed me, I can't count on doing this much longer.

You know they like handsome actors, so I am going to definitely direct more.

Having played US President Lyndon B. Johnson in the unreleased film LBJ, would you ever play Mr Donald Trump?

Harrelson: No. I have to like the guy, (so) I cannot play him.