TORONTO, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Brie Larson says playing a mother trying her best to raise her young son in captivity in Room brought back a flood of memories from her own childhood.
The 26-year-old actress said at a recent Toronto International Film Festival press conference that she isolated herself in her home for weeks to prepare for the job and that, without any outside distractions, she began to remember long-forgotten moments from when she was a girl.
She went on to say the experiment brought her back to an era when she and her little sister were raised by their single mother in a studio apartment with very little clothes and toys and where many of their meals consisted of Ramen noodles.
"I remember that time as being one of the greatest times of my life," Larson emphasized.
"I was so happy," she recalled. "My mom has this incredible imagination and she instilled so much life in that space that I never felt like I was lacking and I didn't realize that we didn't have anything."
The actress said she now understands how her mother struggled to protect her girls even when she herself was in pain.
"There was one moment that I also remembered in this silence that really struck me and moved me very deeply where we would all three sleep in that same bed that came out from the wall and I remember waking up in the middle of the night to my mom, with her hands over her mouth, trying to be quiet," she explained.
"But just sobbing uncontrollably, convulsions, sobbing, shaking and I didn't know why and I remembered thinking, 'It's like when my toy is taken away from me.' And I didn't realize until many years later that my father had asked for a divorce and that's why we had moved to Los Angeles [from Sacramento] and she was dealing with it completely alone, but had created this world of imagination with me and my sister. So, sometimes, you never really, fully understand why you are attracted to a project until you start getting deeper into it, and that, for me, it's giving me chills talking about it, but was such a huge part of my life and something that was so palpable to me to bring to this film."
Larson is a current nominee for an Oscar and Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Room. She has already won a Golden Globe for the role.