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Parental advice from 'The Kings of Summer'

  • 'My First Time' explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant
  • Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias star in 'The Kings of Summer'
  • In the film, they run away from their parents for the summer, so they open up about rebelling from parents in real life
Parental advice from 'The Kings of Summer'
Kings of Summer

Editor’s note: Every Friday, HLN brings you the "My First Time" series, which explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant or memorable (so get your mind out of the gutter!).

In this installment, actors Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias -- who star in the coming-of-age film "The King of Summer" -- open up about fighting with their parents, in the movie and in real life. 

HLN: When was the first time you rebelled against your parents?
Moises Arias: There was always a time where I fought a lot with my mom, but I always had high respect and I never ran away. My mom would have a panic attack. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to not get my mom worried and not have to run away. I think it’s different in every home, but for me in particular, I didn’t have enough reason to run away.

Gabriel Basso: My dad always scared me, so I never really rebelled. There were definitely a lot of moments where I didn’t do what my parents told me to do. But there was never really a full-fledged, “I’m out of here, I’m not doing what you say anymore,” because I probably wouldn’t be here today.

Nick Robinson: I’m trying to think of a specific moment, but I can’t pinpoint an exact time.

Gabe: There were so many!                                                                                 

Nick: I remember growing up, I ran away when I was seven or so. I packed a sandwich in a backpack and I got up the street and then turned around. I was probably gone for about 20 minutes. I came home and made a big show of it, slammed the door. I thought she was going to be crying or something, like I’d made my point, but she didn’t even notice.

HLN: So there was no big punishment for that, right?
Nick: No punishment.

Gabe: The punishment was the realization that his parents don’t care!

HLN: In the film, you fight with your parents a lot. How different are your tiffs with parents in real life?
Gabe: Everyone’s going to have problems with their parents. My parents and I definitely disagree on things, but I think I go about it in a much more respectful manner than Patrick does. I can’t really get away with most things, so I want to treat them the best I can.

Moises: Everybody gets annoyed with their parents, no matter what age you are, but especially at 15-16 years old, when you think you’re becoming an adult and you think that you deserve your freedom, and it’s that time when parents don’t want to let go. I remember perfectly my mom saying I’m not old enough at 14 to go out at 8 o’clock at night.

Nick: I come from a very large family — I have four younger siblings and two older half siblings. Inevitably, there are always disagreements, but we always seem to work through it. Family’s always been important to me, so when you get in a fight, you walk away, blow off some steam, and then come back and make up.

HLN: How supportive are your real parents of your career?
Moises: Very.

Nick: Ridiculously supportive. I’m very lucky. My parents have always made sure we can all be in one place. Two years ago, we all moved from Seattle to Los Angeles — I think that’s the ultimate support, uprooting the family.

Gabe: My family is really supportive, too. They’ve made a lot of sacrifices for me to pursue this and I really feel that this career is encouraged and that I will continue to have support from them.

HLN: What advice would you give to teens who feel like your characters in the film and want to get away from all the arguments and fights with their parents?
Nick: Don’t do what we do. Don’t run away and build a house.

Gabe: Literally or figuratively.

Nick: Your family is your family — it can be chaotic and annoying and awkward and crazy and nuts, but it is your family at the end of the day. That’s what you’ve got, so do your best to stick together.

Gabe: One of the main things that I walked with from the film is no matter how crazy or insane your parents might seem, you know everything they do is motivated out of love. As much as my parents in the movie drove me crazy, I think looking at it objectively and seeing that your parents do things because they care for you really is important and may change the way you look at arguments with parents.

Moises: My mom has done everything for my brother and I and does everything just out of extreme love — a love to a different extent that you learn to appreciate when you’re older and really see where she’s coming from. We’re everything to my mom and I think kids are everything to their parents, so they do everything out of love and you just have to learn that.

HLN: What advice would you give to the parents of those teens?
Nick: I would say, just be there. Half of it is showing up, so if they run away, if they are distant, just be there, be ready when they come back with open arms and just keep on keeping on.  

Gabe: I think you have to understand where your kids are coming from. The parents were teenagers too. They don’t just grow up and look at things the way adults look at things. They went through that stage of thinking they know everything. It’s inevitable that you’re going to be in arguments with your teenage kids, so it has to be a mutual thing — you have to come to an agreement that you both have your specific worldviews on how you look at things. So the kid needs to accept that he doesn’t understand or know everything, and the adult needs to loosen the reigns and let the kid figure it out for himself, but not enough to let him get hurt.

Moises: I think it’s setting not overprotective boundaries and knowing your kids and knowing what kind of personalities they have, because every person’s different. By watching this movie you see that living on your own is probably not the best idea. Your parents do everything out of love and they do everything for a reason and I think you just need to learn to live by their rules until you’re really mature enough and you’ve lived more. 

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