It's been five years since Vadim Perelman's critically acclaimed feature debut with House of Sand and Fog. Now the director is back with his newest film, The Life Before Her Eyes, starring Uma Thurman, Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri. The film is about Diana, whose life starts to crumble as the 15th anniversary of the school shooting she survived nears; it flashes back and forth between older Diana (Thurman) and the younger Diana (Wood) and her best friend Maureen (Amurri) in the weeks leading up to the tragic event. Cinematical sat down with Perelman and Amurri at AFI Dallas to talk about the film, which opens in limited release this weekend.

Cinematical: Eva, can you talk about the challenges of playing this role, which is much more of "nice girl" than you've played in your previous films?

Eva Amurri: The earlier roles I'd had just happened to be more bad girls. This is the first role I'd had where the role was basically all good, this very pure, selfless girl. What's funny is that Vadim really cast us against type – in real life, I'm much more the "bad" girl, while Evan is the serious "good" girl. I was a little worried about it, but I trusted Vadim, and he did a great job guiding us through it. It was an interesting exercise.