LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey take on parental roles in their new film, "Kubo and the Two Strings." Off camera, the two Oscar winners discussed their real-life approach to raising kids.
Both are teaching their children about compassion and responsibility, and McConaughey takes a Hollywood approach when talking to his kids about moral choices.
"We like the word residuals in our house," he said in a recent interview. "Which choices are going to pay you back later or are going to give you more green lights later on of being the young man or young woman that you want to be?"
"Kubo and the Two Strings," the latest film from stop-motion animation studio Laika ("Coraline," ''The Boxtrolls"), centers on a boy who ignites a long-dormant vendetta when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past. Theron and McConaughey play his trusted guides, Monkey and Beetle. The film opens Friday.
A father of three, McConaughey said he's still navigating the balance between parent and friend, roles he finds "intersect and overlap."
"Because a child sure needs a parent, and I've seen many, many examples where the adult was only trying to be the friend to the child, and he was doing a disservice to the child," he said. "But those are two parts. And I know I'm constantly engaging when to play."
Theron, who has two children, said she's willing to transform into whatever her son and daughter need, just as her character transforms in the film.
"If you feel like you have to become something or someone for your child in order to kind of get something through to them, then you do that," she said. "I think it's just limitless when you're a parent. There's nothing that you wouldn't do."
That includes playing silly roles around the house to entertain her 4-year-old son, Jackson.
"For a moment, he was so in love with the movie 'Annie,'" Theron said. "We would run through the house and he would pretend that he was Annie and I would pretend that I was Miss Hannigan."
Theron said she went for "the Carol Burnett version, like really drunk on gin," but Jackson wasn't a fan.
"They kind of tell you when they don't like something that you are doing or bringing to the table. They are so honest," Theron said. "Or singing in the car. He told me the other day, he was like, 'Please don't sing." I was like, whoa, that's brutal, man."
Thus are the joys of parenting, she said.
"There's no right way and there's no rule book here," Theron said. "That's kind of the beauty and also the thing that kind of keeps you on your toes."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson at www.twitter.com/Ryanwrd