“I was inspired by Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys,” Antoine Olivier Pilon told us of his character Steve, the reckless holy terror in French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan's Cannes Jury prize winner Mommy. Steve – ejected from a detention centre – returns to live with his chain-smoking mum. Neither knows how to deal with the other, and there are more insults hurled in Mommy's two hour run time than an episode of Jeremy Kyle. But when one breaks down the other is always there to pick the other back up. “What would dad say?” Steve asks in this pivotal scene, wiping away Die's (Anne Dorval) mascara tears. “Grab the future by the balls… Fuck the past, in the ass!”
In the film, Steve is like a Mentos hovering over an open bottle of Coca-Cola. His supressed insanity escapes in bursts. “I like to go into areas that allow me to explore not just the mental side of a character but also their physical aspects,” explains Pilon. In Mommy, the 17-year-old actor pulls the pin on Steve's explosive temper. Little wonder Xavier Dolan called him “a ticking bomb”.