Lili Reinhart Unpacks How ‘Look Both Ways’ Champions Working Moms: ‘You Don’t Have to Just Abandon Your Passion and Your Goals’

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Actress and producer Lili Reinhart wants to make clear that her latest film “Look Both Ways” champions the balance between new parenthood and career ambitions.

In the Netflix film, starring Reinhart alongside “Top Gun: Maverick” breakout Danny Ramirez, Reinhart’s character lives two very different lives, one of which involves the life-changing decision of carrying a pregnancy to term.

“I think when the trailer first came out, there were some misconceptions that ‘Oh, she has this baby and she completely gives up her career,’” Reinhart said in an interview with TheWrap. “That’s not what happens. We wanted to make sure that in Natalie’s timeline, where she does have a baby, she’s still very much actively pursuing her career. She just can’t move to LA. She just needs to stay with her family to help to have that support, but she’s actively pursuing her passion and maybe it goes a little bit of a slower timeline, but it’s still something that she doesn’t just give up and say, ‘Well, guess that’s over.’”

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The romantic drama watches Natalie Bennett (Reinhart) sleep with her college friend Gabe (Ramirez) as a spur-of-the-moment decision, resulting in a branched narrative of one life where she gets pregnant, and another where she does not. Natalie has big dreams of working in animation in Los Angeles, and those dreams stay with her in both storylines. As a producer, Reinhart had a say in who else helped tell this story.

“Even when we were in the very early stages of this trying to find our director, we wanted a female filmmaker who was a mother, who was still actively working,” Reinhart revealed. ”Obviously, I’m not a young mother, but I’m so supportive of — I can’t wait to be a mother someday and I have the best mom in the world. I just hope that the film shows that we’re very much in support of women who have children and still pursue their passions. It’s so important and it’s not one or the other. You don’t have to just abandon your passion and your goals.”

In the timeline where Natalie gets pregnant with Gabe’s child, the pair navigates raising their daughter Rosie as well as growing feelings for each other. Danny Ramirez’s Gabe wears his heart on his sleeve.

“I don’t think [their tension] could have resolved right away. They were both so distracted,” Reinhart said. “I think Gabe was was always down. He was always like, I’m right here.”

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In contrast, Natalie still exhibits independence in wanting to compartmentalize the growth of her child from her romantic life.

“She was still just trying to get her bearings [with] her head above water. Gabe was still maybe trying to figure it out with his drumming and his band but like I felt like Natalie — she has the five-year plan and she’s so meticulous about that, this was such a bump in the road for her, that she couldn’t even fathom what a relationship would look like at that time,” Reinhart said. “She was just like, I need to figure out how to raise this kid and then as soon as they got more comfortable and got their bearings with it, she was able to be like, ‘Oh, no, I actually have feelings for this person.’ And that’s something that now that she can have the bandwidth a little bit more to explore. So it’s good that it took a little bit of time.”

Ramirez confirms that Gabe was willing to take on a relationship, but he also agrees that the drawn-out love between the two benefitted both of them.

“He would have thought that he’d be ready to really be there and all the ways he could have, but there was a lot of growth that had to happen,” he said. “It possibly could have just fallen to codependency really quickly.”

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“Look Both Ways” also lands almost two months after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Reinhart discussed her conversation with the director about weaving the film into social context.

“When that decision happened, Wanuri was like, ‘Babe, we got to make sure that this film is a bright light for women’s choices’ and the best line in the film is Gabe’s line where he says ‘I’m pro your choice,’” Reinhart said. “Now unfortunately it’s not the case with a lot of places in our country. But Natalie had the choice, especially in Texas, she had the choice to do whatever she wanted at that time, but she chose to have the baby and that was something that she wasn’t forced into. She was able to make that decision on her own with the support of her baby daddy and friend.”

“It was such a powerful statement to be able to own that and to be able to represent that also on screen in that way,” Ramirez said of Gabe’s line. “It aligns with how I view everything. The importance of the movie really kind of resonated through that and just reminding ourselves how important it is.”

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