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October 11, 2018 at 04:15 PM EDT

When the cameras stopped rolling during filming of Beautiful Boy, Steve Carell had some heavy material to take home.

The actor reveals the toll that took in an interview with EW at the Toronto International Film Festival (above), where Beautiful Boy made its world premiere last month. “With this subject matter, it’s hard to [let go],” he says. “You come home and you look at your kids and you hug them a little bit tighter. For me, that was a trying aspect of this.”

In Beautiful Boy, Carell plays David Sheff, whose son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) spirals as a result of his worsening drug addiction. The film traces their relationship and the challenges it faces as Nic proves increasingly unwilling — or unable — to receive help. Chalamet adds that the movie resonates on the level of his character struggling to assert his identity in the transition to adulthood: “There’s just a universal experience of a young person trying to find themselves.”

The film has generated strong reviews and some awards buzz for its two leading men. “The acting is uniformly excellent,” EW’s Leah Greenblatt wrote in her review.

Watch a clip of our interview above. Beautiful Boy hits select theaters this Friday.

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