Wolff and Mike Epps star in the coming-of-age drama.

In his new film The Cat and the Moon, Alex Wolff plays a young man named Nick who, while his mother is in rehab, comes to New York City to stay with Cal (Mike Epps), a jazz musician friend of his late father and the only person who can take care of him.

“[My character] is staying in the house with the jazz musician, who used to play with his dad, and that house is the house that his dad actually died in,” Wolff tells EW. “So while he’s there he has to process his dad’s death, and so does the older jazz musician, who feels kind of responsible, and I sort of blame him. We’re at odds. Then these kids help him for the first time feel included in this group. So it’s about this young boy’s journey to accepting the crazy and traumatic nature of his dad’s death through all these things and through New York.”

In addition to starring in the film, Wolff also wrote and, at the age of 20, directed it. Did anyone raise an eyebrow about being directed by someone so young?

“It’s crazy, because nobody really did,” the Hereditary actor says. “I was really worried about Mike Epps, because he’s already a big star, and I was giving him a role that he had never really done before and I had a specific idea for it. It was based on my godfather and based on a lot of jazz musicians I’d grown up with, because my dad is a real jazz musician and I found the dynamic between me and my dad’s friends to be very interesting. I think because I felt so ready and prepared and had been working for so many years to get to making the movie, that by the time I got there, I think I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m supposed to be here.’ I think everyone just kind of went, ‘Well, he’s young and we’re just going to have to get on board.’”

The Cat and the Moon also stars Stefania LaVie Owen and Skyler Gisondo. The film opens Oct. 25 in New York and Los Angeles, and will simultaneously be available for sale and rental on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play, as well as on demand on major cable and satellite providers nationwide.

Exclusively watch the trailer for The Cat and the Moon above.

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