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Cocaine Bear's Alden Ehrenreich Says The Film Is Really About Broken Families

At first glance, it might be hard to see "Cocaine Bear" boasting an emotional theme. It is, after all, a horror-comedy about a grizzly bear who accidentally ingests a massive amount of the drug and wreaks havoc, all inspired by a true story. Yet according to Alden Ehrenreich, who portrays Eddie, the son of drug kingpin Syd White (Ray Liotta), "Cocaine Bear" is about much more than this.

In an interview with GQ, he said, "But really, it's a film about these broken families, underneath it all. Not that I think people are gonna walk out and go, 'Oh my God, that was such a great movie about broken families!' They're gonna say, 'That was a movie about a f****** bear that did cocaine,' but hopefully, they'll also get a little depth snuck in there."

The main example of this is Eddie himself, who is distracted and tearful throughout the film as he grapples with the death of his wife, all while fighting off a bear that's high on cocaine. While the movie is largely meant to be comedic, Ehrenreich hopes he was able to bring some seriousness and emotion to Eddie's situation. Another example is Sari (Keri Russell), who desperately searches for her missing daughter, Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince), throughout the film.

The chaos of the pandemic also plays a part in Cocaine Bear

Not only does "Cocaine Bear" spotlight the idea of broken families, but it also unintentionally symbolizes the chaos of spring 2020, when director Elizabeth Banks read Jimmy Warden's script as COVID-19 shut down the world. Those early days of the pandemic were frantic as people socially distanced, stocked up on toilet paper, and binged "Tiger King" from the safety of quarantine.

"We were still wiping down groceries. There were fires everywhere in California. The world was chaos. Then I read the script and I thought, 'Well, there's nothing more chaotic than a bear who's high on cocaine,'" Banks told POPSUGAR. "I felt that making this movie as an artist was sort of my way of taming that chaos a little bit and hopefully bringing an audience together for a communal experience of connection and excitement and fun."

Banks achieved this goal, with "Cocaine Bear" grossing over $86 million worldwide and receiving largely rave reviews. Plus, Warden has hinted about future "Cocaine Bear" content, from a sequel to spin-offs involving other animals high on cocaine.