"We're exploring a subject that is suddenly relevant and current, but it is essentially a story about a family raising a child," Claire Danes explained to ET on the set of the upcoming film, A Kid Like Jake. "Which is universal and very relatable to all."
A Kid Like Jake stars Danes and Jim Parsons as Alice and Greg, New York parents of a 4-year-old son who plays dress up and loves fairy tales -- "gender expansive play," as a preschool director (played by Octavia Spencer) puts it in this exclusive first look at the film's trailer. While Alex and Greg strive to find Jake the perfect school, they must come to terms with the fact that this might not be a phase, and that everyone they know has something to say about Jake (newcomer Leo James Davis).
"I don't want to send him off to kindergarten labeled," Alex says in the trailer. "What if he starts thinking there's something wrong with him?"
The film, from director Silas Howard (the first trans director to work on Transparent) and writer Daniel Pearle, co-stars Amy Landecker, Ann Dowd and Priyanka Chopra. Ahead of its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival, ET visited the Manhattan set of A Kid Like Jake, where Parsons said the movie is really about "the trials and tribulations of raising a child in general."
"In this case, one that seems to be expressing certain curiosities about possible gender identification," he added. "It's just one more road hump on helping a human be the healthiest self they can be in this world."
Howard, meanwhile, says the film is a "complicated" story that speaks to the "nuance" of parenting, no matter who the child turns out to be. "How much you want to protect [your kid] and how that sometimes can make us want to control things we can't control," he said. "It also spoke to me about how our society really cherishes specialness but paradoxically punishes difference. Everyone wants their kid to be special, but not necessarily different."
More than anything, A Kid Like Jake, out June 1, is for everyone.
"There are a lot of things that are like, 'This is a conservative issue. This is a liberal issue,'" Howard admitted. "It's a human issue to want to protect kids, to want to have the best for the people in our lives. I think that the nuance of that conversation is really beautiful and fresh and I haven't heard that conversation yet."
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