TODAY   |  January 17, 2014

Cast of ‘Flowers in the Attic’ visit TODAY

Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka, the stars of the new Lifetime movie adaptation of the classic novel by V.C. Andrews, talk working on the suspenseful new film “Flowers in the Attic.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> " flowers in the attic " is an update on the cult classic novel. the controversial story centers on siblings who are hidden away in an attic by their grandmother and mother following the death of their father.

>> hello mother.

>> well, look what the cat dragged in.

>> oscar winner ellen thurston plays the grandmother, heather graham is the mother. good morning to all of you.

>> ellen , i can't look at you. you're so evil in this movie.

>> i know. i'm truly evil.

>> you know, i have to say, we were talking about it before we came on, as evil as mean grandmother is, there's a little bit of humanity you put into this character. not a lot. but a little.

>> i've never played anyone this evil. she's a human being .

>> i have to say, i watched this yesterday, i think it's creepy. it's completely crazy and absolutely fantastic. heather, do you think that about covers it?

>> i was so excited to work with ellen and she's great, too. i've been watch ellen 's movies.

>> what's it like to be part of a cult classic . you may be too young. but in my day, this was the scariest book.

>> it was.

>> scared me as a kid. what's it like to be a part of something that's kind of, you would say sensation.

>> it's cool. people were really excited about it. the excitement is great. i think that's awesome.

>> this book was also controversial and continues to be. i mean, here you have siblings locked away. the relationship of two siblings starts to go in a direction that's inappropriate. how do you feel about the film maker's decision to not gloss it over, shy away from it. do you think that was the right call?

>> oh, absolutely. i think incest is the subject that makes people kind of uncomfortable. but in my experience, i know an awful lot of women who have had that experience. and it's never talked about. so i always think it's good to bring things into the light and into the air and so they can be discussed and examined.

>> you're so young, although, we would never know to look at you and see your poise. was it strange or uncomfortable to delve into some of these difficult topics?

>> i think the kathy/christopher thing is based on this unhealthy dependence on one another. and really everything is -- it's such a different story in my life. so there's a lot of separation. and i think it's more fun to play more dramatic, crazy things. i love it. i don't know why. it's good.

>> well, we've seen you grow up in "madmen" and grow into a depressed character. really quickly, your character has the most transformation. not in a good way. but she does have the most transformation. was that an interesting role to play?

>> it is. because i wanted her to start out in the beginning being a good mother and loving her kids. and by the end, i think i do horrible things. and i wanted to do -- i'm the kind of person that tries to seem nice while they're doing horrible things. which is revolting. at least if you're doing something terrible, be honest about it. it's not going to go well for you, mom. great to have you ladies. thank you so much.

>> thank you.

>> and " flowers in the attic " premieres tomorrow night on lifetime.