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Ellar Coltrane was every bit the picture of rosebud youth at Thursday night’s celebration in honor of director Richard Linklater and the cast of “Boyhood.”

“It’s me and I’m changing and it’s me at different times and it’s incredibly surreal, you know, just terrifying and beautiful and comforting and painful all at the same time,” said the tousle-haired 20-year-old, who revealed that he has now seen the film ten times. “The first time I saw the movie it was hard to even really see much of the story. It was just all about that — the catharsis, the tenderness of seeing yourself age.”

The private cocktail party, hosted by Vanity Fair as part of its ongoing Campaign Hollywood, Chrysler and IFC Films, was held at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, where such guests as best supporting actress nom Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater and Vanity Fair publisher Chris Mitchell sipped Prosecco and nibbled on appetizers in support of the Austin Film Society, an org founded in 1985 by Linklater that empowers the community to foster a love for viewing and making creative media.

For Coltrane, the fete proved an ideal opportunity to look back on Mason, the character he plays in the film, and how he compares to the real-life actor as he stumbles across the threshold from adolescence into adulthood.

“I was definitely a ranting pseudo-philosopher when I was seventeen,” said Coltrane, who is exploring options for college. “But I think the biggest similarities are something Richard and Ethan (Hawke) and I all share which is just that we are introspective and very visually and aesthetically in tune with, I guess, nature. You know, always kind of observing, and I think that’s why Richard liked me when he met me when I was six and why we hit it off.”

Arquette also knew right away that “Boyhood” would be “something special.” What she didn’t know was if audiences would feel the same way.

“I didn’t know that (“Boyhood”) was going to be so popular and special,” she said. “We were terrified when we first showed it at Sundance because it meant so much to us and we cared about it so much. We knew it was special but we didn’t know if anybody would agree with us. It’s difficult sometimes as an artist. You make things and they don’t always find their audience right away.”

Clearly, the film has engaged both critics and fans worldwide. But as for any newfound trappings of fame, Coltrane remains at heart just a regular home-schooled kid from Texas, toying around with different options for the future.

“The way Richard works with people, there’s that whole idea of celebrity and he rejects all of that pretty wholly, so I never saw this whole experience that way,” he said. “As for how popular the films has become and the whole Oscar thing. I’m still kind of wrapping my head around that.”

(Pictured: Publisher of Vanity Fair Chris Mitchell and actors Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane at Vanity Fair and Chrysler’s Celebration of Richard Linklater and the cast of “Boyhood”.)