Fran Kranz said he wrote “Mass” hoping he could one day fulfill its message.

“I was always really fascinated about restorative justice,” the director said. “Mostly because I didn’t think I was capable of it.”

The film, starring Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton and Reed Birney, is a drama about the parents of a victim of a school shooting, who meet for a conversation with the parents of the perpetrator.

The cast sat down with Variety’s Jenelle Riley at the Variety Streaming Room presented by Bleecker Street, to discuss how they handled tough subject matter regarding school shooting, forgiveness and grace.

Isaacs, who plays the father of the victim, spoke about the importance of the roles they were playing: “The reason we became [actors] is to make films like this.”

Kranz, who made his directorial debut with this film, explained the overall message, saying, “That very action of sitting across a table from someone you disagree with, someone you blame, someone you hate and working through that … that’s the movie.”

Plimpton discussed the challenges faced when creating the film: “We really had to commit to this and had to trust one another,” said the actress. “We went about that in a very simple, basic way by talking and telling stories. We talked about our lives, we talked about certain things in the script that made us think about things in our lives.”

Through committing to one another, the cast and crew were able to bring levity on set throughout their hard scenes. “There was real positivity on set,” said Kranz. “The crew had a great attitude, everybody was in the right place.”

Dowd chimed in, “We were all together. Wonderful crew, producers … it was so lovely, and it was so humbling because it just reminded us we’re here for work. That’s it.”

Watch the full discussion above.