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Kathryn Hahn on parenting: We're just trying to keep these people alive

Kathryn Hahn attends the premiere of "Captain Fantastic" on June 28, 2016 in Los Angeles.

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Last Updated Jul 7, 2016 12:19 PM EDT

Kathryn Hahn has been quietly building a body of work that examines people looking for ways to live outside of the mainstream -- she just hadn't realized it yet. In her latest film, "Captain Fantastic," she's on the other side of that equation as the sister-in-law of a man (Viggo Mortensen) who's been raising his six children deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

Hahn spoke with CBS News about why we're so defensive about parenting styles and how her various film and TV work connects.

With your character's perspective, this film examines how hard it is to watch someone else parent in a way you don't agree with.

Yeah, it's such a private and such a personal thing -- I mean, unless you obviously see a child in grave danger. It's such a private, private thing. It's just that everyone is justifying their own decision-making so much that judgement just comes out of it -- like if you're not doing it the way I'm doing it, then that means I'm doing it wrong. And that's terrifying to me, so I'm just gonna lash out. I mean, really it's just a day-by-day situation of trying to keep these people alive.

That's the gold star at the end of the day? They're breathing?

Yeah, exactly. I have a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old. I lay in bed after reading stories with my son and we cuddle and I'm like tickling his back, and I go, "Oh my God," I just want to throw up and just die thinking about how few more times we get to do that before he's like, "No, stop mother." As a parent, childhood is so short -- the actual childhood. Your job is to let them go, and that inevitability is so profoundly painful to just wrap your mind around.

If you and your husband in this film, Steve Zahn, were to go into business together with a company called Hahn & Zahn, what sort of business do you think that would be?

What would it be, like, air conditioning units? Something so boring. But we totally would. We were wondering why it is we never worked together before and why can't the name Hahn and Zahn be part of every movie title from now on?

I'm going to try drawing a thematic line through a bunch of your work.

Yeah, good luck.

Hear me out. Between "Our Idiot Brother," "Wanderlust," "Happyish" and this, there's this idea of people trying to define for themselves how they want to live in the modern world -- or, more specifically, away from the modern world. Have you ever reflected on that?

God no. I'm very impressed. Usually from a distance my body of work is chaos, you're really starting to make sense of it for me. I mean, I have never put that together, but I think it is an interesting theme to explore in any sort of art. The louder and louder technology's getting in our lives and the more it's overtaking our day, it's imperative to stop and reflect and look at it.

There was this op-ed in the New York Times or whatever about the death of self-reflection because of technology. No one just sits in silence anymore because everyone's just on their phone. And I'm laughing because I'm in a room full of [publicists] and they're all just sitting there on their phones. Which I totally get! It's endless, it's a wormhole you can go down on the internet, I totally get it.

You're like, "I'll just check Twitter," and then ...

Isn't it crazy? I know. My husband's really good, I still have it in the bedroom because it's the alarm clock, but he doesn't and I'm like, "Ah you're a better person than I am."

Mindy Kaling recently tweeted that the bedroom is no place for a TV.

We don't have one. This is hilarious, we've always been like, "Never, not in the bedroom, not in the bedroom," but then we get to a hotel you can't tear us away from a TV, we're so excited. Just like literally watching trailers. So excited.

What do you have next?

I just wrapped a pilot with Jill Soloway -- who I've worked with a bunch of times -- for a show called "I Love Dick" which I'm very excited about. With Griffin Dunne and Kevin Bacon. And we shot that in Marfa. We just wrapped a couple weeks ago and that was heavenly.

What was it like working with Jill Soloway on a different show after the success of "Transparent"?

Oh, she's a wonder. We have such a shorthand at this point. That's my favorite creative womb ever, to be on one of her sets, it's just the greatest. I'm being told to wrap it up by a bunch of mean people on cellphones.

They should just take some time to reflect.

Yes, take some time to reflect, bitches.

"Captain Fantastic" is in theaters July 8, 2016.