Gabrielle Union may make acting looking easy, but for her, that’s not always the case. While attending the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this past Friday, she opened up about how difficult it was to play a homophobic character in her upcoming film, The Inspection, while parenting a transgender daughter.

“As an actress, I normally look for characters that have some chunk of me in them. I did not see that in Inez,” she says of portraying one of the film’s principal characters, Inez French. French is a homophobic prison guard who does not accept her gay son (played by Jeremy Pope) due to her religious beliefs.

Union was initially drawn to the film’s “beautiful story,” though playing a homophobic character while raising a transgender daughter (15-year-old Zaya Wade) was difficult for the 49-year-old mom. According to People, she shared with TIFF attendees that the dark side helped her figure out how to play French.

Zaya Wade Dwayne Wade Gabrielle Union
Dwyane Wade, Zaya Wade, Gabrielle Union / Getty Images