Prepare to Ugly-Cry: A Q&A with the Author and Director of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’
Last night in Austin, Texas, Forever Fest and the Alamo Drafthouse held a screening of the highly anticipated film The Fault In Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and based on a best-selling book by John Green. No spoilers, but be prepared to cry. A lot. Like many people. Like me. Seriously, a lot. After the cryfest, Forever Fest co-founders Sarah Pitre and Brandy Fons held a quick Q&A with Green and director Josh Boone. Here’s what I learned:
-Nat Wolff, who plays Isaac, gave Josh Boone the book after Josh’s close friend passed away from cancer. When Josh found out a film was being made, he went to Fox with his shooting plan for the first 25 minutes, how he’d shoot the opening montage in a manner similar to Jerry McGuire, and that an M83 song would end the film.
-After seeing Josh’s film Stuck in Love, about the lives of writers, John loved how it was “a movie of authentic emotion, a movie that should’ve been sentimental but wasn’t,” which is how he knew Josh was perfect for The Fault in Our Stars.
-John Green was on set as much as he could, but he refused to be on set during the love scene because, he said, there are “levels of weird. There’s the level of weird where your friends are hooking up, that’s weird. There’s a level of weird where characters you created, some of whom are children are hooking up, that’s weird. There’s a level of weird where your children who are also your friends. I just couldn’t handle it.” AWKWARD.
-Shailene Woodley, who plays Hazel, showed up to that scene wearing a skintight greenscreen suit, as if they were going to digitally manipulate her body, as a joke.
-After an intense crying scene, John wanted to make sure Shailene was OK, but everyone shut him down, because they needed her to stay in the zone.
-The crew recreated Dutch artist Atelier Van Lieshout’s “Funky Bones,” the large-scale artwork based in Indianapolis for the Pittsburgh set. John’s wife curated the original work. They had to burn the replica after filming, because only one version could exist in the world.
-John Green’s cameo was cut out of the movie due to time constraints. He acted with a six-year-old actress who played his daughter, and gave him this advice: “Be on time, know your lines, and don’t be nervous. I think you’re two-thirds of the way there.”
-John is grateful for all the fan-fiction and reads a lot of it. He never wants to comment because “books belong to their readers, and I really love when my readers feel empowered to build upon the stories and to build their own worlds.”
-Paper Towns, a mystery about love, will be John’s next movie, with the same screenwriter, producers, and studio, but not with Josh as the director, since he has another job lined up. Nat Wolff will play the lead.
To add to the atmosphere of the screening, the Alamo’s pre-roll footage consisted of tons of cute viral videos like a bunny eating a raspberry, a commercial for the Shailene-starring The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and a John Green vlog. During the film, at the moment of an extremely romantic dinner scene, the staff served up glasses of champagne and risotto balls to the audience. After the Q&A, the audience was invited outside to egg a parked car (it makes sense with the movie), with John and Josh throwing the first eggs very, very eagerly.
Nadia Chaudhury seriously cried so much during the movie and the book.