The Fault in Our Stars hit UK Blu-ray and DVD this week. Here, stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort discuss their roles in the film.
Shailene, you emailed John Green about the role. Did he respond in a nicer way than Van Houton?
SW: He did. He was like 'I’m not the casting director so I actually can’t cast you but thank you for your kind words.'
Was it difficult to have that lightness in your performance of sick kids?
AE: Um, no. I think that the way that the book is written is that the characters do have that lightness. And then once also we spent time with kids who actually had the diseases or had been through them we realized that that lightness is present in those individuals. And that it was totally correct to have them present in our characters. Without the lightness it would be a shit movie. It’d be unrealistic and it’d be depressing and I don't know what the point would be.
I think it’s all about the lightness and all about the fact that they’re real human beings who just happen to have something. The cancer in the story’s just the variable that makes the clock tick. And that makes the love even more important because it’s the last that you’ll have.
Did it make it easier or harder that you’d worked together before?
SW: It made things definitely easier. I mean, we already knew each other; we’re already comfortable around each other. And we already loved each other. We already had a deep sense of admiration for one another. Which I think translated into this film.
How was the atmosphere on set?
SW: Oh it was so much fun. I mean movie sets are really fun regardless of what you do when the camera rolls. But one of the things that’s so beautiful about this movie is it shows you that cancer doesn’t define you. And just like on the set we met a lot of people who did have cancer. A lot of young people and they don’t live their lives like this walking around you know, somber. They live their lives like this and be like yeah, I have this and it sucks. But it’s just what it is. And that’s sort of how our set was. We were dealing with heavy subject matters but you don’t sort of just wallow in the subject matter. You find ways to be light about it.
Did you improvise on the relationship on set?
AE: A lot of those scenes set the stage for the relationship are like word for word from the book. A lot of them. Like the scene in the beginning where Gus talks about how he fears oblivion and Hazel speaks about if that’s what he’s scared of then she suggests he forget it. The metaphor scene down in the basement, those scenes are so important. You’re right. Because so many movies just have two pretty people and I mean they put them together. Yeah they’re supposed to kiss and fall in love right? But I love that this story really takes it’s time and has those scenes. It’s almost like a play. Because it’s so much about the relationship that there’s time for those things to happen. So important. Really lets the relationship develop.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is now available on Blu-ray and DVD