Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort talk Hazel, Gus and 'The Fault in Our Stars' fans
Movies can make us feel things – it is one of their great powers. Some movies, even if you know what's coming (because, maybe, you read the book), can still affect you to the point where they make you cry. It is a wondrous thing.
A fan screening of "The Fault in Our Stars" was held on Saturday night in New York City, and despite the fact that—one assumes—nearly everyone in the theater had read the book, there were still tears aplenty as the onscreen action unfolded. I have no problem saying that, even having read the book, I teared up watching "The Fault in Our Stars," and while I didn't directly touch on those tears in my interview with stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, I did ask them about the fan reaction.
Elgort explained just how much the positive response from the audience that night meant. "To see that after the movie, after they'd seen it, they were so pleased with the product, that was very comforting and very nice for us; to know that we had done it justice."
Of course, the flipside of so many people having read the book, and so many of those people having strong feelings about it, is that there are a lot of people out there who will enter the movie with preconceived notions. Fans of the novel will already have their own ideas of how Augustus Waters (Elgort) and Hazel Grace Lancaster (Woodley) should look and act.
That did not factor in to how Elgort and Woodley played the roles. The actress told me, "It wasn't really about other people, it was about following our own instincts and making sure we that we… brought these characters to life with a certain integrity."
John Green, the author of the novel, was on set for much of the filming and they did ask him "In the moment questions" about whether they had done something with the write tone or said a line correctly. If you watch the above video, you can also hear Elgort tell a story about making sure with Green that a kiss delivered in the Anne Frank house was done in the way the author had envisioned it.
Directed by Josh Boone, "The Fault in Our Stars" will be released on June 6th.