A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of being one of the first to see The Fault In Our Stars, and even got to sit down and catch up with the cast afterward. Check it out here, as Brianna Wiest talks with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort about the profundities of the movie, how the experienced changed them, what the world doesn’t know about them, and finally, in light of the final, heartbreaking scenes of the film: how they’d like to be remembered.
Thought Catalog: The book and film touched on so many profundities, on life, on death, on love, on infinity — how has this experience changed you, and your perception of these things?
Shailene Woodley: You know it’s just a great reminder that all is fleeting and nothing’s guaranteed, and just to be so grateful for every moment.
Ansel Elgort: Yeah, I think the most important thing is appreciate the moment you have in front of you — because I guess you never know when there’s going to be a fault in our stars, and something will happen for no reason, and you can’t help it.
TC: And how do you want to be remembered?
SW: I just want to make sure that every single day I am showing up in a way that’s full of integrity and compassion and love. And as far as wanting to be remembered — it’s more about what impression did I make, was I fully myself today and was I fully able to bring love to the table, because it’s really all about love.
AE: I hope that I inspire people to embrace their creative side, I feel like often times in society, people aren’t fortunate where they’re born into families where creativity is frowned upon, and I think that human beings are very creative people, and I want to be remembered as an inspiration for creativity.
We also caught up with Sam Trammell and Laura Dern (Mr. and Mrs. Lancaster) on playing parents, the heartache of loss, and the beauty of the pain they got to portray. Check it out here:
Thought Catalog: Had you read the book prior to being approached for the film?
Laura Dern: No, we read the book after having been asked to be part of the movie. It was the extraordinary experience everybody who reads it gets to share: any age, male or female, you fall in love with John Green’s words, with his irreverence, his characters’, his deep, profound humanity.
Sam Trammell: Yeah, and the existential themes that are a part of it — such a great book. After I read the script, I read it and then I got to meet John, and he was there for almost the whole shoot — as kind of a supporter and a cheerleader — and that was great.
TC: What aspect of the book, which of the profound themes, resonated with you most: and how did you bring that to your character?
ST: God, there are so many. One of the things that I loved that he says, that my character says, is that the universe wants to be noticed, and it rewards those who notice it. And then, who am I to say that my recognition of the universe is temporary? Which is so heavy, I’m still absorbing that — it’s like [John’s] a philosopher. I love the idea that the universe is a being that wants to be seen and rewards those who see it. That to me is very zen — being in the moment, noticing the little things around you.
LD: What’s the quote? Pain demands to be felt. That concept was really profound, to get to be a part of a film that not only doesn’t shy away from, but requires you, to feel the fearlessness of loving, knowing that we lose love also, and that we shouldn’t shy away from it culturally, and talking about it with our children, our lovers, our friends. That, as well, is very beautiful.
TC: Tell me about the challenge of doing justice to a parent losing a child, you always hear: there’s no greater pain. How did you get to that place to be able to portray it?
ST: Gosh, well, we both have kids, and I have two little boys, and they break my heart every day. Not because of things like them crying but more like things they say. For me, just having that in my life has given me a softness that was very helpful for me in this film, to go to those certain places. We were kind of surrounded by the disease too. We had a lot of kids with cancer on set — grief is such a real thing, death is such a real thing, you don’t need too much mental preparation, it was all right there.
TC: And you mentioned that you worked closely with John on set…?
LD: Very closely. He was just going to be there for a week, but he just kept staying. He was our true advocate, our true partner, made us feel safe to try to honor him, and he made us feel that we made his characters come alive.
ST: He was so supportive, and that made us so happy.
LD: Yeah, and we had dinner every night, and became a family.