Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

5 Things We Learned From The Folks Behind 'The Fault In Our Stars'

We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Get your tissues ready for The Fault in Our Stars when it gets released in theaters on June 6 because it's going to be a sob-fest. The film adaptation based on the popular young-adult novel with the same title from Internet star and author John Green follows the story of two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. Hazel (played by Shailene Woodley), who needs to bring an oxygen tank wherever she goes, forms a relationship with Gus (Ansel Elgort), who has a prosthetic leg.

LAist attended an early screening of the film hosted by BuzzFeed on Monday, where the stars from the film, Woodley and Elgort, as well as Green, director Josh Boone and producer Wyck Godfrey sat down for a Q&A session afterwards. Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the event:

1. How faithful is the film adaptation to the book? "I think it's one of the best, faithful adaptations I've ever read," Green said. "I don't think it's just faithful, I think it's extraordinarily faithful, not just to the story which is kind of the less interesting and easier thing to do, but to the tone and themes of the novel which is a much more complex job. I couldn't be prouder."

He added that he was so pleased they let him be so involved with the filmmaking process—from seeing the audition tapes to being on set everyday and making video blogs from set—that it is the reason behind why he is working with the same team to make his Paper Towns book into a film.

Support for LAist comes from

2. Woodley's experience with the fans is pretty touching. "This movie, this book, it's going to be healing for so many people," Woodley said. At a Dallas fan event they all recently attended, one girl who was suffering from lymphoma asked Green for advice on how to help people like her who were hurting to see the beauty of life again. She started crying. At one point, the entire crowd of 5,000 people started chanting the girl's name, Caroline, in unison together.

"I will never forget that moment," Woodley said.

Green added: "I saw Nat Wolff cry—that's a hard thing to do." (Wolff is also starring in the movie as a teen with retinal cancer.)

3. Elgort's favorite question he keeps getting asked. Completely opposite from their roles as lovers in The Fault in Our Stars, Elgort and Woodley play brother and sister in other young-adult hit Divergent. Elgort said when he started shooting The Fault in Our Stars, they hadn't played siblings yet. His most favorite question that reporters keep asking him? "What was it like playing brother and sister?"

4. Why Green writes stories with young adults as the protagonists. "The thing I like about writing about them is that they're all doing interesting things for the first time—falling in love for the first time [and] a lot of the time grappling with grief for the first time," Green said. "They're also asking—separate from their parents as sovereign beings—questions about meaning and human life for the first time. You know, 'Is meaning constructed or derived? If it's constructed, how are we going to construct it? Why does suffering exist? Why is suffering unjustly distributed?' They ask those questions without any irony, with real intellectual enthusiasm. I think sometimes it comes across as naiveté, but I don't think it really is. I think it's really just a lack of irony, a lack of fear, the same way that they approach emotional experience with a lack of defensiveness. I find that very appealing as character traits to write about because I also want to write about that stuff."

5. How Elgort prepared for his role. "Some of the tough parts about Augustus (Gus) is his extreme confidence and pizzazz, but you didn't want to make him annoying," he said. "You want to make him likable but he still has to be over-the-top theatrical and very confident. There's this kid who I ended up spending a lot of time with, mostly because I just liked him a lot and he was really cool... He didn't actually have cancer but he lost his leg in a hunting accident and he's 17. That kid had so much confidence it was dripping off of him. I feel he became more confident after losing his leg and overcoming that. He wore shorts all the time, and he loved his prosthetic leg. His confidence was very endearing; it was super real. He wasn't obnoxious. Spending a lot of time with him was helpful because I was like, 'Oh, that's the kind of confidence Gus has.'"

Most Read