It's not hyperbole to say 17-year-old Mia Hall faces a life-or-death decision in Gayle Forman's 2009 novel "If I Stay." To wit, following a tragic car accident that claims the lives of her entire family and leaves her in a coma, Mia must decide whether to live or die. (Heady stuff, indeed.)
A big-screen adaptation has been in the works since Summit Entertainment optioned the young-adult tome in 2009, with Catherine Hardwicke originally slated to direct and Dakota Fanning set to star. The project eventually changed hands, landing at MGM with new director R.J. Cutler and lead Chloe Grace Moretz.
With Moretz in place, the search for her character's rock-n-roll love interest, Adam, began in earnest. "Snow White and the Huntsman" actor Jamie Blackley eventually landed the role.
Moretz recently stopped by MTV News and explained how Blackley charmed producers.
"It was so great. He just totally shined. We did an audition process with four to five boys," she recalled. "I don't know, just the way he walked in and the way he did the scene. He was just Adam. He's sexy and funny and sweet, and you can tell he's this rocker guy and at the same time he's got a heart. You're just like, 'Oh Jamie.' And he has an accent, even though he's not going to have an accent in the movie, but girls love accents. I'm like, 'Hey, you wanna read me a book? You want to sing a song for me?' "
Production begins in the coming weeks, and Moretz has been busy prepping for the role of the young musician.
"I'm learning to play the cello, which is absolutely amazing," she said. "Just to work with R.J. Cutler. He's such a brilliant director, and he's so in-depth and so interesting to work with. It's kind of crazy to take on a role like this. It's an MGM movie. It's a big movie. It's going to be great. It's a huge novel by Gayle Forman."
With a huge novel comes a huge fan base — a responsibility Moretz doesn't take lightly.
"The readers are very serious about me and Adam, and they really need that palpable relationship, and for me, I just want to go in there and create that relationship with Jamie," she said. "It's that young love, and you have to capture that feeling."