“I’ve done my life backwards; it’s really bizarre,” Emma mused. “Most of my friends are just about to start working, and I’ve had a job for the past 10 years. It’s strange, because most people spend that decade figuring themselves out and figuring out what they like and what they don’t like—just making mistakes in the privacy of their own teenage bedrooms. And I am kind of doing everything in a different way, so sometimes it’s a bit isolating.”
For co-star Ezra, the 1999 novel upon which the film is based was an integral part of his awkward, formative years: “I felt like I had certain pieces of art that were almost body armor… It was the only protection or salvation available—these few films, few books, few albums—and ’Perks’ was very much one of them,” he said.
It was this often cult-like devotion to Stephen Chbosky’s source material, that Emma says made her nervous to tackle the coming-of-age tale. “Whatever people might think about it, whatever criticisms they have, all three of us were so vulnerable—all three of us really gave it everything we could and everything we had, and all three of us went into the movie terrified and very much aware of what this book means to people,” she said.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is open now in New York and Los Angeles theaters, and will expand to select theaters on Friday.
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