Nerdfighters: Your beloved Hazel Grace Lancaster is in good hands.
While on the publicity trail for her other upcoming young-adult adaptation, “The Spectacular Now” (which co-stars her “Divergent” cast mate Miles Teller), Shailene Woodley opened up to MTV News about the process of landing the lead in “The Fault in Our Stars.” And let’s just say there wasn’t much she wouldn’t have done to support this story.
“Oh my god. Oh, god, it’s so good. It’s so good,” Shailene said dreamily. “I read the script a year ago and basically said no matter what I have to do, I will do anything to be in this movie, even if I audition for Hazel and they’re like, ’No, you’re not her,’ I just really want to be an extra because I’m so passionate about it. So I read the book and fought really, really hard for it. And, finally, when they cast the director, I auditioned for him, and I guess he liked what I did because I got it.”
Of course, Hazel is only one-half of the adorable couple dreamed up by author John Green, and that’s when the search for fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters began, ultimately leading to another of Shailene’s “Divergent” co-stars (Ansel Elgort) landing the role.
“We searched—they searched a long time for Augustus,” Shailene said. “I had met Ansel on ’Divergent,’ and we had shot one scene together, and I had heard he was going to come in to do a chemistry read. There were a few guys I was reading with. I was like, Ansel’s a great actor, but he’s playing my brother. It’s never going to work out. He went into that room and rocked it so hard that he left and all our jaws were dropped, and I was like, it has to be him. There’s no other choice. He’s got that perfect balance of being quirky and young and innocent and naive, as well as sort of being this old soul that you don’t expect in such a fresh, young little nugget. That’s my favorite word for him.”
The two are now in the process of preparing for the shoot, which will begin later this summer.
“The really nice thing about ’Fault’ is that the script is so perfect and the book is so perfect that we really don’t have to do anything but learn our lines, show up and be pros about listening to each other,” Shailene said. “If we listen to each other—actively listen to each other—I think everything is just going to naturally unfold, but the tricky thing about this movie is that there is this component called cancer involved. And so my character has to carry around an oxygen tank and breathe through a cannula, and his character has a prosthetic leg. So we’ve done some hospital visits, and we’re going to continue doing those. I think the important thing is to get the physicality down of what it means to not be able to breathe and have fluid in your lungs, so we don’t have to think about it. Because I think the beauty of this film is that it’s a cancer movie that’s not about cancer. So if the cancer component takes the lead, then we’ve done something wrong.”