As "The Fault In Our Stars" premiere inches closer and closer, the cast is gearing up to show fans the movie version of the beloved young adult book by John Green. Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern and Sam Trammell joined Green and director Josh Boone in New York City this weekend for a press conference in which they discussed the making of the most-anticipated films of the year.
So, how did Woodley and Elgort land the coveted roles of teenage cancer patients and star-crossed lovers, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters?
"I saw a lot of people, but when Shailene did her audition, the first thing I thought maybe after a minute-and-a-half was, 'Why did I make this so hard on myself.' She was absolutely, hands down, [Hazel]," Boone said during the press conference at the Crosby Street Hotel on May 4. "As soon as she left the room it was like, 'Alright get on the phone, let's do it.'" As for Elgort, Boone said the 20-year-old's "purity" sold him. "There are so many different elements [to Gus] -- the intelligence, the sensitivity, the aloofness. But it's also a little bit of goofiness and to have one guy who could embody all that, I didn't know if we'd ever find him."
Boone explained that the fact that Woodley and Elgort play brother and sister in the "Divergent" films wasn't something he was too keen on at first, but, in the end, that connection ended up making the bond between Hazel and Gus that much stronger.
"It wasn't that weird because I've always sort of wondered what it'd be like kissing my brother," Woodley joked when asked about what it was like making the transition from onscreen siblings to onscreen love interests.
"There's something really beautiful about working with someone and working with them again and again and again because the more you get to know somebody on a personal level, the more free you feel artistically," Woodley continued. "I think that if Ansel and I hadn't known each other from 'Divergent,' our relationship in this movie would not be what it is because we didn't have to go through the rehearsal phase of getting to know one another and feeling comfortable with one another. There would be times when we'd disagree, and if we didn't know each other, we might not say we disagree, because there's that politeness. We were very open with one another when something wasn't going the way we envisioned. It completely lent to these characters."
"I guess everything is meant to be, and thank God we were brother and sister," she added as Elgort shook his head in agreement. "And now we get to spend the next four years together, which is pretty freakin' rad."
As for how Elgort is dealing with the chaos that surrounds a book-turned-movie, the Hollywood newcomer insists he just wants to make the fans happy, and he thinks Boone's adaptation will.
"We surprised the first-ever fan screening of "The Fault In Our Stars' last night [May 3] and when we walked in the theater, they all started freaking out and screaming and they were so happy, and they wouldn't have done that if the movie was bad," Elgort said to some laughter. "If the movie is bad, they would throw tomatoes at us or throw eggs at us [nice joke, Ansel!] and they would not be screaming. So it was such a relief, such a reward, to walk in there and see them embrace us and be so happy and I could feel their relief too, that something that they were so protective over has become a movie that I think is very, very good."
"The Fault In Our Stars" hits theaters June 6.