My Interview with John Green, Author of The Fault in Our Stars (in Theaters June 6)

On Friday, June 6, author John Green’s New York Times Best Selling book The Fault in Our Stars will open in theaters across the country.

The Fault in Our Stars Movie Posters TFIOS

About The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them — and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, based upon the number-one bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

 

Starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey

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Our Anticipation for This Movie

My three daughters first read The Fault in Our Stars (known as TFIOS to fans) last year, and each cried in their turn. I was vaguely familiar with this popular Young Adult novel, but hadn’t read it until just recently. Now I understand the tears! I also understand why fans quote the book so often – The Fault in Our Stars is powerfully, beautifully written. It’s a wonderful story, and we cannot wait to see the movie when it comes to theaters June 6!

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities The Fault in Our Stars TFIOS
The Fault in Our Stars TFIOS movie collage

My Interview with Author John Green

I recently joined 9 other bloggers in a phone interview with John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars. It was amazing Author John Green The Fault in Our Stars TFIOSopportunity to hear about the book-to-film process, and his personal feelings about the project. Here are some excerpts from the time he spent chatting with us.

Is the film faithful to the text of the book?
John Green: Mike Weber and Scott Neustadter, who wrote the script, have such a deep love for the book. They were really passionate about the book. They wanted to preserve not just the tone and themes of the book but as much of the actual words of the book as possible, and I think they did an amazing job.

Almost every line of dialogue is from the book. If anything, I was like, “Guys, don’t feel so married to the book.” But, they were. They were also very conscious of what lines were important to readers, thanks to the gifts of Tumblr and Twitter and everything else. They saw what people were responding to, making art about, and it was important to them to keep it in.

Was there anything in the book, like a character or a scene, that the film adaptation made you see in a different light?
John Green: That’s a great question. There was a lot, really.

When I was writing the book, I saw the world through Hazel’s eyes. I didn’t imagine the world through Gus’ eyes or the world through Hazel’s parents’ eyes as much. I mean, I guess I connected a lot to Hazel’s dad, so maybe there was some empathy there. But, I was trying to stay narrowly in Hazel’s mind and seeing the world as Hazel would see it.

And so, seeing the movie, I thought very differently about Augustus and about Hazel’s parents, and even about Van Houten. Each of those actors brings to their performance a realness, a sense that they are the center of their own story, just as anyone is.

At what point during the process of making The Fault in Our Stars into a movie did you allow yourself to think, “This might really happen. This is going to really happen.” [note: all of John Green’s books have actually been optioned for film, but this is the first to make it to the screen. He’s has some not-so-positive experiences with the process in the past.]
John Green: When they hired Josh to direct it, people said to me, “They don’t hire a director unless they’re going to make the movie.” But I still–I didn’t believe that, because people in Hollywood say a lot of things. To be honest with you, I flew out to [the set in] Pittsburgh thinking that they might pull the plug at the last second.

I remember asking the producer of the movie, “What is technically the commencement of principal photography,” because that’s when it gets very, very, very expensive not to make the movie. And he was like, “We’re going to make the movie. It starts filming tomorrow.” And I was like, “But, this is not technically the commencement of principal photography?” And he was like, “No, that’s tomorrow.” And I was like, “Well, we’ll see.”

So, I mean, I did not let myself believe that it was going to happen until I was on set that morning, that first morning. I saw Hazel and her parents walk out of their house together and the cameras were rolling, and then I knew. And that was a great.

It was a very special moment. It was almost like they designed that whole first day to be metaphorically resonant for me, to have them walking out of this house that looked so much like the Hazel’s house of my imagination and these people who looked so much like I’d dreamt of. It was like having a hallucination but that happens two or three years after you think the thing. It was very, very weird.

John Green was very gracious with his time and answers, and it was a great experience to talk with him!

Your turn: have you read The Fault in Our Stars? Will you be seeing the movie in theaters?