“The Fault in Our Stars” has begun production in Pittsburgh, and it’s one of the fastest page-to-screen adaptations in recent movie history. Award-winning author John Green’s runaway critical and commercial success (it topped dozens of Best of 2012 lists) was published in January 2012, and the film is scheduled to hit theaters next year. There’s a lot riding on getting this brilliant young adult novel right, because unlike the trendy genre fare, this is a story about teens falling in love while dealing with very real and unthinkable issues — terminal cancer prognoses — and there’s nary a vampire, werewolf or dystopian government in sight.
“The Fault in Our Stars,” unlike some books-to-movies that the audience may not even realize are adaptations until the credits roll, is one of those best-selling, zeitgeist-capturing works like “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games,” and yes, even that little vampire phenomenon “Twilight,” that are so embedded in readers’ minds that every casting decision is met with cries of disapproval or skepticism — at least until the author chimes in with his/her approval.
That kind of endorsement is exactly what Green felt compelled to do after it was confirmed that Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort would play Hazel Grace and Augustus, the central characters in the adaptation, and his Twitter followers responded with cries of “no way, not them.”
Why Ansel Elgort is Perfect
Weber also spoke highly of Elgort playing Augustus — who is hot and funny and ridiculously smart. Elgort, 19, is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but he graduated from New York’s prestigious LaGuardia School for the Performing Arts, had a starring role in an Off-Broadway show, and will win over any skeptics after appearing in both “Divergent” and “Carrie.”
“Ansel Elgort is not well known, but I promise America that he is going to rock Augustus,” Weber said. “He’s a brilliant young actor. And his chemistry with Shailene is just remarkable. He’s got that ‘Gus’ special quality.”
As for any awkwardness about the two playing brother and sister in the “Divergent” series and then teen lovers in “FiOS,” Weber reminds readers that if anything, their experience on “Divergent” has been like an extended rehearsal period for their tear-jerker romance.
“I think it speaks to their abilities as serious actors that they can go from brother and sister to this,” Weber said. “As actors who respect each other, they developed a rapport on that set that I know will translate over. Their chemistry is just so, so good.”
Elgort admitted to MTV News that the friendship he formed with Woodley on the Chicago “Divergent” set gave him a good in for landing the role.
“I’m sure it helped … We already were becoming best friends throughout [‘Divergent’], and then I tested in L.A. with her for that, and just the chemistry was perfect, and we’re both so excited to do it.”
Best of friends playing life-changing first loves? Hazel Grace and Augustus would approve. Okay? Okay.