This week a few sites were able to talk with the screenwriters of The Spectacular Now and also the upcoming The Fault in Our Stars, Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter. In the interview they talk Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Our Stars and the process of making The Spectacular Now with Hypable, That’s Normal, Page To Premiere, YA Fic and Flicks and YAH.
That’s Normal:We saw the movie last night and both really enjoyed it so we are excited to talk with both of you. I am more familiar with the book than Nikki is so we have different perspectives from that regard. The ending was actually my problem with the book because I don’t like to come up with my own ending. I like the imagination of the author a lot more than my own so I was really happy that you guys came up with one although yours was a lot more positive than what my mind had led to and I was just wondering what led to it and how you came up with it. Was that the direction you were given, did you have other ideas that maybe weren’t as positive?
Scott Neustadter: We did not intend it to be cut and dry positive. Our aim was for it to be a little more hopeful than the book. For those of you who don’t know the book ended on quite a bleak note. So we wanted to shoot for at least a little possibility. Now without going into a lot of detail that might spoil things, we actually don’t see the ending as all that positive. Somebody might get it together and somebody might get forgiven but also someone may not. I think we wanted everyone to leave the theater with that question in their mind..will this go better now or not..you seem to think that it did not have enough ambiguity which we apologize for because I think that was what we were hoping to achieve.
Michael Weber: Our favorite movies are the ones where you walk out of the theater talking about it so just to have those conversations in the first place is what excites us.
Page to Premiere: The two big things I noticed from the book is that Shailene’s character is not as nerdy in the film..she is just like a normal girl..and the other scene I noticed is that scene in the car..when she comes out of the car it is because of Sutter that she gets hit by the car. I was wondering if you could talk about the reason for those changes and if you did it to make it more intense.
Writers: Shailene is terrific to work with in so many ways and her perspective of this character was that this is not a mousy little girl in the corner who cannot come out of her shell. Her attitude was that this is the smartest person in this town. She knows there is more to life than high school. She knows her life is just beginning, that this world is a much larger place than just this little town and that is what our attitude was as well toward the character. We have seen this before..the shy girl who has to get a little makeover and take off her glasses. That is never what we wanted to do with this. This is a girl with big dreams who knows her life is just starting and Shailene saw it this way as well.
Hypable: You guys also wrote the screenplay for The Fault in Our Stars and I was wondering since you saws Shailene Woodley work with you’re The Spectacular Now script did you write The Fault in Our Stars script in part to play into Shailene’s strengths?
Writers: No. She was a big fan of the book and our script. It seemed like there was a false story going around that it was predetermined that she was going to be Hazel Grace but she actually did audition and beat out a couple hundred people. I’m not even sure we had met Shailene when we wrote the script for The Fault in Our Stars. It’s great. We love that we are working with her again. She’s fantastic but TFIOS script credit is obviously to an amazing book.
Hypable: As a related question to that, what do you think Shailene’s strengths are as an actress?
Neustadter: I think she only has strengths. She is somebody who can kind of do anything and wants to so it’s really exciting to be on the ground floor and watch her in these two movies because I think that everything she does from now on are really going to blow everyone away.
Weber: I marveled every day on set..she was consistently the most prepared, the most professional..just got it. It really was such a pleasure working with her every day..I couldn’t say anything negative about working with her. She was just fantastic to work with and it shows on screen. She really knew the character and was such a pro.
Page to Premiere: There are a bunch of different actors who went for the role of Sutter and eventually Miles Teller got the role. I was wondering if there were pieces of Sutter’s personality that Miles really brought and if that is why he got the role and was a perfect fit for the role
Writers: I don’t know if you have met Miles but when he walks into the room he has that Sutter quality of he is the center of the attention, he lights up the room, he will make ten new friends in a matter of minutes, he will know everything about you or remember you next time. He really has that charm that you can’t teach..it really comes naturally to him. At the same time there really is a more emotional side to him..it might take just a little longer..like in the movie..to get to that side or to see it but it’s there and that balance is crucial for the role of Sutter because a lot of people can play the kid who is partying and loved high school life but you also need to really care about this kid and what he is going through.
I think a lot of times people mistake edgy for mean and miles has an edge to him but Miles is a really sweet guy and there is no meanness there. You have to like him..even though he is not always doing the right thing for himself or other people..you like him and want to route for him and want him to get stuff together. I think Miles always carried that perfectly.
For the rest of the interview click here.
The Spectacular Now is set for limited release on August 2nd.