Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley have been busy promoting their upcoming movie The Spectacular Now! They recently got interviewed by Up & Comers. In the interview they talk The Spectacular Now, Comic Con and more.
Check out the interview below:
You just got back from Comic Con, any crazy sights?
Shailene Woodley: I felt sort of gipped on the Comic Con thing, because we saw the inside of hotels rooms and then had to leave. I was like, “Where are all the Star Wars people?’”
Miles Teller: I walked around.
SW: He got to see… he sent me pictures of cool stuff.
MT: I thought it would be weirder. There’s a lot of “Walking Dead”, a lot of zombies, but I thought it would be… I’ve been to hippie festivals, music festivals. I’ve seen weirder people at that.
SW: I saw R2 D2. That was pretty cool.
MT: The [Divergent] footage was great, though. Being in a hall with 6,000 people showing first footage and all these people love this book so much, that was pretty great. That was the first time I’d seen any of it.
So what made you decide to get in this movie?
MT: Well, I think for me, it was just hands down one of the best scripts that I’d ever read, and very rarely I think in this business, at a young age, as we are, to be afforded the opportunity to be in films that you want to be in is rare. So, I was just happy to be a part of it. To work with James. I saw “Smashed” so I wanted to work with James.
You guys share a nice, natural free-loving kind of chemistry. Can you talk about the first time you guys met each other and how that worked out?
SW: We met at a restaurant. I expected Miles to be quiet and introverted like he was in “Rabbit Hole”, and he was not. He was like “I just got back from Vegas, man. I danced for five days straight. I wore an astronaut’s suit. It was great!” [laughs] And I was like “Whoa, who is this new person? I’m so excited to meet him!” We just naturally sort of have a good rhythm together so we’re very lucky.
MT: I think Shailene and I don’t take ourselves too seriously. I mean, obviously we have our passions and our convictions and this and that, but she can poke fun at me and I can tell her she eats bugs and it’s just fun. It’s just open.
I read earlier that [Miles] was drinking Gatorade and [Shailene] was drinking Chinese herbal supplements before your kissing scenes.
SW: Oh well see, there’s the situation. I would take my little Chinese herbs and he’d be like “Shai, you just ate dirt!” And I’d say, “Miles you just ate Twizzlers.”
MT: It was funny because I’d never seen her take these herbal vitamins, whatever it was. But we’re about to do this kissing scene and she’s shoveling this crap in her mouth. I’m like, okay. Then I kiss her and I’m like, this tastes very musty. I was like, “Shai, can you just not do that before we’re about to do a kissing scene.” She said, “You just drank a Gatorade and you taste like processed.” So, that was kind of how it went.
James was saying he was with you guys when you met at the restaurant and he was kind of watching you and seeing how you interacted with each other. That must be the weirdest thing because it’s almost like when you do a chemistry read, that you know you’re being watched but you have to try to be natural.
MT: He did a good job of watching then, because he was eating French fries the whole time.
SW: [laughs] Yeah, exactly. It was super casual. It’s not always like that, you know. Meeting Theo for “Divergent” was different, and meeting pretty much any other guy that I’ve ever worked with has been different. We just sort of naturally had this brother-sister like, “Yo buddy, what’s up?”
MT: And there was no real pressure around. It wasn’t like I had to convince Shai, or I had to convince these studio heads. It was really just, “Hey let’s meet for coffee” because I think we’d already gotten it at that point, right?
SW: Yeah. Well, you were… it was still the deciding factor.
MT: Yeah, Shailene had it for sure. But I- they were on the fence.
SW: No, no, no, you had it.
MT: Oh, okay.
Shailene, this is your first time showing much skin…
MT: Wait till you see her other films. [laughter] Rowr.
What was your mindset?
SW: It was actually both Miles and I’s first time having to do an intimate on camera scene, and it was lovely. He’s such a gentleman and he would hold the sheet up for me. There were only a few people in the room so it felt very safe and it felt very comfortable and it felt like a very… one of the things that I talked to James about before we started filming is I said, ‘listen I noticed there’s a sex scene in this movie and nothing bugs me more than watching two actors have sex on screen and have it be over-exaggerated with you know, like a Top Gun…what’s that song that plays in the Top Gun sex scene?
Take My Breath Away.
MT: That is awesome. [laughter]
SW: No, I mean James showed us that example when we did that table thing as sort of a hilarious joke. It’s different in that movie, but I don’t like seeing sex scenes in films that are so exaggerated, especially with teenagers because that’s just never realistic. And I also don’t like seeing sex scenes where a girl has her bra on and he has his boxers on, and you’re like wait I’m confused, how does this work? So we wanted it to be as real as possible. We also didn’t want it feel exploitative. We wanted it to feel natural and comfortable for our characters but not comfortable for the audience, and I think we achieved that.
Playing off that a little bit, you both have these tremendous emotional scenes, where you have to really go down there and get those emotions and feelings up. How do you switch that off? Is it just like a switch?
MT: It is…I mean, we shot the last scene of this movie very early on, right?
SW: Second day.
MT: Yeah, the second day we shot the last scene of the movie, and we obviously hadn’t done any of the stuff in between. And the end of the movie takes place a couple months after the…that scene takes place a couple months after the last time that we see each other, so that was difficult. But for the stuff with my dad, you know who that character is and what he means to you. When he’s slowly not becoming that character, he’s actually everything but the man that you think he’s going to be, you feel for kids like that because I know a lot of my buddies in high school whose parents were divorced. They’d always tell me, “Man, it’s so awesome your dad is always there.” But yeah, sometimes you have to do, like the time you meet, the time you break up, a happy moment right after a sad moment. Hopefully you have some time to get there but that’s your job as an actor and you need to be able to do it.
Is there anything you do to decompress from that?
MT: [mimes taking a drink] [laughter] Take the edge off. No, some things you have to build up, like that car accident scene. That was tough because the car is stopped and I think at the time it’s like three o’clock in the morning. On “action” somebody would shake the car and we were supposed to imagine that we’d just spun out and you’d have to get to that state of where you’ve almost just gotten into a head-on collision. That took a couple scenes to build up. I remember for Shailene, James wanted her at a certain spot… it’s really the place she gets to in the movie, but I think Shai was kind of resisting it. She didn’t want to come off as over the top. In your head, when you haven’t gone through a car accident you’re like “no, this is way too much emotion, I wouldn’t be doing that” but I love it in the movie when she’s at that state, I think that’s really well done.
Can you talk about the teen experience, how that related to the characters you played?
SW: I think that one of the most special things about this movie is, it’s an accurate portrayal of what’s it like to be an adolescent in high school. It doesn’t try and hide the fact that alcohol exists but it also doesn’t make alcohol a character in the movie. It’s just something that’s there. Which is how high school is, whether people want to accept the fact that that’s what their kids are doing or not, it is what they’re doing, or it’s what their friends are doing. And also, the drinking and driving aspect, the teenagers not talking to their parents, the parents not being around because they’re trying to work to feed their children and at the same time, their kids are off living lives that they don’t really know exist. So I think that, for me at least, it was a big honor to be a part of a film that I feel – looking at all the coming-of-age films – I feel most accurately represents what my high school experience was like, in a different way. I had a very different family and different circumstances. But just the truth of it and the way that they were dressed and the lack of makeup and the lack of glamour and over-exaggerated story lines or themes. I think it’s really special and I really hope people get to go see it.
MT: Yeah. And then for me, I was 25 when I filmed it, and even though high school doesn’t feel that long ago, at the same time I’d went to college in New York by myself, I was living away from my parents. Then there’s a couple years after college. I think your 20’s is such an interesting time because you’re in between marriage and this kind of selfish person that you were in college. But then once they throw a backpack on you and you’re walking around a high school hallway, it just all kind of comes flooding back so…
SW: [sings] It’s all coming back to you now…
MT: [chimes in] back to you now…na na na na. I don’t know any words to any freaking songs.
SW: Me either.
Before this, was there a favorite coming-of-age movie?
SW: I liked three. I liked “The Goonies,” “Dirty Dancing, “ and “Big”. [to Miles] “Big” was your #1.
MT: What was the one that I just said though?
MT: [laughing] Footloose, is that what you said? I’ve never seen the original.
SW: What?! Come off it!
MT: I did the play in high school. In the play you get to learn about Willard’s mom and he’s much deeper. But what was the film I was talking about?
MT: No, dawg.
SW: Oh, “Sandlot”.
SW: What do you mean, which one?
MT: I thought of another one that I…oh yeah it was “Sandlot”!
Shailene, are you going to cut your hair for “The Fault in Our Stars”?
SW: I am! I tried on wigs yesterday to see what length we want to do it and I’m gonna cut it in two weeks!