Anyone who's read "The Fault in Our Stars," the YA book sensation that's become one of this summer's most anticipated movie releases, probably had strong feelings about who should be cast to play protagonist Hazel in the inevitable film adaptation. Now, "Fault" author John Green has revealed that he was among those determined to see the right actress in the role, and that he loves filmmakers' ultimate selection of Shailene Woodley for the part.
In a lengthy interview with Vulture, Green mentioned was able to see Woodley's audition tape, with producers promising the author that he was "going to love it." Green admitted that he was skeptical of such high praise, but after watching the actress, he was indeed blown away -- and wanted to make sure Woodley got the part no matter what.
"[I]t was perfect," he said. "It was Hazel. She sounded like Hazel. She had the cadence that I imagined in my head as I was writing Hazel, which seemed impossible to me. And that continued the entire time we were on set. Every sentence that she said sounded like Hazel to me."
The author also revealed that, in a strange coincidence, Woodley had actually emailed him about a year prior to auditioning for the movie, advocating to land the role, establishing a connection to the character that Green said clearly carried over to the big screen.
She clearly had a deep, innate understanding of this person. The way she breathed. The places she paused. And you know, Hazel is an uncommonly empathetic young person. She's able to imagine what her parents must be feeling. And I think that came naturally for Shailene. I think that's a big part of why ... I mean, she's a genius, but it's also the empathy. And I called [the producers] back, and I said, "Is there anything I can do to help make sure she takes the part?" Like, "Should I call her? Who do I need to talk to, to close this deal?"
As for how the "Fault" movie keeps the book's tear-jerking vibe intact, Green told Vulture that he was on set for most of production, and teared up during every take he watched.
"I got a lot of sh-t, because every time they called, 'Cut!' they would look over at me, and I would be crying," he said. "But it was sad! It was moving! It was beautiful! They did a great job. I hope you like it."
"The Fault in Our Stars" opens on June 6.