The Fault in Our Stars author John Green is responding to concerns fans have voiced over the casting of actor Ansel Elgort for the role of Gus.
Green took to his Tumblr to share his thoughts after one of his followers submitted an anonymous question in which they said they were “disappointed” about the casting choices. Elgort was cast as Gus on Friday.
“Shailene Woodley is a brilliant actress and Golden Globe nominee,” Green said first. “I cannot think of any 18-year-old actress who has received the kind of critical acclaim that she has (she also won an Independent Spirit Award).”
He continued by talking about why Woodley auditioned for the role in the first place. According to him, she tried for the role “not because she needs the part (I mean, she’s in the new Spider Man movie, for God’s sakes) but because she loves the book. Her depths of understanding were immediately obvious in the audition and for me there could be no one else to play Hazel. (There were a bunch of really good auditions, but Shailene just understood Hazel as I imagined her.)”
Green isn’t worried about the looks of the stars, which is always one of the first complaints we see when they’re cast. “Hollywood can fix that stuff. (Remember when Nicole Kidman became Virginia Woolf?) I’m concerned with whether she can embody the voice and experience and life of Hazel. She can.”
He also responded to concerns about Elgort. “Ansel Elgort is also a huge fan of TFiOS (it is, in fact, his favorite book). He was a high school basketball player who also happens to be a very intellectual guy. Most importantly, when he auditioned, he became Augustus. Watching him audition with Shailene, he was just Gus and she was just Hazel. He understood Gus, and clearly had a very deep and thoughtful relationship with the book. Honestly, I’m a bit confused as to how you can dislike an actor whose work you have definitionally never seen, since his first movie isn’t out yet.”
Finally, Green addressed questions over Elgort and Woodley playing brother and sister in Divergent and how that will affect their lead role chemistry in The Fault in Our Stars. “I guess I can understand that, but they’re actors. They can play different roles. They’ll look different and act different and be different. I mean, no one watched Silver Linings Playbook and thought, “When did Katniss move to the suburbs of Philadelphia?”
“If the movie works, you’ll sit down in the theater and you won’t say, ‘Oh look it’s Shailene Woodley,’ or, ‘Oh, look, it’s Tris from Divergent.’ You’ll say, “Holy wow Hazel Grace.'”
Does what Green have to say quell any of your concerns? Our personal stance on the matter is that no one should worry about it until we see the movie.
Fan art via Tumblr