Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them - and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, based upon the number-one bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is sixteen years old. She alternately loves and tolerates her sometimes over-doting parents. Hazel has developed a crush on a young man, Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort), who seems equally smitten with her. As they grow closer, Hazel and Gus share their fears that accompany their health issues, as well as their love of books, including Hazel's touchstone, An Imperial Affliction. She has tried many times to get in touch with the book's reclusive author Peter Van Houten (Willem Dafoe), to no avail. When Gus manages to reach Van Houten through the author's assistant, it results, astonishingly, in an invitation to meet the writer in Amsterdam. Gus is determined to take Hazel on a journey that will answer every question she has ever had about the book that has meant so much to her.
But the answers she is looking for do not come from Peter Van Houten. They come from living a great adventure that Hazel shares with someone she is not afraid to love – who has given them both what she calls a 'little infinity – a forever within the numbered days."
John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars was published January 10, 2012 and debuted at number-one on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Green began work on The Fault in Our Stars in 2000 after serving as a student chaplain in a children's hospital, and explains: 'I wanted to write a story about young people who were like many of those I had met in the hospital – who were funny, full of life and great fun to be around.
'I also knew that I wanted The Fault in Our Stars to be a love story, but it wasn't clear to me for a long time what kind of love story it would be," he continues. 'Finally after many years of looking for my characters, I found Hazel and Gus. They have very different ideas about what constitutes a well-lived life, as well as constrasting world views, but they are brought together by their love for each other and for a book."
Green's friendship with a young woman named Esther Earl, to whom he dedicated The Fault in Our Stars, provided the direction he needed to tell the story. Though Esther is not the model for a specific character in the book, Green notes that, 'our friendship and the joy she had in her life were huge inspirations." Diagnosed with metastasized papillary thyroid cancer in 2006, Esther Grace Earl succumbed to the disease in 2010, at age 16.
Even before the novel was published, Hollywood came calling. But Green was reluctant to sell the movie rights. 'I felt the story was so personal and close to me I just couldn't imagine it being turned into a movie."
Producer Wyck Godfrey was aware of the author's reluctance. Having just produced the phenomenally successful Twilight series, based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, Godfrey and Marty Bowen, his partner at Temple Hill Entertainment, had become adept at recognizing literature that was ideal for screen adaptation. 'We had been trying to find something that would speak to the next wave of young readers who were looking for something that was very real, and The Fault in Our Stars felt like the next step for young adult fiction."
Godfrey approached Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler, and together they moved quickly to secure the movie rights. 'We got on the phone with John and convinced him we were the right people to turn the book into a film," Godfrey recalls. Their mutual love of football (soccer) helped seal the deal. 'I admitted to being a huge Liverpool fan, and as luck would have it, so was John," adds the producer.
Bonding over sports, aside, Green says that meeting Godfrey and the film's executive producer (and Temple Hill Entertainment executive) Isaac Klausner, and hearing firsthand of the two filmmakers' commitment to be faithful to the book's themes and characters, convinced the author that they were the right people to bring the story to the big screen.
'One of the things Wyck said to me during those meetings was, -You didn't write a cancer book, and we're not going to make a cancer movie,'" Green remembers. 'Wyck didn't want the film to be sentimental or about learning to be grateful for every day. Wyck wanted the film to be raw, exciting and a celebration of life. And that's exactly what I was looking for.
'I wanted the movie to be fun and something from which people would walk away feeling uplifted – that would capture the idea that a short life can be a good and rich one. Wyck and Isaac really believed those things, too."
Two of the book's legions of fans – screenwriters Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – were pleased to come aboard and adapt Green's novel. 'The truth is we were fortunate to become involved with the project before the book became a worldwide sensation," Neustadter explains. 'At the time we read it, right before its publication, it was beloved…by us. The reaction to the book since then is fantastic – we hope the movie is embraced in the same way – but it was not an issue when we were adapting, beyond our strong feelings for it."
'Our goal was to preserve as much of the book as possible while making sure it's a special cinematic experience," adds Weber. 'As with most books, the biggest challenge in that process is externalizing the internal voice of the book. John Green read our first draft and sent us the most wonderful email of support. When we work with an author of his caliber it means a lot to us that they approve of our adaptation."
The decision to have Josh Boone direct was an easy one. Godfrey was a fan of Boone's film Stuck in Love and had been tracking it since he had read the script. The film starred Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connolly and Lily Collins, but as Godfrey says, 'It's ultimately about the character of the teenage son," played by Nat Wolff, who has a leading role in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
'It's sort of autobiographical and you watch this kid come of age in a way that is funny, emotional and yet never pandering," Godfrey explains. 'It felt very real."
Boone's take on THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was certainly ambitious. His pitch to the studio and producers: 'This story is -Titanic' and cancer is the iceberg we're going to hit eventually. But the film cannot be about the iceberg; it has to be about the love story. It had to have real and special moments."
John Green was a regular presence on the set, and according to Boone, the author's input was invaluable. 'John was terrific in helping us determine whether something was working," says the director. 'He's not only a wonderful writer, he's a great audience."
Shailene Woodley takes on the role of Hazel Grace Lancaster. The young star of Divergent and The Descendants says THE FAULT IN OUR STARS will forever leave a lasting impression on her. 'It was truly one of the biggest honors of my life to be a part of this project. Both the film and novel explore the most powerful and universal themes. The story taught me that all is fleeting, that nothing is guaranteed, and that however long or short a life you live, it is the small moments that mean the most.
'I wanted the role so badly I sent John Green a long, long email about how much I loved the book, and how I had to play Hazel," Woodley continues. 'So I sat down with the studio executives and producers and said, -I'll be a P.A. or an extra, just please, please let me be a part of it!'"
Fortunately – for Woodley and the filmmakers – she was able to keep her day job, largely, says Boone, thanks to her spectacular audition. 'We read close to 150 actresses for the role, and I saw about 50 of those. Within ten or fifteen seconds of Shailene's audition, I knew she was Hazel. She held up her script pages and just her eyes were peeking over them. Shailene has these incredible, expressive green eyes, and she could do so much with them. She was emotionally available and creates such nuanced and subtle work. I don't know how she does it; it's like some kind of magic."
Woodley's views on the story, themes and characters mirrored those of her director and the producers. 'THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is a love story about two kids with cancer, but it's not about cancer," she explains. 'I was so deeply moved by Hazel and Gus, who are able to see things that a lot of us are too busy living our lives to see."
Woodley worked hard to capture Hazel's many shadings and complexities.
'Shailene understands Hazel so deeply," says Green. 'She gives a raw, honest and totally unselfconscious performance. I'm so grateful for what she's done with the character.
'Hazel is a pretty sarcastic person with a gallows sense of humor," the author continues. 'But she's always very loving and deeply concerned about the effect her illness has on the people around her, particularly on Hazel's parents. She doesn't want to be what Hazel calls a -grenade' – whose death causes pain and destruction. I mean, she's a vegetarian who says to Gus, -I want to minimize the casualties.' She possesses an under-appreciated kind of heroism."
In addition to capturing Hazel's many qualities, Woodley was tasked with conveying her physical limitations, chief of which is her need to be hooked up to a cannula – a flexible tube attached to an oxygen tank. Here, again, Woodley's research was important. 'I met with a lot of people who had been on oxygen, one of whom said it was like breathing through a straw,'" she comments.
The object of Hazel's affections, Gus, played by Ansel Elgort, is someone who believes in big, heroic gestures. He's brash and tough, but also possesses an appealing intelligence.
According to John Green, Hazel and Gus' attraction to one another stems from the fact they possess a similar wit and intelligence. 'There's a line in the Philip Roth novel The Human Stain, where a character says, -The pleasure isn't in owning the person. The pleasure is this. Having another contender in the room with you.' I think Hazel is someone who doesn't have a lot of contenders in the room with her, and when she meets Gus she realizes, -Oh, this guy can hang with me.' For Gus it's the same thing. He's used to being able to attract women, but he's never encountered someone like Hazel before."
Gus is a complicated figure: he's a former high school basketball star, and his favorite book – until meeting Hazel – is based on a videogame. At the same time, he's an intellectual who enjoys giving long, thoughtful monologues.
Ansel Elgort already had a connection with Woodley, with whom he stars – as her brother – in Divergent. Woodley notes that this previous onscreen pairing was 'a blessing for our work together in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS because we already knew each other and had this on-screen chemistry, so it was easy to connect as Hazel and Gus. Ansel's like my brother; he's so curious about the world and everything excites him."
'With love stories it's all about chemistry," adds Wyck Godfrey. 'Shailene dominated many of the actors we had tested with her, because she has that kind of intimidating strength of character. But then Ansel came in and he had this charisma, exuberance and energy that put Shailene back on her feet a little bit, which is exactly what you want her to feel."
For Elgort, Gus was exactly the part he was looking for. Like so many others, he was a fan of the novel. 'Above all, the book is full of beautiful ideas that make you think about life and love," he notes.
Tackling his most challenging role yet, Elgort credits Woodley as a source of strength. 'I've had some moments in this film that have been harder for me than any in my career, so having Shailene by my side made it a lot easier."
Gus' best friend is Isaac, who like Gus and Hazel is being treated for cancer but refuses to let it get the better of him. But unlike Gus and Hazel, Isaac's love life has taken a turn for the worse. Nat Wolff, who plays Isaac, explains: 'Isaac is a normal guy who is going through a tough situation with his cancer, which has taken one of his eyes and is about to take the other. But Isaac gives the impression that his most pressing issue is his hot girlfriend who's just dumped him.
'Isaac spends much of the story reeling from the breakup, when in reality, you know he's upset about losing his eyesight and is dealing with it by thinking about the girl who jilted him."
To research the role, Wolff spent time talking to cancer patients, one of whom was going through a situation not unlike Isaac's. 'I met a guy named Ethan, who had gone blind at eighteen and whose girlfriend had broken up with him around the same time," says Wolff. 'He didn't really blame the girl; he just thought it's really hard for anybody to understand what a cancer patient is going through. It was hard for her and some of his other friends to reach out."
Apart from Hazel's friendship with Gus and Isaac, her world is very small. Due to the restrictions placed upon her by her illness, Hazel spends much of her time with her parents, Frannie, played by Laura Dern, and Michael, played by Sam Trammell.
'Frannie and Michael are good parents who love their daughter and take really good care of her," says Green. 'But they are facing the reality of her illness. At times it makes them a little bit like -helicopter' parents, who hover over their daughter.
'At the same time, Hazel's illness allows Frannie and Michael to be freer with Hazel than most parents would be with their teenage daughters," he continues. 'They don't worry as much about some of the relatively minor things that other parents worry about, like the guys their daughters are dating, because there are bigger concerns in their lives. So that makes for an interesting dynamic between Hazel and her parents."
Laura Dern felt a strong connection with her on-screen daughter. 'When I met Shailene it was like being with family, which is rare." Dern says. 'Something in John Green's writing and in Shailene's personality made us kindred spirits. Like Hazel and Frannie, Shailene and I are a bit obsessive about eating the healthiest ways possible and making sure there are no environmental toxins around us. That infuses our characters and our friendship."
Sam Trammell also appreciated the connections between the parents and their daughter. 'Hazel is almost as much of a caretaker to her parents as they are to her," he says. 'One of the things that struck me about the story was how Hazel is primarily concerned about the people she'll be leaving when she passes, especially her parents. The most troubling thing to her is how her illness affects others, and I think that's a beautiful notion."
Oscar®-nominated actor Willem Dafoe takes on the pivotal role of enigmatic author Peter Van Houten, whose book An Imperial Affliction is a touchstone for Hazel and Gus. Godfrey describes the role as the story's 'Wizard of Oz," because 'Hazel and Gus are going on this journey to meet the wizard, and when that door opens, it's got to be someone who's scary, broken, intimidating, and yet ultimately engrossing and charming in his own way. We're so fortunate that Willem turns Van Houten into a really powerful character."
Green agrees, noting that 'Willem has been in many of my favorite movies in the last 25 years, but I've never seen him as anyone like Van Houten. It was like experiencing Peter Van Houten come to life, which is both a terrifying and wonderful thing."
Dafoe says he was drawn to the book's and the script's skillful blend of comedy and drama, 'which is a very difficult balancing act. It's moving and realistic, and skillfully avoids being maudlin and overly sentimental." He describes Van Houten as 'an author who's written a book Hazel and Gus are obsessed with. He's a recluse who has moved to Amsterdam, and he hasn't written another book since. An Imperial Affliction has been widely successful, and Van Houten has a huge group of followers, but he's very cut off from that. You later discover that this book that he wrote was very personal, and you understand why he's not the nicest person in the world."
For all the characters, it was paramount that every aspect of their lives felt authentic. Wyck Godfrey notes that, 'John Green said the reason he loves writing about teenagers is that they are not yet that cynical. In some ways they live very openly, haven't yet been become jaded, and it's a beautiful time for them. Teens are impulsive and will say and do anything. One of the most fascinating things about Gus, Hazel and Isaac is that their illnesses don't change that."
The filmmakers' insistence on verisimilitude led them to visit cancer support groups. 'When Josh Boone and I got together with the actors, the first thing we said is that we must represent this experience and situation in an honest way," Godfrey explains. 'The only way to do that was to spend time with young people who are patients and meet with the doctors treating them, as well as with the parents going through it all with them. When we got to our shooting locations in Pittsburgh, we reached out to the hospitals and the cancer centers and asked for their help with this."
The production made contact with several patients either going through treatment or in remission, many of whom became a valuable part of the production, appearing in scenes set at the story's cancer support group. 'These young people have been so important to the movie not only because they lent their talents on screen but because it's given all of us an opportunity to talk about their experiences," says Green. 'What we found is that what started off as research questions, like, -Tell me what it's like …" ended up with us talking about movies, cars, girls and whatever else. It was a joy just getting to hang out with them."
Prior to and during production, Green's book was a touchstone for everyone connected with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. 'My favorite thing about the book," Godfrey says, 'is when you put it down you feel like, -Every one of us should attack life with the energy that Hazel and Gus do.' At their core, Hazel, Gus and Isaac are experiencing many of the same things that teenagers have gone through for generations."
Adds Shailene Woodley: 'It is an honor to have brought to the big screen one of the most powerful fictional characters I've ever met. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS rewrote the way I look at each breath."
ABOUT THE CAST
SHAILENE WOODLEY (Hazel Grace Lancaster) is best known for her award-winning performance opposite George Clooney in the Academy Award®-nominated film The Descendants from writer/director Alexander Payne. Among the many accolades she received for her work in the film was a 2012 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress, the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting actress, a Golden Globe® nomination and a Critics Choice award nomination.
Last year, Woodley was seen in the critically acclaimed film The Spectacular Now starring opposite Miles Teller. The co-stars shared the Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 and Woodley was nominated for a Gotham Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress.
Her new film Divergent, based upon the bestselling novel, was released in March. Upcoming is White Bird in a Blizzard for director Gregg Araki.
Woodley began her career at the age of 5 when an agent recognized her potential and signed her on the spot. She has been working ever since. She started in commercials and then got her first TV role in the 1999 MOW "Replacing Dad," which starred two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell. Other roles include playing the lead character in the hit ABC Family series 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager" for five years, the lead in the popular WB movie 'Felicity: An American Girl Adventure," which was produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Julia Roberts, and recurring roles on 'Crossing Jordan" (as a young Jill Hennessy), 'The O.C.," and 'Jack & Bobby." She also had a lead role opposite Ann-Margret and Matthew Settle in the TV movie 'A Place Called Home."
When she is not on set Woodley spends as much time outdoors as possible thinking of ways she can help keep the environment beautiful and healthy for future generations. She has started a charitable organization called All It Takes, which is dedicated to all things that help the environment and people's lives in general. She also puts time in working with various charities that benefit children including St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.
ANSEL ELGORT (Augustus Waters) is quickly amassing an impressive body of work in a very short amount of time.
A recent graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School, Elgort starred opposite Alexis Bledel in Matt Charman's play Regrets, directed by Carolyn Cantor for Manhattan Theater Club, while finishing up his senior year of high school. His performance received rave reviews, including Bloomberg's 'Elgort is a magnetic presence destined perhaps for the multiplex" and the AP's 'Elgort radiates the brooding magnetism of James Dean, uplifted by a kind of glinting purity." After the closing of the play, Ansel was cast as the role of -Tommy Ross' in Kimberly Peirce's Carrie, opposite Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. The film was recently released in October 2013. Since wrapping Carrie, Ansel filmed opposite Kate Winslet in the Summit feature Divergent, which is based on the popular book series by Veronica Roth.
Ansel found his love for performing through dance. He was featured tap-dancing at the CFDA Awards in 2011, and as a child he performed both in The Nutcracker and Swan Lake at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet. As a singer, Ansel has worked with many composers including Jason Robert Brown, Glen Roven and Louis Andriessen.
Ansel currently resides in New York.
LAURA DERN (Frannie ) has proven to be one of the great actresses of her generation showing that she is capable of great depth and range, touching audiences and critics alike with her moving and heartfelt performances. In 2010, in celebration of their family legacy in film and television, Dern, her mother Diane Ladd and father Bruce Dern were awarded with the first ever 'Family Star Ceremony" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Dern recently received a 2013 Primetime Emmy® Award nomination in the category of 'Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series" on behalf of her performance in Season 2 of HBO's critically acclaimed original series Enlightened. Dern earned the 2012 Golden Globe Award in the 'Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy" category on behalf of her performance in Season 1, and the series also garnered a 2012 Golden Globe nomination for 'Best Television Comedy." In addition to starring in the series, Dern also served as the Executive Producer and Co-Creator alongside prolific writer and director Mike White. In this 30-minute, dark comedy Dern played -Amy Jellicoe,' who was introduced to viewers while she was in the midst of experiencing an emotional breakdown at work, which forced her to seek treatment. She came out of treatment 'enlightened" and ready to make peace with her mother, ex-husband and former employees and confront her -demons' with a newfound perspective. The show reunited her with HBO, where she starred in the 2008 Emmy award-winning ensemble film Recount. Season 1 of Enlightened premiered on October 10, 2011. The series recently concluded its second and final season on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
In September 2012, Dern was seen in The Master. The film, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, also starred Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams and centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.
In 2010, Dern was seen in a poignant role in the indie film Everything Must Go with Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall. Dern portrayed -Delilah,' an old high school classmate who assures Will Ferrell's character, -Nick' he really does have a heart when he visits her out of the blue. The film was directed by first-time director Dan Rush and based on a Raymond Carver short story. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.
In 2008, HBO's Recount revisited the controversial 2000 presidential election in Florida. Dern starred alongside Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., John Hurt, Denis Leary, Bruce McGill and Tom Wilkinson. The ensemble cast all played key players in one of the most dramatic events in U.S. history. For her performance as -Katherine Harris,' Dern earned a 2008 Golden Globe award for 'Best in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television" and was nominated for an Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award®. The film was written by Danny Strong and directed by Jay Roach.
In 2007, Dern starred in Year of the Dog alongside Molly Shannon, Peter Sarsgaard and Regina King. The movie was written and directed by Mike White.
In 2006, Dern was seen starring as three different characters in David Lynch's feature film, Inland Empire." The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was screened at the New York Film Festival and AFI Film Festival. At the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, Film Independent gave their Special Distinction Award to David Lynch and Laura Dern for their collaborative work on this movie, as well as Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. The film was shot entirely on digital video. StudioCanal co-financed the project with Lynch and longtime producing partner Mary Sweeney.
In 2005, Dern filmed the Todd Robinson directed drama Lonely Hearts, based on the 1940's true story of two homicide detectives who track a murderous pair of killers known as the Lonely Heart Killers who lured their victims through personal ads. Dern played the detective -Martha Beck' alongside John Travolta.
Also in 2005, Dern appeared in a supporting role in the Don Roos directed dark comedy, Happy Endings, an ensemble film with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Arnold, Jason Ritter and Bobby Canavale. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and served as the closing night film of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Dern also appeared with Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson in the 2005 Dreamworks film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, directed by Jane Anderson. The film told the story of how a single mother raised her ten children by entering a variety of contests in the hopes of winning the rewards.
In 2004, Dern starred as the complex and conflicted 'Terry Linden" opposite Mark Ruffalo in the feature film We Don't Live Here Anymore for Warner Bros. Independent. Warner Bros. Independent acquired the rights to the film after it received critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by John Curran and based on two short stories by Andre Dubus II (In the Bedroom), this drama examined the consequences of infidelity which enveloped two marriages. Dern's performance earned her strong critical reviews and praise from the industry and her peers and proved once again her chameleon-like ability to become the characters she portrays.
Dern appeared in a diverse selection of roles in three very different feature films in 2001. She starred alongside Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer in New Line Cinema's critically acclaimed I Am Sam, as Steve Martin's suspicious dental hygienist girlfriend in Artisan Entertainment's dark comedy, Novocaine, and opposite William H. Macy in Focus for first time director Neil Slavin. Focus was screened in competition at the Toronto Film Festival. Dern also had a cameo appearance that year in Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic Park III, which re-teamed her with director Joe Johnston and actor Sam Neill.
On television in 2001, Dern delivered a captivating performance in Showtime's Damaged Care, in which she portrayed the real-life -Dr. Linda Peeno,' an advocate and whistleblower against HMO's managed care practices. Dern also served as a producer on this project. Earlier that year, Dern appeared in Lifetime Television's Within These Walls, opposite Ellen Burstyn. Dern also starred in Showtime Television's quirky romantic comedy, Daddy and Them, a film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.
In January of 1999 the Sundance Institute presented Dern with the Piper Heidseick Award for Independent Vision (recently re-named the Sundance Institute to Independent Vision Award, following in the footsteps of previous honorees such as Nicolas Cage, Tim Robbins, Kevin Spacey, Benecio Del Toro and Julianne Moore. Each year, this award is bestowed by the Sundance Film Festival in recognition of the original voice and vision of an actor whose work reveals commitment to independent spirit and artistic merit.
In 1996, Dern starred in Miramax Films' critically acclaimed black comedy Citizen Ruth, directed by a newcomer at that time, Alexander Payne (who has since earned an Academy Award for his film, Election.) Dern portrayed a young, glue-sniffing homeless woman whose pregnancy becomes a lightning rod for both Pro-Life and Abortion Rights groups. Citizen Ruth was screened at the Montreal Film Festival where Dern was awarded 'Best Actress" for her role.
In 1993, she starred opposite Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum in Steven Spielberg's worldwide phenomenon and record-breaking box office success, Jurassic Park, the first of the trilogy about cloned dinosaurs. Later that year, she starred opposite Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner in the Warner Bros.' film A Perfect World, which Eastwood also directed.
In one of the most critically applauded performances of the year, Laura Dern received both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination in 1992 for her performance as 'Rose' in the acclaimed film Rambling Rose, directed by Martha Coolidge and co-starring her mother, Diane Ladd. Janet Maslin of The New York Times boldly stated that Dern is weirdly lovable in a 'sidesplitting performance proving herself as a terrific physical comedian." This film upholds its place in history as the first time that a mother/daughter team has earned Academy Award nominations for the same project.
In 1985, Dern won the Los Angeles Film Critics' New Generation Award for her performance in the coming-of-age story Smooth Talk and Mask. She has starred in two films for director David Lynch: Blue Velvet in 1986 and Wild at Heart, winner of the Palme d' Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, which co-starred her Nicolas Cage. Dern's other film credits include Robert Altman's Dr. T and the Women, October Sky, Mask, Fat Man and Little Boy, Haunted Summer, Teachers, Foxes and Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains.
Dern made her directorial debut with a short film called The Gift, which aired as part of Showtime's "Directed By" series in October 1994. The cast included Mary Steenburgen, Bonnie Bedelia, Isabella Rossellini, Mary Kay Place, Peter Horton and her mother, Diane Ladd.
In 1997 Dern was nominated for an Emmy Award and won an American Comedy Award for her guest-starring role in the controversial Puppy Episode of the ABC comedy, Ellen. She received a 1998 Golden Globe nomination for her role in Jane Anderson's The Baby Dance, produced by Jodie Foster's Egg Productions for Showtime. The Baby Dance was also awarded with two 1998 Peabody Awards.
Dern received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, as well as Emmy and Cable ACE nominations for her starring role in the 1992 telefilm Afterburn. Her other work on television includes Showtime's critically acclaimed film noir series, Fallen Angels, for which she received an Emmy nomination, and Showtime's original film, Down Came a Blackbird, which she also produced, opposite Vanessa Redgrave and Raul Julia.
Out of appreciation and respect for the extraordinary gift the Dern family has brought to the big and small screen, The Hollywood Entertainment Museum honored Bruce, Diane and Laura with the Hollywood Legacy Award.
Dern resides in Los Angeles with her two children.
SAM TRAMMELL (Michael) has made inroads on the New York stage while building an intriguing career in mostly independent features, Sam Trammell currently stars opposite Anna Paquin on HBO's critically acclaimed hit series True Blood.
A West Virginia native, Trammell attended Brown University where he gravitated to acting in his senior year. Following graduation, he won attention and accolades for a series of stage performances – as a compulsive gambler in his Off-Broadway debut Dealer's Choice, a quirky Yorkshire painter in My Night With Reg, and garnered rave reviews for his turn as Thomas Walsingham in the Off-Broadway play Kit Marlowe about the Elizabethan playwright. In 1998 he had a Tony®-nominated performance in the lead role of the Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's comedy Ah, Wilderness! Within months of capturing New York City audiences, Sam starred as the fast-talking ex-con Sonny Dupree, in the quirky ABC comedy-drama Maximum Bob, on John Wells' Trinity for NBC and eventually went on to star in the Showtime original series Going To California, which followed the adventures of two twenty-something slackers on a road trip across the country in a 1966 Buick.
Trammell segued to film in a supporting role as a male hustler in the Sundance-screened Beat, followed by the release of Followers, an affecting drama in which he played a would-be pledge to a fraternity who makes several decisions with tragic repercussions. He later portrayed twins in the dramatic road movie Fear Of Fiction opposite Melissa Leo, followed by a supporting role in Autumn In New York with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder and the independent dark comedy The Details with Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney. Sam went on to star as a corporate lawyer and his doppelganger, a hapless criminal, in Undermind.
Sam's recent credits include the independent films Guns, Girls and Gambling opposite Christian Slater and Gary Oldman;, Long Time Gone opposite Virginia Madsen, the thriller Deadweight and the drama White Rabbit directed Tim McCann.
NAT WOLFF (Isaac) is defining himself as one of the industry's premier young faces-to-watch. The actor/musician/composer/singer-songwriter was a co-lead in Palo Alto, directed and adapted by Gia Coppola from James Franco's collection of short stories. The film premiered at The Venice Film Festival in August 2013, and Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013. That same year, Wolff starred in the coming-of-age comedy Behaving Badly, opposite teen sensation Selena Gomez.
Wolff appeared in director Josh Boone's Stuck In Love, about an author (Greg Kinnear) who is estranged from his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly), and coping with the coming-of-age of his teen kids (Wolff and Lily Collins) over the course of one tumultuous year. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival and was purchased by Millennium Entertainment. Wolff's performance was a standout, with IndieWire naming him one of their '10 Faces to Watch."
Previously, he appeared alongside Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in the romantic comedy Admission. Other previous film credits include the rom-com New Year's Eve (2011), Toronto Film Festival comedy-drama Peace, Love and Misunderstanding opposite Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen (2011), as well as the TV movie special Mr. Troop Mom (2009).
In 2005, Wolff gained overnight recognition after starring in and providing lead vocals, instrumentation and lyrics for the musical comedy film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, which garnered the Audience Award for Family Feature Film at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Following the tremendous success of The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, Nickelodeon piloted the spin-off television series The Naked Brothers Band (2007-2009), which earned Wolff a Broadcast Music Incorporated Cable Award for composing the series' music, two Young Artists' nominations, one Kids' Choice Award nomination for Best TV Actor and one Best Band nomination at The Australian Kids Choice Awards.
Wolff's musical talents contributed to the show's two soundtrack albums and the single 'Crazy Car," which reached #23 on the Top 200 Billboard Charts. He and his brother later formed a duo band called Nat & Alex Wolff, and released their first studio album, Black Sheep, in 2011.
Wolff currently resides in New York City with his actress-mother, Polly Draper, and jazz pianist-father, Michael Wolff. His hobbies include playing basketball and writing music.
WILLEM DAFOE (Peter Van Houten), in 1979, was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless. From there, he went on to perform in over 80 films - in Hollywood (John Carter, Spider-Man, The English Patient, Finding Nemo, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Clear and Present Danger, White Sands, Mississippi Burning, Streets of Fire, American Dreamz) and in independent cinema in the U.S. (The Clearing, Animal Factory, The Boondock Saints, American Psycho) and abroad (Theo Angelopoulos' The Dust of Time, Yim Ho's Pavillion of Women, Yurek Bogayevicz's Edges of the Lord, Wim Wenders' Faraway, So Close, Nobuhiro Suwa's segment of Paris Je T'Aime, Brian Gilbert's Tom & Viv, Christian Carion's Farewell, Mr. Bean's Holiday, The Spierig Brothers' Daybreakers, Daniel Nettheim's The Hunter).
He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Fantastic Mr. Fox), Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, The Last Temptation of Chris), Spike Lee (Insid e Man), Julian Schnabel (Miral, Basquiat), Paul Schrader (Auto Focus, Light Sleeper, The Walker, Adam Resurrected), David Cronenberg (Existenz), Abel Ferrara (444: The Last Day on Earth, Go Go Tales, New Rose Hotel), David Lynch (Wild at Heart), William Friedkin (To Live and Die in LA), Werner Herzog (My Son What Have Ye Done), Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July, Platoon), Giada Colagrande (A Woman and Before It Had a Name) and Lars von Trier (Antichrist, Manderlay).
He was nominated twice for the Academy Award (Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire) and once for the Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he received an LA Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award.
Recent and upcoming films include David Leitch and Chad Stahelski's John Wick, Anton Corbjin's A Most Wanted Man, Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace and Chris Brinker's Bad Country.
Dafoe is one of the founding members of The Wooster Group, the New York based experimental theatre collective. He created and performed in all of the group's work from 1977 thru 2005, both in the U.S. and internationally. Since then, he worked with Richard Foreman in Idiot Savant at The Public Theatre (NYC) and most recently two international productions with Robert Wilson: The Life & Death of Marina Abramovic and The Old Woman opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
JOSH BOONE (Director) made his feature film debut with Stuck in Love. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, he spent his childhood, much like the characters in J. J. Abrams's Super 8, making movies on home video with friends. His father's vast collection of Beta tapes opened up a world of cinema to Boone, who was obsessing over classics like Once Upon a Time in America, Five Easy Pieces, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Godfather and Casablanca by the age of 12.
While in high school, Boone attended summer film programs at The North Carolina School for the Arts. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002 and worked as a production assistant on a number of films. Boone spent years shopping projects he had written to direct while working at a record store. Two years ago, he sat down and wrote the autobiographical Stuck in Love, which covers a year in the life of a fractured family. Boone, who describes the script as his hope chest, filled with all the things he believes in and cares about, attracted the attention of producer Judy Cairo, whom Boone sought out because of her involvement with Crazy Heart.
Next up for Boone is a feature film version of Stephen King's novel The Stand, which Boone is adapting and will direct.
He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and daughter.
SCOTT NEUSTADTER & MICHAEL H. WEBER (Screenplay) wrote the hit Fox Searchlight comedy/romance, (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film was nominated for Best Feature - Comedy at the Golden Globes and earned them an Independent Spirit Award and a Golden Satellite Award for Best Screenplay of the Year. They were also nominated for a Writers Guild Award and won the Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter Award in 2009.
They are currently working on several high profile film projects including an adaptation of Me Before You, based upon the bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes that has sold over three million copies worldwide and was nominated for Book of the Year at the 2012 Galaxy Book Awards. Among their other projects are Rules of Civility, an adaptation of Amor Towles' critically acclaimed novel for Lionsgate; Underage, about a womanizer who goes home with the wrong girl, through Montecito Pictures; Where'd You Go Bernadette, an adaptation of Maria Semple's bestselling novel for Annapurna; and Rosaline, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as told through the perspective of Romeo's -ex, which 21 Laps is producing for Universal.
The pair has collaborated since 1999 when Scott hired Michael for an internship at New York's Tribeca Productions. Their first script sold to 20th Century Fox in 2005. Since then, they have written for Sony, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox and Disney.
Neustadter hails from Margate, NJ and currently lives with his wife and child in Los Angeles. He loves sad British pop music and the movie THE GRADUATE. Weber was born in New York City and is a graduate of The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He currently lives in Manhattan while resisting the urge to move to Brooklyn.
JOHN GREEN (Author) is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize.
With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers), one of the most popular online video projects in the world. You can join the millions who follow John on Twitter (@realjohngreen) and tumblr (fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.
John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.
WYCK GODFREY (Producer) began his career as a creative executive at New Line Cinema after graduating from Princeton University in 1990 with a B.A. in English Literature. While there, he worked on such hits as The Mask, Dumb and Dumber and various films in the popular House Party and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. In 1995, he switched to Paul Schiff and Michael London's production company, Horizon Pictures, as senior vice president of production, where he oversaw their development slate and staff at 20th Century Fox.
He joined John Davis at Davis Entertainment two years later as an executive vice president, overseeing the action hit Behind Enemy Lines, directed by John Moore and starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. He was promoted to president in 2001 and later that year developed and produced the family comedy Daddy Day Care, directed by Steve Carr and starring Eddie Murphy. In 2003, he produced the summer blockbuster I, Robot, starring Will Smith and directed by Alex Proyas, and the adventure Flight of the Phoenix, his second film with director John Moore. He also developed and served as an executive producer on Alien vs. Predator, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Godfrey was a producer on When A Stranger Calls for Screen Gems, and also the 20th Century film Eragon, based on the bestselling novel. In all, he produced or executive produced eight films between 2002 and 2006.
In February of 2006, Godfrey left Davis Entertainment and partnered with his friend, former United Talent Agency partner Marty Bowen, to create their own production company - Temple Hill Entertainment. They secured a deal with New Line Cinema and immediately entered into production on their first film, The Nativity Story from director Catherine Hardwicke. The modestly budgeted Christmas-themed movie went on to gross almost $40 million domestically in December 2006. Next, the two went on to produce the romantic comedy Management, starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.
The company's big break came in 2008 when they embarked with Summit Entertainment on the production of the first film in The Twilight Saga, based on the wildly popular book series by Stephenie Meyer. The Catherine Hardwicke-directed film Twilight introduced a new pop culture sensation, opening on November 21st, 2008 to a record-breaking $69.6 million opening weekend. The $40 million film went on to gross almost $400 million worldwide and create a franchise. Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon had a similarly explosive opening when it hit theaters in November 2009 and went on to gross over $700 million worldwide. David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, opened June 30, 2010, making over $300 million in the U.S. alone and almost $700 million worldwide. Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 opened on November 18, 2011 and grossed $705 million worldwide. The final film in the franchise The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, opened on November 16, 2012 and grossed over $800 million internationally.
Since the Twilight Saga, Temple Hill has produced two successful Nicholas Sparks book adaptations, Dear John, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, and Safe Haven, starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Both films were directed by Oscar-winning director Lasse Hallstrom.
Temple Hill has also ventured into the independent world by producing Everything Must Go, written and directed by Dan Rush and starring Will Ferrell, which was released by Roadside Attractions to critical acclaim in 2010, and also the Channing Tatum starrer 10 Years, written and directed by Dear John writer Jamie Linden. Currently, the company is in production on the independent action thriller Tracers starring Taylor Lautner.
In 2012, Temple Hill entered into a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox, which led to their producing A Good Day to Die Hard starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney. The company just wrapped production on The Maze Runner based on the first book of the bestselling YA book series by James Dashner.
In all, Godfrey has produced 22 movies grossing over $5 billion dollars worldwide.
MARTY BOWEN (Producer) began his career in the UTA trainee program and worked his way up to Agent and ultimately Partner, representing clients including Charlie Kaufman, Jeff Schaffer, Bernie Mac, James Gandolfini and Wesley Snipes.
Bowen left his post as UTA Partner and Agent to pursue a career in producing in the spring of 2006. Bowen partnered with veteran producer Wyck Godfrey, to create their own production company, Temple Hill Entertainment. They secured a deal with New Line Cinema and immediately entered into production on their first film, The Nativity Story, from director Catherine Hardwicke. They also went on to produce the Sydney Kimmel Entertainment-financed, romantic comedy, Management, starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival and was released theatrically in May 2009.
Most notably, Temple Hill Entertainment produced the Catherine Hardwicke-directed fantasy love story, Twilight, based on the best-selling series of books by Stephanie Meyer. This film, which would be the first in a wildly successful franchise, was an enormous hit, grossing almost $400 million worldwide. This was followed by Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which went on to gross over $700 million worldwide. The third installment to the franchise, David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, had similar financial success. Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 opened in November, 2011 and grossed $700 million, while the final film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, opened in November, 2012 and reached over $700 million internationally in just three weeks.
In addition to The Twilight Saga, Temple Hill Entertainment has produced Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell; Lasse Hallstrom's Dear John, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, which is based on the best-selling novel from Nicholas Sparks; Ten Year, written and directed by Dear John writer Jamie Linden, and starring Channing Tatum and Justin Long; and Safe Haven, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough.
In 2011, Temple Hill Entertainment expanded into television with their first show, Revenge, created by Mike Kelly and starring Emily Van Camp and Madeleine Stowe. The drama is in its third season, and it airs on Sundays at 9 PM on ABC.
Recently Temple Hill wrapped production on the parkour action film Tracers, directed by Daniel Benmayor and starring Taylor Lautner.
MICHELE IMPERATO STABILE (Executive Producer) is the Executive Producer of 20th Century Fox's The Heat. Imperato served as producer on Universal Pictures and Chris Meledandri's Hop, as well as Summit Entertainment's Twilight.
Imperato moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1988, starting her career as a production assistant. She became a DGA member in 1991 and has worked as a producer, executive producer, co-producer, associate producer and unit production manager . Throughout her career Imperato has worked with many notable directors, writers and cast including but not limited to Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Ridley Scott, Brian De Palma and Harold Ramis.
Imperato's extensive credits include Birdcage, Primary Colors, Wolf, Postcards from the Edge, Honeymoon in Vegas, GI Jane, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield.
Michele and her husband Billy live on a farm in Hidden Valley with their six horses and six dogs. She is an avid equestrian rider and one day hopes to open a sanctuary for homeless animals.
ISAAC KLAUSNER (Executive Producer) is an executive at the Los Angeles-based production company Temple Hill Entertainment. He has worked on pictures such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Dear John.
BEN RICHARDSON (Director of Photography) is best known for his work on the Oscar-nominated Beasts of The Southern Wild, which earned him Best Cinematography prizes at both the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards.
His subsequent feature project, Drinking Buddies – directed by Joe Swanberg and starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston – premiered at SXSW 2013, and was released by Magnolia Pictures.
This summer Ben shot Cut Bank, directed by Matt Shakman and with a remarkable ensemble cast including John Malkovich, Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bruce Dern and Billy Bob Thornton.
Ben co-directed and shot Seed, which won Best Animation at Slamdance 2010, and his earlier short cinematography credits include the multi-award-winning Glory at Sea, and The Hunter and The Swan Discuss Their Meeting, a Sundance 2011 official selection.
Originally from the UK, Ben lived for five years in Prague, and now resides in Brooklyn.
MOLLY HUGHES (Production Designer) started work in the art department in 1998 on films such as The Legend of Bagger Vance, directed by Robert Redford, and the Stanley Tucci directed Joe Gould's Secret. She spent a decade as Art Director, most notably in London on six of the Harry Potter franchise films with Production Designer Stuart Craig. Hughes also served as Art Director on Steven Spielberg's Warhorse, and Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy.
Hughes designed Two Night Stand for director Max Nichols and Flynn Pictures, which was her feature film debut as Production Designer. She followed that with Amy Berg's Every Secret Thing, for Likely Story and producer, Frances McDormand, and then designed a short film for the Canon Imagination Project with director Georgina Chapman.
ROBB SULLIVAN (Editor) edited director Josh Boone's film Stuck in Love. His credits as editor also include A Beer Tale, London Boulevard, The New Daughter, Possession, The Burrowers, and Rise: Blood Hunter. Sullivan served in various editorial capacities on A Good Year, Unfaithful, Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and October Sky, among other pictures.
MIKE MOGIS & NATHANIEL WALCOTT (Music) are members of the band Bright Eyes, and film composers. Walcott is a composer, arranger, keyboard player, and trumpet player. He also plays in Conor Oberst's Mystic Valley Band, and with singer/songwriter M. Ward. He has also toured with the likes of the James Mercer and Danger Mouse-led group Broken Bells, Rilo Kiley, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In the studio, he has contributed arrangements to artists such as Eleni Mandell, Harper Simon, Maria Taylor, Pete Yorn, Cursive, The Faint, Rilo Kiley, Rachael Yamagata, and The Concretes.
Highlights of his time with Bright Eyes over the years include numerous tours of North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and performances at such venues as Radio City Music Hall and London's Royal Albert Hall. In 2007 Walcott wrote the arrangements for the band's appearance at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has, alongside fellow Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis, composed scores for two feature-length films: Lovely Still, starring cinematic luminaries Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau, and, most recently, the Josh Boone written and directed Stuck in Love, starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Logan Lerman, Nat Wolff and Kristen Bell.
Mogis is a Nebraskan producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist who, along with his brother A.J. Mogis, founded Presto! Recording Studios (previously known as Dead Space Recording and, earlier, Whoopass Recording).
He has engineered, produced, and performed in many of the releases on the Saddle Creek label, including records by Bright Eyes, The Faint, Rilo Kiley, Cursive, The Good Life, Lullaby for the Working Class, Jenny Lewis, Tilly and the Wall and Elizabeth & The Catapult. He is also producing an album for Rachael Yamagata.
Mogis was also a member of both Lullaby for the Working Class and We'd Rather Be Flying, generally playing guitar, although he also plays mandolin, banjo, pedal steel, glockenspiel, and hammered dulcimer among other instruments. He recently worked with Lightspeed Champion, aka Devonte Hynes, former member of Test Icicles, on his debut album Falling Off the Lavender Bridge. He is currently a member of the supergroup Monsters of Folk.
MARY CLAIRE HANNAN (Costume Designer) is an auteur director's darling, with the ability to translate filmmakers' perspectives into stylish, daring, trendy or dramatic wardrobes. She began her career working for Quentin Tarantino and has gone on to design for filmmakers with singular visions, including Sean Penn, Michael Cuesta and Lisa Cholodenko. In addition to designing costumes for David Ayer's most recent film, Sabotage, Hannan constructed the wardrobe for the director's lauded drama End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. She designed Cholodenko's last Oscar-nominated feature The Kids Are All Right, which starred Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Hannan's costumes for the film were displayed at the Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, 2011.
In 2007, actor/director Penn tapped Hannan to design costumes for his film Into the Wild, staring Emile Hirsch. The film earned two Academy Award nominations alongside dozens of other awards and honors; Hannan received a Costume Designers Guild nomination for Excellence in Costume Design for Film – Contemporary.
Hannan began her design career as a costume supervisor on Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. She rose through the ranks with Tarantino, as the assistant costume designer on Pulp Fiction and went on to head the department for Jackie Brown.