Our friends at IamDivergent.com were able to attend a press day yesterday for ‘The Spectacular Now’ in Los Angeles and got a chance to sit down with Miles Teller and Shailene woodley! Check out the interview below:
Question: (To Miles) I love the fact that we got to see you for 21 and over, we have no alcohol here but this is a movie about alcohol but in different context. Do we have a theme developing here?
Miles: I mean, Yes. Somebody asked me if I was worried about being type casted as “The Party Guy” but I think that’s a part of this movie. I don’t think it’s necessarily surrounded about it. But I do, I like to partake, drink and stuff. If we were at a bar right now, me and my buddies would be the ones–
Shailene: Sipping Pineapple Juice!
Miles: Yeah, getting it going.
Question: What is it for each of you that attracted you to the film and had you read the book at some point before?
Shailene: He read the book, I didn’t read the book because Aimee was depicted very differently in the book, and the way that I chose to play her in the movie was sort of a very different choice. So I didn’t read the books because I didn’t think it applied to the movie we were making. But you read the book (to Miles).
Miles: Yeah I read the book. I just thought it was important for me. The book is completely from Sutter’s point of view. I just thought people would ask me so I thought it’d be good. In the books Sutter’s a little different. He always says things like “Fabuloso” and is known as the “Sutterman” and just certain things that I wanted to carry over into the movie, just to give like a wink to people who had read the book but I couldn’t say “fabuloso” with a straight face. And I would try, I would talk to people like “Oh man, so fabuloso” and just give them a look to see if it went okay and every time I’d get “what’d you just say?”.
Question: In the movie, Sutter goes and looks at comic books after he finds out that Aimee likes them, have you guys ever done that in real life? Like done the research about on something you’re not that into for a person that you liked?
Miles: Yeah, I play instruments and there was a girl and her favorite song was Tiny Dancer so I learned that on guitar and I played it for her.
Miles: Just this girl…
Shailene: It was actually me.
Question: Is there anything that the two of you did to help develop your relationship so it would be believable and go with the natural flow?
Miles: I think Shailene and I are very present actors and when you get a scene, it’s a shared scene, and I don’t know what Shailene’s gonna do, I kinda know what I’m gonna do, but at the same time, I’m not gonna force her to do anything. At the end of the day, you’re talking to a person, so if she was doing something different, I just respond to it. And I think both of us really enjoy, not knowing where the scene was going to go necessarily, and just really being like present, and in the moment. So we match up well in that regard. Because some actors will be like ”hey when you do that, it really messes me up” or “can you just not do that right there” and will really try to direct you but we didn’t have that.
Shailene: Yeah, we’re very lucky we just naturally have that rhythm with each other.
Question: You guys have such a great romantic chemistry in the Spectacular Now, it’s going to be a little different in Divergent–
Miles: Well maybe, the third book’s not out yet, I think Peter and Tris will have a child and then that’s where the next book picks up.
Shailene: I think the child’s name is Allegiant.
Question: So how do you think your romantic chemistry here will translate in Divergent?
Shailene: I think it’ll seem like we don’t like each other but I think there will always be some sexual tension.
Miles: And I just echo that sentiment.
No but it does allow for–even though our characters might not be getting along, as actors we can still work together and try to get the best scene down. But I was raised by two older sisters man. And I love them, but at the same time they used to beat me up all the time. My older sister was kind of a bully to me, so all those emotions were there. I channeled it to Tris.
Question: Coming off from 21 and over and this film, what do you look for, in terms of a script?
Miles: Alcohol. (laughs) If it doesn’t have a drink, I don’t do it. I don’t know, I guess last year was interesting. I certainly wasn’t looking to play a high schooler in the time I did this. It was last year, I did four films last year and I played two post college and one where I was early 20′s. But I did it because it was the best script. And I always want to do the best thing available and for me I think I have a high interest in comedy, at the same time I just did two comedies so… I’m going to do something in September that is going to be more dramatic but to me it’s just whatever hits me at that time. I did some comedy stuff recently and I don’t really care to make somebody laugh for this next one. And that’ll be nice.
Question: You’ve got a great relationship with Brie Larson in the role of Cassidy. How do you approach the two different dynamics with your two women?
Miles: Well blondes are more fun.
Shailene: Ummm… I’m pretty sure you chose me. And so.
Miles: I like the tone in your voice when you said that. She might be more fun but… I got you. Bri’s a really really good actress, obviously. And she brought something completely different to the role of Cassidy that I thought. Like if you read the book, she always talks about Cassidy like being “beautifully fat” but she was also like that girl you know. She was like the blonde and I don’t know Bri just kinda filled her out and gave her a strong head on her shoulders. I mean, Cassidy dumps me and moves on from me. And Bri’s a very strong woman. Even in the way she stands, she stands with a lot of power so. Every person in this movie is a great person to work with.
Question: And of course you have Kylie Chandler as your father and Jennifer Jason as your mother…
Miles: Yeah Kyle is awesome. I had never seen Friday Night Lights so I didn’t know what to expect. And they just said, “Youtube” coach. And it comes up and I watch it and I was like, oh my gosh this guy is just the most All-American guy you want to go to war for. And he just really embodies all those qualities. But when I met him on set, he was not he was just pretty much this dude. And not saying he wasn’t nice or respectful he was just–that character I know really scared him that he wasn’t gonna be able to do it. Because it is so different than anything he’s ever played but he was like… He was messing up his blocking, he was forgetting lines, he was shaky. And I was just like man, this dude is unprofessional. I don’t even know if I thought that, it was just weird watching him the whole time. Because before that it was just me and Shailene and then you bring in Kyle, such a well-trained, solid actor, and we were just sitting there watching. At one point he’s talking with what sounds like a lisp. And Shailene and I were like, does he have fake teeth in or something?
Shailene: He’s a genius.
Question: There’s one part where your character, Shailene, says that “opposites attract”. Is that a philosophy that you have?
Shailene: No. I mean, I think it’s different with a lot of different people. I mean, we are complete opposites but we attract to each other so… Yeah. But no, I think every relationship brings something new to the table. That’s a line from Spectacular Now… You’re able to learn something new within each dynamic and I think that that’s important to carry with you sort of throughout life.
Question: And what did you each learn new through these performances?
Shailene: I’d never done a movie where I was able to play as much with another actor. I mean, in Descendants Alexander gave free reign and we just played the whole time but I only had a few scenes with a guy my age in that movie so I never had a movie where I had somebody where our relationship allowed for that sort of playful existence and that was really fun. It was really exciting.
Miles: Really at the end of it I had grown so much as an actor. I’d done this movie “Get a Job” right before. Like literally right before. It was the first movie that I was the lead in. And I remember being a bit uncomfortable about it. Because there were all these actors around me with Anna Kendrick, Bryan Cranston, actors that had been much more established. But I was like this main character. And I felt sheepish. And I didn’t own up to the fact that it was my movie. I didn’t really know what to do with that and it felt maybe, kind of like in borrowed territory. By the end of Spectacular Now, since I really am in every scene in that movie, I really felt that, you’re shooting 25 days, 3 scenes a day and it’s just go. There’s not any time to shy away. I called it like bootcamp. But then I realized, if you are the lead in a film, carry that with a lot of pride and you do need to be like a leader and it’s your story. Own it.
Question: When you guys were shooting the movie, did you guys know how well it was gonna do?
Shailene: No, we definitely didn’t.
Miles: It felt so natural and so real that it felt like we were making something very good. Being on set is such a wave of emotion, because you do a great scene and you feel so pumped but then you do this other scene and it’s not working and then you’re having to deal with that. It’s always kind of back and forth so I think now that we’ve seen it we feel that it’s pretty special.
Shailene: We are very proud of this movie because movies like this aren’t really being made and if they are, they’re usually dealing with adults and it’s like Alexander Payne is sort of making movies like that. It’s really exciting having a coming of age film representing this generation that resembles a John Hughes film or an old Cameron Crowe film.
Miles: You don’t usually see a vampire like Sutter walk around during the day. Usually his kind of people are only around at night.