John Green talked to The Hollywood Reporter about his reluctance to sell rights to his novel, how Shailene Woodley's performance won him over and why a hit won't make him go Hollywood.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
On his first viewing experience with his wife, Sarah:
"We were both crying, and I think I've seen my wife cry five times in the 10 years that we've been together," he says. "I knew that was a good sign."
On Shai's portrayal of Hazel:
He acknowledges the fears of some fans that Woodley couldn't pull off the look of cancer-stricken Hazel, the beloved lead character, but says he knew she was the right choice on the first day of filming. "When I saw Shai walk out of Hazel's house with the cannula [breathing tube] trailing her oxygen tank, I immediately felt, 'She's got this,' " he says.
On Esther and her influence:
"I had to come to a philosophical place where I believed that short lives could also be rich lives," he says. In Earl, "I saw more of the complex story that happens outside of the hospital … the richness and the fullness in her life."
On his frustrations with Hollywood's portrayals of teens:
"It looks more like a John Hughes movie than it is. There's a lot more fluidity [in real life]. I think a lot more of their social lives happen online or in sort of a cross space between off-space and online," he says. "Hollywood doesn't treat teenagers as intelligent as they are, and then when Hollywood does make a movie that kind of acknowledges the complexity and intelligence of teenagers, it does really well," he says, ticking off Easy A and Mean Girls as favorite examples.
Check out the rest of this great interview with John at The Hollywood Reporter.