A little over a year ago I got an email that made jump out of my seat. I was invited to North Carolina to spend a day on the set of the new Nicholas Sparks movie, The Choice. I was able to interview the principal cast and Nicholas Sparks about the upcoming movie and their roles. The set was absolutely gorgeous, something out of a fairy tale and the cast was incredible. So nice and down to earth. Teresa Palmer is an amazing mother and the kind of person everyone wants as a friend. Benjamin Walker might literally be the most charming person I have ever met. They are both vibrant people and I can't wait to see them bring Gabby and Travis and their love story to life on the big screen. Here is a little bit about each actor and the character they play.
Fun Facts about Teresa Palmer (Gabby Holland) from the set of The Choice
- Teresa was a Nicholas Sparks fan before being cast in the movie. "I was a huge fan of The Notebook. I was 18 years old when the movie came out. I was like the perfect age. And I just really fell in love with the story. I feel in love with how he writes female characters."
- Her son is in the movie too! If you watch you can see her little boy play her on screen son in a flash back!
- Her son stayed with her on set. She practices attachment parenting and felt strongly he needed to be with her every day. The cast and crew were very flexible about her breastfeeding and she was able to feed him whenever she needed!
- She was back at work in May after having her son on February 17th and spending time with him is her highest priority. "It’s funny, you don’t spend a lot of time between action and cut. Just a few minutes between action and cut, and I’ll finish and hang out with my son. That was really important to me because I didn’t want to miss anything. It’s such a precious time."
- She uses a standard American accent rather than her typical Australian accent in the film to contrast with all of the other southern accent.
- She was very attracted to the strength in her character Gabby Holland. "She’s very effervescent, she’s bright, hyper intelligent. She’s a medical student. She’s in a pretty stable relationship with a doctor boyfriend. She’s a woman who realizes that she has come to a crossroads in her life and she has to make a choice. And she meets this ruggedly handsome, very rambunctious man who lives right next door to her. She meets him and her breath is taken away. He’s this bright light and he breathes life back into her and makes her realize that she wasn’t on the path that was being true to her spirit. So she gets romantically involved with her next door neighbor and her world opens up and it’s incredibly romantic and sweet in many ways. It speaks to life’s choices."
- She and her husband have a two week rule that they can't go more than two weeks without seeing each other. Her husband often came in to see her while she was working on the movie.
Fun Facts about Tom Welling (Dr. Ryan McCarthy) from the set of The Choice
- Tom Welling was attracted to the project because of the choices the characters had to make. "Life is about making choices and sometimes the hardest choices can lead to the most happiness. Although my character goes through a choice that isn’t all that great in the moment it actually leads him later in life to have an even better life for himself. I’m trying to be as vague as possible so you’ll still watch it.
Fun Facts about Alexandra Daddario (Monica) from the set of The Choice
- Alexandra Daddario read a lot as a child but always looks at the script first when deciding to do a film adapation to see if the character works in the film.
"I always look at the script first because that’s what I’m going to be dealing with and I’m a huge reader. I read a lot as a kid. I think that’s one of the reasons I got into acting because I love stories. I still read a lot, not as much as when I was younger. I love books. They don’t work as a format in film format. There’s too many plot points, too many complexities to them and screenplays have a different structure. I think that a screenplay can be adapted, still including the most important parts of the book but they’re going to be slightly different"
- She hopes fans won't have a strong reaction to the additions of her character in the movie, unlike fans did with the Percy Jackson series. "This character is too minor of a character to be, I would hope bother fans of the book. I’m speaking more from experience with the Percy Jackson movies where there was a much bigger reaction that one of the lead characters had a different hair color from what was written in the book. So I think that there was such a huge uproar about that because she was one of the lead characters, and the female lead who all these girls were so invested in and I think that sort of was why there was more of a reaction. I would hope that fans would understand why there’s a slight deviance from the book for this. I think that Nicholas Sparks being involved, everything he wanted came through in this movie, will come through in this movie."
- She is a huge romantic, due in part to all the Disney movies she watched as a kid.
- She would love to be in a period piece. " I would love to do a period piece like that, sort of like that girl rebelling against the societal norms and time and that kind of thing. Also you get to wear those dresses."
Fun Facts about Benjamin Walker (Travis) from the set of The Choice
- He feels like he shares some similarities to his character. "I think his this joy for life that I aspire to have. He loves his friends. Loves his land and his family, and so do I."
- This is his first romantic movie.
- He loves working with kids and Teresa Palmer because of her natural chemistry.
- He wants fans of the book to experience something different with the movie than what they experienced with the book. "Because it’s a movie it will illuminate something different about the book. That they’re not just seeing a documentary about the book or an exact recreation of of the book. What we’re trying to do is stay more true to the spirit of the book than what breed the dog was. If that upsets someone, I’m sorry, but there’s a lot of other things to like."
- He thinks fall in love is the height of the human experience. "Love’s weird. I heard a therapist call it the perfect human psychosis. You go absolutely crazy, There’s no explanation how it happens or why it happens, you just meet someone and they make you stupid. That’s the best thing that can happen to you. It’s the height of human experience. Just as long as you know you’re crazy."
- He loves that this story, The Choice, shows the third act, what happens after the couple falls in love. "I think that loves’ after that transition when you build family and start to imitate each other. Forgive me for saying it, you have to choose them everyday. I think that’s love and unique to this story."
- He says the most romantic thing someone can do is choose to be there day after day. "I guess the most romantic thing would be to have an 11th year and a 12th year and keep going past that. I think that’s romantic. You have this relationship that maybe exists in one context and then life happens, like in the movie, children, illness, and something that I think is romantic is you work through it and come out on the other side. That’s the point of it. Flowers are nice too. Wouldn’t you rather someone help you than give you chocolate? You can get chocolate on your own. It’s still nice. You gotta pitch in. Everyone helps each other."
Fun Facts about Maggie Grace (Stephanie) from the set of The Choice
- Her sister had her baby while she was filming The Choice and she was able to leave filming to be with her sister at the birth.
- She was attracted to the character Stephanie because of her earthy sensibility.
- She hopes the fans are happy with the changes from the book to the movie. " I hope the fans of the book are happy with the subtle changes. There are definitely some differences but I feel like that some of that …. clearly our lovely author is on set today and is behind things"
- She feels like shooting in North Carolina is so beautiful, it hardly feels like a job.
- She has fallen in love with her first cast mate on the set of The Choice, Bolt, one of the dog's on set. "We’re very bonded. Even his trainer feels like he has to train him away from me and towards Ben because he just prefers me to Ben, partially because the dog’s name is Alpha and I’m ….. He’s the cutest, and any free moment I get I’m curled up with Bolt. He’s the perfect dog. I want to pet nap him. He’s half Aussie Shepherd and half St. Bernard."
Are you as excited to see the movie as I am?