Teresa Palmer looks Ben Walker dead in the eye and utters, “You bother me.” They both break into laughter. Walker, a Juilliard grad, admits his constant on-set singing is the butt of her jokes.
Their characters in “The Choice,” out this weekend, fall in love over a similar banter, repeating the film’s signature line to a frenzy of lust over the course of a decade. The Nicolas Sparks adaptation naturally leads to tragedy and some tough conversations (and choices), ones this writer will leave for our critic to decipher the depth of on a later page.
Palmer, 29, has plenty ahead of her, including Terrence Malick's "Knight of Cups" and the star-studded "Triple 9," while Walker, 33, is naturally headed back to Broadway as Patrick Bateman in Duncan Sheik’s musical adaptation of “American Psycho.” For now the actors are enjoying a Tuesday morning attempting to cast themselves in their own season of “True Detective.”
Did you guys read Nicholas Sparks before the film?
TP:No, but I’ve seen all the movies. His formula works so well, and I think people love it is because they feel connected to the characters as though they could be those characters, because he writes them with such a humanity. They're not these perfect child's version of human beings. They have flaws. The way we get together in this movie is that, I'm in a relationship. There's infidelity, it's messy. It gets dark at points, and that's life. I love that he doesn't try and sugarcoat it.
BW:Yeah. There's a reason they call it falling in love. It's about tripping and slapping your face on the ground. It's not like, “I’ve settled down calmly into love.” It’s, “I fell.”
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Were you big “The Notebook” fans?
TP:“The Notebook” was everything for me. It truly was. I had the stationary. I had the Noah and Allie posters on my wall. I still, like two years ago, was listening to the soundtrack on my way to auditions. Like for more emotional ones. I would get in the zone by listening to “The Notebook” music.
Did you listen to anything before you had to go on set for this film?
BW:I like music but mostly to drown out the voices in my head.
TP:I don’t have a particular song I listen to, but I’m more of a podcast girl.
Have you started this season of Serial?
TP: I’m obsessed. And they’ve now changed it from every Thursday to every other Thursday. I was waiting for the next Serial episode to come out, — [to Ben] Oh my god, it’s so good. Get ready to freak out, it’s so good. —Anyway, you’re on the edge of seat waiting for the episode to come out and then on Thursday it was just [host Sarah Koening] saying, “Sorry guys, we’re actually going to go to every other week now.”
BW:That’s cold. That’s the bait and switch right there.
Do you have any big Valentine’s Day plans?
BW:Very excited about seeing “The Choice” this Valentine’s Day.
Are you really going to go?
BW:No, I’d never see my own movie on Valentine’s Day…
TP:I totally am. I’m going on Valentine’s Day and I’ve already organized it with people.
BW:Well I didn’t get invited, so whatever.
TP:Yeah, sorry, you live in New York.
BW:Well we’re pretty much like a Netflix and chill kind of a couple. Best Valentine’s Day: I cook, we do Netflix on the couch, pajamas, snuggle town.
But what are you watching on Netflix?
TP:I’m not just on Netflix, because I do like “The Affair” on Showtime. It’s the best show ever. If you haven't seen it, you're going to binge watch the first two seasons. I'm now patiently waiting for season three. P.S. I have to say, Pacey from “Dawson's Creek” is super hot in the show. I never thought I would say that, but he's really good.
BW:And “Luther,” I’m telling you now. You have to start “Luther.”
TP:OK I’m going to write this down. Is it serial killer-y? Because I like dark.
BW:This is right up your alley. This is what Brits do that the Americans just don’t have the stomach for. It’s dark, too dark. It’s like a British True Detective.
You guys would be a good “True Detective” pair.
BW:That's exactly what we should do.
TP:Oh my God. Totally. It's happening.
BW:They're like boring, but they secretly are in love. She's the detective and I'm like the guy who's following her around who's got a chip on his shoulder.
TP:See, he's a feminist too.
BW:He trusts his gut, but she actually knows the procedure.
BW:He's shooting from the hip and she's like, “You're suspended. Give me that badge.”
TP:Done. Let's pitch it right now. HBO and it's done.
BW:And we've both got mysterious tattoos.
TP:Yeah and we're actually not really humans. Maybe we're from another planet.
It's a twist!
BW:Cut. Why aren't you writing this down?