John Green: Page to screen, part two - Metro US

John Green: Page to screen, part two

“Paper Towns” is only the second movie made from a novel by John Green, so it’s understandable that the “Fault in Our Stars” author is still not the most savvy person around set. It’s not really a problem, except when his enthusiasm can ruin the audio for a pivotal love scene.

“I was so excited because [actor] Justice [Smith] put this line back in, ‘I always think about imagining Santa complexly when I’m eating my Lucky Charms with my black Santa spoon.’ I know that I wrote that line, but I also find it very funny. And I found it particularly funny when Justice was saying it,” Green explains. “I was laughing the whole time they were making out, jumping up and down and yelping. But I thought I was far enough away that my joy would not be audible. But it turns out that yeah, they had to fix the audio. They have to take out my joy.”

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That sense of audible joy is justifiable, given the breakout success Green has found in film following similar success with his books. Last year’s “Fault in Our Stars” was a certified hit, and he and the team behind it are hoping for a repeat with “Paper Towns.” But don’t expect a retread.

“This isn’t ‘Fault in Our Stars 2: Electric Boogaloo.’ It’s clearly a very different film, and it has a very different tone and a different world,” Green says. “We all knew that we were making a very different kind of movie from ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’ So I didn’t feel pressure, I just felt excitement. I was much more nervous the first time around than this time around because I knew I trusted everyone involved in the project. So for me it’s just been joyful, the whole process, which is really lucky. Because authors generally do not feel that way about the movie adaptations of their books.”

And onscreen, at least one familiar face from the previous film takes center stage, with “Fault in Our Stars” supporting player Nat Wolff stepping into the lead for “Paper Towns.” It’s something Green would totally take credit for if he could. “I’m not a movie executive, I don’t know how to make movies,” Green says. “But pretty much every day during the ‘Fault in Our Stars’ shoot I would lean forward to the producers and say, ‘You know what you guys should do? You should make a movie of ‘Paper Towns.’ And you know who should play Q? Nat Wolff. Nat Wolff should play Q. Have you guys thought about Nat Wolff?’ And, yeah, it worked.”

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter:@nedrick

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