Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort cover EW: lovely, awkward, or too Twilight-y?

Shailene Woodley

Last week, CB discussed The Fault in our Stars, which stars everyone’s favorite tree hugger, Shailene Woodley, and Ansel Elgort. The film’s trailer promises a movie that will end in audience tears. I haven’t read the book, but Shailene Woodley plays young Hazel, who suffers from thyroid cancer that has metastasized to her lungs. The film does omit some key scenes from the book and has been tweaked to appeal to a YA romance audience.

Shailene and Ansel cover to promote the movie. I’ll talk about the shoot in a minute, but the feature includes a long article about how sad the movie is and how the actors coped during filming. The author of the original book, John Green, “crie[d] all the time” during prediction. He cried during filming. He cried during editing. You get the picture. Director John Boone admitted, “This set basically has no testosterone whatsoever.” I excerpted a bit of the EW article and more from a new Hollywood Reporter interview. The most interesting thing I learned from the EW piece is that Shailene went nuts for the script and book. She wrote Green a 13,000 word letter to try and convince him she should play Hazel. Green admitted the tactic “turned me off,” but Shailene came though in auditions. Here are some excerpts:

Shailene’s “intentions were pure” for this role: “It changed my life and I realized, after the book, two things: one, I was incredibly depressed that Augustus Waters did not exist in real life, and two, I found myself totally perplexed and completely moved by the fact that one of my new greatest role models was a fictional character, Hazel. I didn’t want to do this movie as an actor, like, ‘Look at me cry!’ It was more that the book moved me so much, and whoseever hands it ended up falling into were the guardians of this book, and it was our duty to protect it, nourish it and make sure that when it grew up into a cinematic piece, it still retained the integrity that the book had. It definitely was one of the biggest honors of my life to be part of this film — and I don’t say that lightly.”

She ate popcorn every night after filming: “It’s just a weird ritual and it’s the best thing on the planet”) and went straight to sleep. “You’re exhausted when you cry.”

How this movie is different: “I want to point out, when you watch young adult films — quote on quote, and I hate that term — but when you watch young adult films, intimate scenes are treated either — they’re sugarcoated and really sweet and what not, nothing really happens and you don’t see any passion, or they’re treated in an exploitative nature … [this] was treated with such integrity…teenagers are so smart and so passionate and have so much to offer! Love is the same, regardless of whether it’s two fifteen-year-olds or two eighty-year-olds, and I think that scene is a great definition of what that means, because there is passion and tenderness, but there is also deep intimacy.”

[From Entertainment Weekly & Hollywood Reporter]

I’m sensing a little bit of shade for Twilight in that last quote from Shailene. That’s funny because this EW shoot is very … Twilight-y. It looks almost exactly like Vanity Fair’s 2008 Twilight shoot. This similarities between the two shoots (I’ve included a few old VF shots) are striking, and this is no accident. The filmmakers want to reel in the same audience who loved Twilight because that means big bucks. I wonder if Shailene, who considers Twilight to be “so toxic,” knew what this shoot symbolized. Unlike Kristen Stewart and Sparkles, I don’t think Shailene and Ansel were able to pull off chemistry in these photos.

CB talked about how these two played brother and sister in Divergent. They definitely look like brother and sister to me, which makes this photoshoot feel weird. The swing poses are so awkward too. There’s a shot where Ansel is kissing Shailene, and the composition of the photo is lovely. But his lips are blue! Do you think this shoot was misguided, or will it work to reel in some Twilight dollars?

Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley

Robert Pattinson

Photos courtesy of & Vanity Fair

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63 Responses to “Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort cover EW: lovely, awkward, or too Twilight-y?”

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  1. Dani2 says:

    In that photo where she’s sitting on his lap, it looks like he’s floating in mid-air. And Ansel doesn’t even look like himself in that cover photo, Shailene looks really cute in some of these shots but the overall response from me is “meh”. They look too much like siblings to me.

  2. Marnie says:

    They look like brother and sister. It’s just plain creepy

  3. Anname says:

    Always love those early Rob and Kristen photos. That was back when it was socially acceptable to enjoy Twilight. But they were so fun back then.
    I agree though, the new ones don’t have the same magic.

  4. als says:

    Shailene is simply too tall for this kind of photoshoot. Tall girls don’t give off the ‘need for protection’ vibe in photos. It’s a matter of physics. She will also never be Twilighty for the same reason, Kristen Stewart had a certain air of vulnerability, of damaged.

  5. Aurie says:

    In the first picture he looks so pretty….I didn’t realize what full lips he has.

    I can see this film not doing as well as they’re trying to hype it up to be. Divergent also didn’t do as well as the studio & people like Scott Mendelson tried to say it did, though unfortunately it did well enough for 3 sequels. I do have a feeling Divergent is the kind of movie that will get lower box office receipts by the time it gets to movie 3 and that movie 4 might be a total bomb.

    But who knows.

  6. Marianne says:

    It is a little twilight-esque, but Im sure thats what the producers are aiming for. They probably want that audience going to see this movie.

  7. Hannah says:

    That 2nd photo has one of the weirdest poses I’ve ever seen… What is that? What are they doing?

  8. LadyRay says:

    I’m just genuinely confused by this photoshoot. I thought he was a girl in the cover.

  9. Little M says:

    They look sooo, brother and sister. Yikes!

    I cannot believe it but I am loving those Twighligh pictures, black clothes and all. Maybe it is because I recently read and watched Speak and Kristen was just great as Melinda Sordino.

    I’ve heard the book is pretty good but I have too much cancer in my family to enjoy anything cancer related in fiction. And, to be honest, they do not give me the vibe I get from real kids in hospitals. They look to happy with themselves.

  10. m says:

    The lack of chemistry between them just makes these pictures painfully awkward, especially the picture on the swing.

  11. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    He’s prettier than she is, I think. She has a certain gangly, coltish beauty and lovely skin, but I think her beauty is rooted in her youth and will not necessarily translate into lifelong beauty. Paired with her grating personality, I don’t know if she’ll be around in seven years.

    • I think she’s cute, but I see nothing special–not her personality or talent–to make her stand out all that much. At this point, to me, she’s that annoying chick who’s trying SO HARD to make it seem like she doesn’t want to be a superstar, that she’s this hippie, indie actress who got lucky–when she’s been hustling her butt off to become a star.

      • tracy says:

        I am dreading the next big round of interviews. I do find her to be an interesting person, in very small doses, but it gets OLD quick. I haven’t seen anything so far to distinguish her, acting wise. I have found her acting average, but her over sharing of her personal life, is annoying. And makes me not want to see her movies. I Iwould love for her to relax and not tell us everything, leave a little mystery.

  12. Lubyanka says:

    Green cried during prediction? I think that should have been production. Perhaps it’s a case of spellcheck attack? :)

    As for the pictures, I find them bland and they’ve had way too much Photoshop work done to them. As others have said, they look like relatives and that’s kind of unsettling. The quotes are oozing with the pretentiousness that seems par for the course with Woodley.

  13. HHazel says:

    I might be mistaken but I think the twilight producers are making this one as well? So maybe that’s why it is a little twilight-y.

  14. jess says:

    Funny how every franchise/ teen movie try to copy twilights success . Twilight was a fluke and as much as people like to make fun of Rob and kristen they did have chemistry,i think thats what drew audiences. The pics look just like twilight. Vanity fair did the same thing with the hunger games. They had almost exact pics that the cast of twilight had. As for the movie it sounds alot like a walk to remember with mandy moore.

  15. Tig says:

    They both are very attractive, but this shoot is so blah. The VF photo shoot was so amazing- the entire T’light cast looked great.

    Just saw a pic of the latest foray into the “let’s try to hit the T’light audience”- “Fallen”. Would love to read Shaillene’s take on that one!

  16. Chinoiserie says:

    Shailene looks pretty and the photos look too. But there is not chemistry and the poses look strange.

  17. Venus says:

    1. Why is her bra showing in all these photos?

    2. Her character has thyroid cancer that’s spread to her lungs. I had surgery 6 months ago for thyroid cancer and have a scar on my neck. Surgery is the primary treatment for this disease — even if it had spread to her lungs, she would have her thyroid taken out. In any movie photos I’ve seen, she has an oxygen tube up her nose but her neck is lovely and unblemished. It’s too bad they’re not interested in making this just a wee bit more realistic. Shalene could carry off a scar with aplomb.

    (3. Most thyroid cancer is highly curable and highly survivable, something like 99% for papillary, the most common type. I know I’m taking this too seriously, but it’s too close to home for me.)

    • Antonym says:

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

      My sis also had thyroid cancer, she’s had two surgeries and the scarring is very minimal. I’m not saying that to defend the movie (your assessment is spot on), but to say that your own scar will fade in time. Even right after the first round, her scar wasn’t nearly as noticeable as my sis thought it was.

      • Venus says:

        Thanks for the good wishes! I’m sorry to hear that your sister went through this as well. My scar looks screamingly obvious to me, but other people really don’t seem to see it. I had a great surgeon, which helps. Best wishes to your sis — I hope this is all behind her now.

      • Antonym says:

        Thank you, it looks like she’s finally in the clear!

        Just be confident beautiful you and no one will notice the scar (besides, I heard scars are sexy. That’s gotta work for girls too)

    • WickedSteppMom says:

      SPOILER ALERT: In the book, not only do they mention that Hazel was diagnosed w/Stage IV thyroid cancer when she was 13, but also that she had a radical neck dissection, and then radiation.

      Also, I’ve had surgery on my neck-I have a VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) for my epilepsy, and they used a tool that’s actually called a “tunneling tool” to dig from my neck incision down to the generator just below my collarbone. I’m SUPER-pale, and the incision looked bad for quite a while…now, you’d pretty much have to be either a vampire or my husband to see it, since no one else should be that close to my neck. There are a lot of great scar treatment products out there; good luck! I never realized how much the thyroid affects us until I started medication for mine last month.

    • lillypilly17 says:

      I know this is sort of a random comment, but it’s good to (virtually) meet other people who have gone through the same thing as me! I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer late last year and had my thyroid out in about 3 months ago. I have a lovely little pink scar across my neck that is slowly but surely healing. I’m supposed to go for iodine radiation treatment sometime in the next few weeks – finding out that it’s metastasized to my lungs is my worst nightmare (although the chances of this are very small – knock on wood!).

      I’m just a bit sad about the movie now. I loved the book (I read it before I was diagnosed) and now I think it will just hit too close to home…

      • Venus says:

        Hi there, lillypilly17! Nice to meet you too, a funny little group on Celebitchy! I had the radioactive iodine in December, and it wasn’t bad at all. Just make a list of things you can eat before you start the low-iodine diet — that was really the worst part. (Because there is so much food that’s restricted, forbidden items were the only thing I wanted to eat and I totally forgot about stuff I could eat. Now I have a list in case I need to go through that again.) My scan apparently showed a small “nodule” on my lung that my endo sounded very unconcerned about … he said a lot of people have them, so I’m not even sure if it’s related to the thyroid cancer (papillary for me, too) or not. Hopefully the radioactive iodine has been busy knocking it out. I will keep my fingers crossed for excellent results for you.

        And yeah, this movie hits way too close to home for me to want to see it. I haven’t read the book, but that certainly won’t be on my reading list for a long time, either.

        WickedSteppMom: I’m glad your scar is now all but invisible! I don’t think Shailene’s character needs to have huge, ugly scars, but a little something would be appropriate, especially since her character had the neck dissection (*shrinking away in fear*) and the whole nine yards. It is crazy how many things the thyroid regulates, isn’t it?? After my surgery, my levels were too low for a little while and I got really bad leg cramps — would never have thought of them as connected, and yet they were! Our bodies really are amazingly put together.

  18. Lucy says:

    I love them both (more Shailene than Ansel, though) and really enjoyed them in Divergent. They definitely have a bond that shows, but absolutely no romantic chemistry whatsoever (which she does have with Theo James and Miles Teller).

  19. rtms says:

    This movie is literally the same as Now is Good with Dakota fanning. Only difference is the financial backing and promotion.

  20. CK says:

    It looks awkward. I get the sex appeal and vibe from Shailene, but Ansel doesn’t seem interested one bit. And I don’t mind that one bit. She needs to step away from my (new) man because he clearly can’t with her.

  21. Sophie says:

    Omg those Twilight VF photos were magical. It was the chemistry between Rob and Lristen that did it. And as someone above pointed out, Kristen’s “damaged” air had something to do with it as well…

    I think in the end for all of us Twihards it was the Rob/Kristen romance, not the Edward/Bella romance, that kept us coming back for more.

    You can’t reproduce something like that.

  22. tracy says:

    Woodley is to tall and coltish to pull off this kind of photo shoot. Maybe with a taller, more masculine looking co-star. They look like brother and sister, actually they look like twins. I know people believe they should make fun of Kristen/Pattinson/Twilight, but the stars and the movie made over 3 billion dollars for a reason. They had strong chemistry together and actually looked like a couple, on screen and off.

  23. Sky_O says:

    It’s amazing how much people hate Twilight yet it comes up a lot in conversation. You would think people would strive for something else. Does it look like Twilight, not to me. Does it look awkward, no. But the word cheesy comes to mind. They look like engagement photos. Which isn’t a bad thing, I guess, considering its a love story.

  24. Hissyfit says:

    Wait, that’s a dude?

  25. CuriousCole says:

    It’s always awkward when you can’t tell which is the girl at first (or second) glance.
    They have zero chemistry on that photo shoot, quite the opposite of Rob and Kristen’s pictures. It was startling to see a happy and playful Kristen Stewart photo.

  26. Camille (The Original) says:

    Boring and average.

    One thing the Twilight leads had going for them was a bit of chemistry and charisma, I guess.

  27. melvel says:

    Why must everything be compared?

    I think Shailene looks great here. The film will be a hit, the built in audience is just too huge to ignore.