'The Fault In Our Stars' John Green Helped Ansel Elgort Get Into Character — But Not How You'd Think
The much-anticipated The Fault In Our Stars finally (finally) comes out this week, which means we'll all be able to cry about it much more communally than we already have been over these last few months. We'll also really get to see what TFiOS star Ansel Elgort means when he says that he found the character of Augustus Waters through John Green. Now, there's one thing you assume when the lead actor in an adaptation says the author of the story helped lead him to really get in touch with his character: You think maybe he explained some things about him or his backstory, how he came to be, etc. But it seems Elgort's pinpointing of Augustus came about less through strict analysis and more through just watching John Green be John Green:
It wasn't until I met John that I really understood Augustus. John's voice is Augustus' voice — and Hazel's voice and everyone's voice — but I think especially Augustus because it's so theatrical and over-the-top, kind of like how John is. So speaking to him and going to dinner with him, I was like, 'Oh, this is why this guy talks likes this, and this is a real person's voice. Now I can understand how to make this real.'
Those who've followed Green and his brother Hank's Vlogbrothers can attest to this: Augustus is often cited for his verbosity and his heavy philosophizing, two things which have made Green such a good fit for vlogging for years. There's a pretentiousness, but it's a very genuine, open-hearted form of verbal pretention that doesn't seem to extend past Green or Augustus' frequent use of SAT words. For a good example of this all you have to do is watch the video that got me addicted to the Vlogbrothers in the first place, in which Green preaches the benefits of nerdiness and Harry Potter:
He uses phrases like "the miracle of human consciousness" and then immediately starts talking about puppy-sized elephants. If you don't love that, you probably won't love John Green or his Augustus.
Elgort's comments also make it kind of beautiful that Elgort and Green have become such good friends during the production and press process for TFiOS: Elgort's a frquent star of Green's instagrams, for instance.