It’s based on an unbelievably addictive, supernatural book; features an incredibly talented cast; and the setting is to die for. So it’s safe to say that the Beautiful Creatures movie will be the next big craze. Need further proof? Glad you asked, ’cause while we traveled to Louisiana to visit the film set — yes, that happened — we had the chance to go behind some of the most pivotal scenes, including one in the Caster library! (P.S. It was beyond words.) Oh, and we just so happened to chat with the film’s stars, Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. NBD. Find out what they reveal about working together, going through high school in real life, and about being a part of the next Twilight.
Teen: Tell us about your role in Beautiful Creatures.
Alice: Well, I play a young, frustrated, lonely girl who’s been moving through every small lonely town in America who also happens to be of the supernatural variety. I love the genre as a way of talking about things that we all feel in our normal lives, but we can’t necessarily say so. I love Lena I think she’s a really great character and really great as a girl character. She’s caught up in a strange society of Casters and they have a very sophisticated way, but they’re also very basic because they believe you can only be good or evil. And it’s about having questions when you’re growing up and people not giving you the answers you want. I think that’s what the story is about. It’s about love; it’s about not accepting what people are giving you.
Teen: Lena has to deal with all these really mean girls. Did you have any of those bullies?
Alice: Yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t say I was bullied. I moved around a lot growing up and I would see the situations more than be a part of them and that was always really unattractive to me. I struggled like a lot of other people do in realizing that you don’t want to be a part of it and I think high school is a really unattractive and cruel place. Those girls are everywhere and I don’t even think they really believe what they say. They just want to be part of something as well. Everyone is confused and trying to find something.
Teen: What about your character, Ethan? He’s the popular-jock type. Did you draw from real-life situations?
Alden: I guess so. I think everyone in high school at one point feels like they’re on the outside observing what’s going on. Even if you’re very popular, you have an outsider experience. I had a great high-school experience. I had a lot of friends that I’m still really good friends with, but there’s always times where a group can’t understand what the individual is experiencing or you’re going through something at home that you can’t bring to school and have a total understanding among your peers.
Teen: But, Alice, your character is more of an outsider. Did you ever feel like that growing up?
Alice: Of course! I mean, I’m still an adolescent girl. I’m self-conscious consciously… isn’t everybody? I think the truth about being an outsider is you’re really not; it’s a figment. Being part of something or not being part of something is all made up anyway, and that’s what is nice about this story. The love is just about them being two people and he really teaches her what being human is and it doesn’t matter how many powers she has. It comes down to feelings and in reality it doesn’t matter what the show is.
Teen: Your characters are very book-centric. Do you like that idea?
Alice: Yeah, I think I had to read Wuthering Heights when I was 13 or 14 and The Road by Cormac McCarthy really just got me back… it was amazing to read. I love poetry. I had a really great teacher who got me to understand these things. I don’t even know where to start.
Alden: Totally, and there’s a lot of that literary thing in the movie. That’s the frequency which we understand each other first, so the books are a huge part of it, and I think a huge part of my character because so much of my imagination comes from that. The movie opens with me reading and it’s this intelligence and worldliness that Lena has, that Ethan has a romantic idea he aspires to, but hasn’t experience it yet, so he’s attracted to her because she’s a thing from the stories he’s read about. And he teaches her things about the other side about fighting and not giving up.
Teen: Can you both tell us what it was like working with each other? What was it like when you first met?
Alice: God, it was so long ago! It was really good. It was the first day of rehearsal and I never met him before and I was rehearsing for the movie. He was charming and lovely and very easy to get along with.
Alden: It [was] great. It’s really great to work with someone my own age for a long period of time, which I haven’t really done before. Alice is so smart and Richard told us the reason he wanted both of us was because we were people who didn’t want to do the movie at first. We were told that it was a certain type of genre movie and I hadn’t read it and I was like, “I don’t want to do that,” and then they came back and I read it and wanted to do it and just because trapping of this genre thing or whatever. So Alice has this kind of edginess to this genre. She’s super smart and has a really interesting background with her mom and the love scenes and all that we just had a great time with and they were really funny just joking around and she’s a super talented actress thank god.
Teen: What about working with the other cast members?
Alice: They’re lovely, intelligent people and it’s been really great to work with them all.
Teen: What about Thomas Mann specifically? How does your character relate to his, Alden?
Alden: I think, in the movie, what they both relate to is that they hate the town. It’s like when you’re at camp and everybody’s having fun, and you and one other kid hate it, [so] you become friends. I think that’s their bond and they are different, but they have the same perspective on their upbringing and can relate in that way.
Teen: Since the book is based on the supernatural, what’s your personal belief in magic?
Alice: My opinion on the magic sort of thing is that you see what you want to believe, and I think the more you want to believe, the more you see. I don’t know where the reality of the truth is. It’s somewhere and I’m always curious. I love seeing different perspectives.
Teen: Some people are saying that this movie could be the next Twilight. How do you feel about that?
Alden: I don’t know! I haven’t seen the Twilight movies, so I don’t know if they’re very similar… It’s beyond what I could imagine, to be in that kind of situation, but to me, what seems really appealing about that is that those actors now have the power to have movies green lit that wouldn’t have gotten made otherwise. So Kristen Stewart can go make On the Road happen when they were trying to make it for 30 years and she said she would do it, so that really helped it get made, so you can suddenly make movies happen as an actor, which is really unique. And I think it opens a lot of doors.
Beautiful Creatures hits theaters on February 13, 2013. Have you read the book? Do you think it will be the next Twilight? We want to know your thoughts!