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‘Beautiful Creatures’ stars talk acting with big leaguers

Englert, Ehrenreich on ‘Twilight,’ theater and making reading sexy

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 11:02

The following is from a roundtable interview with Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, stars of the new film “Beautiful Creatures,” that the Tufts Daily attended and participated in. Question: What attracted you guys to the roles [of Lena and Ethan]? Alden Ehrenreich: Just from the first few pages I knew I wanted to do the movie cause you just know, like when you meet somebody and have immediate chemistry with them. It was like that for me. Alice Englert: For me it was interesting since I’ve always been attracted to fantasy as a child ... it’s just kind of fun, and I really liked Lena. I liked that she wasn’t just an angsty teenager. And I just thought that [writer and director] Richard LaGravenese had written such a charming, witty story. I was really, really charmed by it, and for something so supernatural it had a lot of humanity, which is very important. Ehrenreich: They say the best musicals are sung, because words aren’t enough and the songs are an expression of what they’re going through emotionally, and that’s what I feel about this script. Q: What’s your favorite scene from the movie? Englert: Probably the snow scene, because it’s got my song in it. But it was a lot of fun to shoot cause it’s all one big shot, so we got to spend all day in this beautiful tree line. Ehrenreich: Yeah, I like that scene too, cause it’s the most regular two−people talking, acting scene in the movie. It was also the first romantic scene that we did. Q: What’s it like acting with animated elements? Was someone acting it out or were you just imagining? Englert: Well, when we were there it was just me imagining it and reacting because we had a green screen and Emma [Thompson] offstage would [make a noise], then somebody would yell “cut.” And later on they’d put me on a two−meter−high bicycle seat, which was the most uncomfortable, most unglamorous special effect device that I could have imagined — I thought I was going to have this great harness and be cool, but I just had to sit on that. Q: Were you guys afraid that you might be compared to “Twilight”? Englert: Oh but we are. We can’t be afraid of it. Of course they said it would be “the next ‘Twilight.’” Ehrenreich: But it could also be the next “Midnight Cowboys.” We didn’t want to do a rip−off of another film. It’s the same genre, it’s the same demographic, but they’re different. Englert: I mean, “Twilight” was phenomenal because it opened up a genre that is kind of new as being a huge Hollywood thing. Ehrenreich: But what about Harry Potter? Nobody talks about Harry Potter any more. Englert: That’s true. I do play a witch, but there’s not that same romance. Ehrenreich: But there’s that girl in Harry Potter. Not Hermione Granger. Not Ginny. Englert: Cho Chang? Ehrenreich: Oh, yeah. Lena’s the next Cho Chang. It’s more like Ron and Cho Chang. Englert: No, Ron doesn’t go out with Cho Chang. Ehrenreich: Well I don’t know then. I read the first four books. I should finish them. Q: You guys talk about literature a lot in this movie and are always seen reading books. Do you think it’s going to make reading sexy? Englert: I found literature very sexy when I was younger because nobody would go out with me, so... Ehrenreich: I think it’s going to be really funny — the Bukowski thing — if young girls start reading Charles Bukowski. I mean during filming I had to make sure I wasn’t on a page with “f−−k” written in all capital letters. Englert: I mean, Bukowski is the crudest poet ever. So Lena is basically reading about his trips to the prostitute and vomiting in a sombrero. So imagine if that was the one you were reading. Ehrenreich: Yeah, exactly. But that whole set of books in my bedroom set was incredible, I don’t think you can get a sense of it in the movie.

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