"We were both fortunate for a couple of reasons, because we both have kids which immediately puts you in the right place to do a movie like this," Trammell said. "And also, we had the book that John Green wrote which gave us this shared biography and history that we both knew, in addition to what's in the movie like where we met, in the Peace Corps."
But Trammell admits that research helped, too. "I met a father who had a daughter who got diagnosed with cancer who beat it, but I think for me, it's mostly already being a parent. I think a lot of it came naturally, because I understand grief and love in a way that was sort of required."
Laura Dern agreed. "We're very blessed to also have the specific parents that John Green laid out for us. There's no perfection to them. They're as complicated and irreverent and funny and just learning to be grown-ups, like Hazel, when it comes to this diagnosis and how to be fearless in life. She's teaching us every day. So there's such respect for family and for the relationship between child and parent in this book," Dern said.
"We're kind of all in the same boat," added Trammell. "Because it's so new, it's all so unexpected, this disease — it's so real and we're all in it together, so there's a sort of innocence to us, in a way."
So did the actors feel like the movie stayed true to the book?
"I think the movie stayed extremely true," said Trammell. "We came and saw a little bit of the screening last night, and from the reaction of the people in it, I think they were happy because anyone who’s read the book feels very protective of it.”
Dern interrupted, saying, "I think happy is an understatement! [The audience's reaction] was insane. I've never heard anything like that."
Watch our video to find out how Dern and Trammell want to be remembered after they die.
The Fault in Our Stars opens June 6.
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