The Lucky One - Roundtable Discussion With Taylor Schilling, Zac Efron, & Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks' name has become synonymous with romance. From "A Walk to Remember" to "The Notebook" his books have become beloved classic romance films that have allowed women (and some men) from all over the world to experience what it's like to fall in love. Now, his book The Lucky One will be his latest work to appear in theaters with the charming Zac Efron as Sgt. Logan Thibault and talented newcomer Taylor Schilling playing Beth Clayton.
Sparks defines what it is that compels Sgt. Thibault to search for the woman in the picture he found during the war.
"When he finds it [the picture], this is what he thinks kept him alive. In the film he walks. He picks it up. Boom! Everybody dies behind him. These are his friends who died. These weren't just Marines, these were his close friends so it's a guy struggling with survivor's guilt."
Sparks goes on to describe what inspired him to create Sgt. Logan Thibault and his love interest, Beth Clayton (Schilling).
"When I sit down to write a novel I want it to feel very real that it could happen to anyone anywhere. This is probably a lot more realistic than a lot of what's out there. You know someone like Beth. Someone who had a child, had to give up her dreams, and is just trying to be the best mom that she can. She kind of feels locked in you know. I know tons of women who make this choice every single day. Then you have a soldier. He comes back all of his friends have died, he has PTSD and he's looking for answers. I think that's very realistic."
With all the previous success his books have had as films it's no surprise that Sparks is constantly aware when writing that his future books could become films as well. Although he never envisions any particular actors or actresses when creating his characters, Sparks claims that all of his female characters are given many elements that his wife possesses.
According to producer and longtime film collaborator, Denise Di Novi, Sparks is extremely flexible with the film adaptations and lets the filmmakers make the film their way so long as they keep the spirit and intention in the film. Fans of the novel who go to see this film might notice that the film has slight differences from the book, but one thing that hasn't changed is the intensity of the characters.
Efron is almost unrecognizable as he transforms himself into the strong and silent Marine Logan Thibault, an Iraq war veteran that returns home and is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"I was scared when I read the script because I liked the character and at the same time I was completely wrong for it. You couldn't pick more different people between Logan and myself. I didn't know the first thing about being a marine."
However Efron put in a lot of work gaining 17 pounds of muscle and training with real marines in order to obtain a better insight on his character. Marines even made an appearance in the film during the opening combat scene as the marines behind Efron before the raid.
You can catch The Lucky One on the big screen and relive the magic that is a Nicholas Sparks film starting on April 20th.