Credit: Ton Koene

How much did John Green enjoy being on the set of The Fault in Our Stars? Just ask him: “This has been one of the greatest thrill of my professional life,” he says in the following behind-the-scenes video. As you’ll see, the cast and crew of TFIOS seem to get along exceedingly well. (Personal favorite moment: Nat Wolff, who plays Isaac in the film, mouthing “I love you” behind Green’s head.)

In this week’s cover story, we explore just why John Green’s 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars, has struck such a collective chord for readers of all age. (There’s a reason it’s spent 119 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.) It may be because Green wasn’t thinking about just teens while he was writing TFIOS. “I became a father while I was writing this book,” Green told EW. The bestselling author now has two children with his wife, Sarah Urist Green. “After becoming a father, I suddenly cared about adults and parents and those relationships.”

In The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel — a 16 year old with cancer — worries about the effect her death will have on her parents. Green, who worked as a chaplain at a children’s hospital, learned this was a common fear for children suffering from illness. “That was a gift given to me by the kids I’ve known who have been sick,” he says. “They wanted to know that their families would be okay. You don’t want to hurt people you love. When you’re sick, you’re forced into that position.

“One of the best things that’s come out of this book for me is that I’ve become friends with lots of kids who are living with cancer,” continues Green. “They’re awesome and fun to talk to and hang out with. They have an interesting perspective on adolescence. I don’t want to generalize, but lots of teenagers are funny in the way that I like to be funny. There’s a fair amount of gallows humor.”

For more on The Fault in Our Stars — including interviews with director Josh Boone and stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, May 2.

The Fault in Our Stars
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