Director talks to EW about avoiding cliches in the upcoming Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
What, no kissing scene in the rain?
While most films adapted from Nicholas Sparks books include a scene where the main characters passionately smooch in a downpour (The Notebook, Dear John and The Best of Me, to name a few), The Longest Ride director George Tillman Jr. says you won’t find any of that in his new movie, hitting theaters April 10.
“We were like, ‘We’re not going to do that,'” Tillman told EW at the film’s premiere on Monday. “There’s a lot of clichés in romance films that [we stayed] stay away from, but still deliver what audiences want to see.” He’s serious, too.
“We’re never going to have them say ‘I love you.’ Nobody says ‘I love you,'” he says.
But really…no rain at all? “It’s going to rain, but it’s only going to rain for a few seconds,” Tillman concedes. “It’s going be in the scene outside, when they’re inside.”
And while they steer clear of romantic clichés, Tillman says that the film’s stars, Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson, have undeniable chemistry onscreen. “[Their chemistry was] completely there from the beginning, but by the time we got to the love scene they were ready to go.”
Robertson, 24, agrees. “It’s been a really fun working relationship,” she said of her time with Eastwood. “He doesn’t take himself too seriously and he’s like, a very fun-loving kind of weirdo.”
“Britt is fantastic,” said 29-year-old Eastwood, who took on his first leading role with The Longest Ride. “We all really came together to try to make the best film we can.”
Eastwood appreciated the physical elements of the bull riding romance, but admitted he found the emotional aspect challenging. “That can be tough sometimes,” he said of the film’s sentimental scenes.
Still, the whole cast enjoyed telling the story of a classic Sparks romance. “Sparks really knows how to draw people in with true love and write it in such a genuine way,” said Melissa Benoist, who plays sorority girl Marcia in the movie. “It was such a good experience.”
Reporting by Abby Stern