Why playing lead roles in adaptation of ‘unfilmable’ novel was not enough for Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley
It’s a book that the author felt was “unfilmable” due to its different time strands.
But both Shailene Woodley and Felicity Jones were so taken with the adaptation of The Last Letter From Your Lover that they chose not just to star in the film, but to work on it as executive producers as well.
Now Jojo Moyes’ story of two love affairs, decades apart, is being released in cinemas and its stars have told Sky News why they wanted to get so involved on the project.
“Any producer role, I think the main job – take out the day-to-day bits – is to protect the integrity of the story that you’re telling and to protect the creative people involved and to make sure that it doesn’t go off the rails any which way,” explained Woodley.
“For me, it has felt very important to be involved in that way, because as much as we as actors care about our characters, we really care about the stories that we’re telling and we care about the entire plot line as a whole.
“So it feels really like an honour to be a producer in a way, because you are there making sure that everything is protected – and it also feels a lot more fun because there’s other creative elements that you get to bring into the project.”
Felicity Jones, who plays a journalist in the modern-day strand of the movie, said while it was a natural transition to become a producer, it’s a role she’s really valued.
“When you’re playing leads, you do tend to get more involved in the development side of things and you have a lot more input in the script and tend to get a little bit more involved in the behind the scenes stuff, so it did feel like quite a natural evolution to formalise what had been happening already,” she said.
“It’s a really special experience when you’re with a team where you feel listened to – we were both able to see the edit of the film and have an opinion on that, and were really listened to in the making of this film, which you sort of get used to and want that to continue on everything that you do.”
The book the story is based on first came out in 2008, and like so many of Moyes’ novels it won a legion of fans.
The best-selling author also worked on the movie, which should bring comfort to those concerned about seeing how the characters they love on the page have been brought to life on the screen.
Jones said she is all too aware of the weight of expectation from those who love the book.
“I have such empathy when you read something and then you see it and you think, ‘Oh, no, that’s so disappointing’,” she said.
“But Jojo Moyes was so closely involved in this film throughout its entirety, so it felt like we had her blessing, and what you seek to do is capture the essence of those characters and the book.
“There are definitely some changes that have happened, but essentially you want to get ‘what did Jojo want by writing that book?’ And it does feel, hopefully, that the film has achieved that.”
While Jones’ character is set in modern-day London, Woodley’s narrative plays out in the 1960s.
The separate timelines meant Jones and Woodley – who are promoting the film together – didn’t actually spend much time with one another during production.
“It is funny, we would see each other very rarely on set, there would be a little bit of crossover or maybe we’d be leaving and entering a costume fitting at around the same time, and in a sense it was a bummer because I’ve wanted to work with Felicity for a really long time and I hope one day we have the opportunity to do that,” Woodley said.
“And at any given moment, it’s left a lot of mystery to this project because I myself have been excited to see what Felicity and Nabhaan [Rizwan who plays Jones’ character’s love interest] brought to their storyline and how they created that dynamic.
“And it’s funny when that happens in films, I think there’s an assumption if any given actors are in a project together that they got to spend a lot of time together, but I mean, we maybe had a few days at most when we saw each other.”
But despite not filming together, there does seem to be a genuine affection between the pair as Jones chips in with “It wasn’t enough, it wasn’t enough – there’s more to come!”
The Last Letter From Your Lover is out in cinemas on 6 August.
Tupac Shakur’s brother asks for ‘accountability’ ahead of court appearance for alleged killer
On the junction of the Las Vegas strip where Tupac Shakur was shot dead in September 1996, only a graffiti-covered lamp post with some scrawls of “RIP Pac” and “Tupac Shakur, I love you,” hint at what unfolded here.
Tupac was rap music’s brightest star when he was shot four times at point-blank range while being driven along one of the city’s busiest streets. He died a week later.
His fame has only increased in the years since and his death is the subject of dozens of books, films and songs.
Until this week, many people had given up believing that police would crack one of America’s great unsolved crimes. But today, in a courtroom just a few miles from where he was killed and 27 years later, a man will enter a plea, charged with Tupac’s murder.
It is a moment Tupac’s family feared they would never see. His brother, Mopreme Shakur, told Sky News: “I was shocked, surprised, and taken aback because it’s been so long.
“We haven’t heard anything in 27 years. My daughter is 27 years old, so any accountability is good at this point.”
The man arrested is Duane Davis, better known in rap circles by his street name Keefe D.
He has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but is described as the group’s ringleader by authorities.
In Nevada you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
‘How far are they going to go?’
Mopreme believes others need to be held criminally accountable for his brother’s murder. “It would be a shame after all this time for them not to do this properly,” he says, “meaning that they look at all the connections to it and get the total justice that we want.
“There’s doubt in their sincerity. How far are they going to go? Are they going to go all the way and get all the accomplices? “
Duane Davis is accused of being the “shot caller” by authorities and is alleged to have handed the gun used to kill Tupac to the shooter. As early as 1998, Davis bragged about being at the scene of the crime and wrote a memoir in which he stated he was in the car from where the bullets were fired.
Mopreme says he believes Tupac’s murder would not have gone unsolved for so long if he had been white. “Pac was a young black male,” he says, “and we have challenges in this country when it comes to equal justice.
“That’s just the nature of the beast, it’s just the nature of the beast in America. I’m realistic about that.”
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Pamela Anderson praised by Jamie Lee Curtis for makeup-free appearance at Paris Fashion Week
Jamie Lee Curtis has praised Pamela Anderson for showing up to Paris Fashion Week with no makeup on, crediting her with kicking off a “natural beauty revolution”.
Curtis wrote: “THE NATURAL BEAUTY REVOLUTION HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!
“Pamela Anderson in the middle of fashion week with so many pressures and postures, and and and, this woman showed up and claimed her seat at the table with nothing on her face.
“I am so impressed and floored by this act of courage and rebellion.”
Actress Selma Blair commented “Love this. Beautiful self-assuredness,” while comedian Chelsea Handler wrote, “That’s pretty iconic”.
Michelle Visage added, “And she was GLOWING”.
The images of Anderson were taken on Thursday at the Isabel Marant Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show at Place Colette during Paris Fashion Week.
She also attended the Victoria Beckham show the following day.
Anderson, 56, who in her youth embraced cosmetic enhancements to the extreme, has since adopted a more natural look.
She told Elle last year that started going makeup-free after her makeup artist Alexis Vogel sadly died from breast cancer.
Anderson said: “She was the best. And since then, I just felt, without Alexis, it’s just better for me not to wear makeup.”
Calling her low-maintenance approach “freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious,” she went on to joke about “the effects of time, which come to us all”.
She said: “I think we all start looking a little funny when we get older. And I’m kind of laughing at myself when I look at the mirror. I go: ‘Wow, this is really…what’s happening to me?’ It’s a journey’,” she said. “I feel rooted for. I feel good. I’m in a good place.”
Meanwhile Curtis has long been a fan of growing old gracefully.
During a conversation with Maria Shriver for the Radically Reframing Ageing Summit in March 2022, she said: “I am an advocate now for natural beauty because I do feel that there has been a genocide on natural beauty.
“This word ‘anti-ageing’ has to be struck, because what the f*** is ‘anti-ageing?’ I am pro-ageing. I want to age with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve and energy. I don’t want to hide from it.”
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