Miley’s Involved w/ Paper Towns! + More Secrets from John Green & Halston Sage
Last week, the much-anticipated trailer for Paper Towns was released. Yeah — we’re still freaking out over it! So, to celebrate the big release, we sat down with John Green and Halston Sage to get the lowdown on all things PT! In case you’re not familiar, John is the author of the Paper Towns novel, which the movie is based off of, and Halston plays Lacey Pemberton, Margo Roth Spiegelman’s (aka Cara Delevingne) best friend.
During our chat, we found out some incredible behind-the-scenes secrets, including a shocking Miley Cyrus connection (!?!?), learned all about Ansel Elgort’s surprise appearance on the set and tons more! Keep on reading to check it all out — you’re not gonna want to miss it!
Teen: First of all, the term ‘paper towns’ is a little abstract to people. To you, what does it mean?
John Green: “So, a paper town is a weird phenomenon in cartography. In order to protect your copyright every mapmaker inserts fake places into your maps. Every map that you have ever seen has fake places in it. Those places are called paper towns, or paper streets, [or] paper bridges. They do that so if someone copying their map they’ll know because they’ll see that fake place on someone else’s map and then they can sue. So, these paper maps have been popping up for a long, long time — for centuries. Google Maps does it, like, hundreds of times in every city. They’re still everywhere. There’s this famous example that’s in the movie that is Agloe, New York, which was originally a paper town created by the General Drafting Company in the 1930s. Then it appeared on a Rand McNally map 45 years later and General Drafting called Rand McNally and said they were going to sue because they made up this town and now it’s on that map. But Rand McNally said that it’s now a real place [because] so many people would go to this intersection of two dirt roads in the middle of nowhere, expecting there to be an Agloe, New York. So, someone made Agloe, New York. And obviously the idea that imaginable things can become real is very cool.”
T: John, since some of your books have become, or are becoming movies, does that alter how you write? Do you write with the idea that it could be made into a movie?
JG: “No, I try not to think about it. If anything, I try to write against it. I like language. I like words. And I believe in language and its importance. Image is incredibly powerful and obviously we’re in a historical moment where we are super saturated with images — from Vines to billboards to Twitter — it’s completely unprecedented in all its human history. We’re only 150 years [from] to the photograph [being created] and photographs are everywhere and images are just a part of our life. And there’s no way to ignore that as a writer and have it not be a part of your writing. But, I try as hard as possible to make stories that are made up of words and aren’t as dependent on images to the best of my ability. So, when I’m writing I try not to think so much about movies, but inevitably it creeps in. I don’t quite know how to deal with it yet, but to be fair I haven’t written much since The Fault in Our Stars.”
T: And Halston, What was your first reaction when you found out you got the role? Did you audition for Lacey specifically?
Halston Sage: “I did! I auditioned for Lacey and I think I screamed really loudly. I made everyone in my family hear me.”
T: We know you said your sister was going to be very excited…
HS: “Yeah, my sister was and still is! But I just wanted to be a part of this movie. The message of it was so important to me. And it was kind of a few weeks into auditioning and waiting and when I found out, I couldn’t be happier. I still couldn’t be happier! I’m still surprised.”
JG: “I’m still so surprised that you can scream so loudly!”
T: Hahah! Yeah…’cause Halston is SO calm normally. Okay. We keep hearing people saying that there is some sort of Miley Cyrus connection to this movie. There’s a scene or something that Miley Cyrus is involved in. Is that true?
HS: “I know what it MIGHT’VE been…”
JG: “Oh yeah, it’s not in the movie now, though.”
T: So, we’ll never know the Miley Cyrus connection?!
JG: “I feel bad that it’s not in the movie, now!”
HS: “I do, too.”
T: Maybe it’ll be in the deleted scenes?
JG: “It actually might be!”
T: C’mon! Give us something!
JG: “I’m sorry! Maybe it will be on the DVD.”
T: We have a bone to pick with someone in the world, because we came to the Paper Towns set and then the day after we leave, guess who turns up on set? Ansel Elgort! Did you know he was coming?
JG: “I was surprised, but I think Nat [Wolff] knew.”
T: Did he kind of just watch as a spectator? How did that go?
JG: “Yeah, he just sat next to me as the executive producer for the day, I guess! We just hung out. It was so great. I was so psyched to see Ansel.”
HS: “I’m going to do that on the next movie set.”
JG: “You totally should! I would be so psyched to see you!”
T: Every movie you do now, someone from the last cast has to come.
JG: “Yeah, it was so fun to have him. I miss Ansel so much and I love hanging out with him. It was super fun.”
HS: “Yeah, he seemed cool.”
JG: “You didn’t seem to dislike him.”
HS: “I didn’t dislike him. No one can! He’s a nice kid.”
T: Alright, Halston. We’re gonna switch subjects a bit. We’ve heard that Neighbors 2 is a go. Will you be involved?
HS: “No, I can’t say, but I would in two seconds. John is actually in Neighbors 2!”
JG: “That’s my big announcement. I’m replacing Dave Franco in Neighbors 2. I actually don’t know anything about it. I didn’t know Neighbors 2 was going to happen. Was any cast announced? Is Seth Rogen in it? What about Jonah Hill?
HS: “Jonah Hill wasn’t in it…”
JG: “Didn’t he play the hot frat guy?”
HS: “Oh yeah! That WAS him. That wasn’t Zac Efron.”
JG: “You made out with Jonah Hill in that movie. It was hot. It was a great scene! So awesome.”
T: We actually found a Nerd Fighter dictionary online, which refers to all of John’s YouTube fans, of course. Halston, we’re going to quiz you and you need to tell us what you think these words mean. The first word is ‘doobly doo’
HS: *John whispers in her ear* “When you click in the doobly doo?”
T: No cheating, John! Okay, what do you think a ‘J Scribble’ is?
HS: “A cookie?”
JG: “No, it’s my signature.”
T: Good try! For the last one, what is ‘#Johnning?’
HS: “Obviously freaking out over how awesome John is!”
JG: “That was a good guess! It’s like a weird pose The Hollywood Reporter made me do. It was awful and then everyone made fun of me.”