I fell in love more than a few times when I saw THE LONGEST RIDE recently.
Based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks (and yes, there will be tears shed), THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke (played by Scott Eastwood), a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia (played by Britt Robertson), a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira (played by Alan Alda), whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife Ruth (played by Oona Chaplin) deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.
While I’m not going to give you my review in this post, I will let you know a few things.
I fell in love with Ira and Ruth’s rich love story.
I fell in love with older Ira’s deep, deep friendship with Sophia, I fell in love with Luke and Sophia, and I also fell in love with Nicholas Sparks.
Recently I got a chance to have a sneak peek of The Longest Ride and speak to the cast, Nicholas Sparks and director George Tillman, Jr..
This first post is about our group interview was with Nicholas Sparks (author), Britt Robertson (Sophia), and Scott Eastwood (Luke).
Now if you aren’t aware, Scott Eastwood is Clint Eastwood’s son. He’s pretty easy on the eyes and 29 (so you don’t have to feel bad about crushing on him.. ahem, if you’re in your early 40’s).
This is his first starring role and the young Mr. Eastwood doesn’t take it for granted, “I think the best piece of advice my father gave me, and really in the acting world, it’s more just about life. Just put your head down and work hard and show up on time. You know, try to be a gentleman. Pretty simple.”
Another blogger asked him if he considered not using his last name. He told us, “Well, when I started out, I went by my mom’s last name. I think I was trying to prove it to myself that I could do it. And you sort of realize rather quickly it really doesn’t matter. You still have to go in the audition room and do what everyone else will do.”
Expect big things from Scott Eastwood. You will be seeing him in an upcoming movie version of Marvel’s ‘Suicide Squad.”
Next, I got to ask the lovely and talented Britt Robertson a question.
Her character Sophia, has a special relationship to Alan Alda’s character Ira. Kind of grandparentish, mentor/menteeish. A relationship that you don’t see in many books or movies anymore. I was a fan of The Secret Circle, which Miss Robertson starred in (2011-2012). I wanted to know if she ever had a relationship like her character did with Alan Alda’s character, which I considered to be the third love story in this movie.
I asked, “Is there anyone in your life that was a similar kind of like mentor, kind of grandfather-ish role to you? And how did this kind of affect how you dealt with the character of Ira as the character of Sophia?”
Britt said, “I’ve always had a really close relationship with my grandmother. She raised me for a good portion of my life. She moved to LA with me. And she’s also just had a really incredible life. And I look up to her. And she’s taught me so much about the kind of person I should be in the world. And I always try to look to her when I’m thinking about decisions, big decisions in my life. And she’s kind of guided me through certain things. So, I think maybe I can attribute that relationship to the Ira/Sophia relationship and the connection there.”
Britt went on to say, “Alan Alda, he’s very much responsible for that relationship because he’s such a kind man. And he really was my Ira for a couple months, just sharing stories and hearing all the things that he has to say about his life and his experiences.”
Next, passions were discussed. Which is another big theme in The Longest Ride, besides their romances, both Sophia and Ruth are passionate about Art and Luke is passionate about bull riding.
Britt explained, “I’m really passionate about what I do. I’ve been an actor for years, even before I was an adult. So, I’ve put a lot of time and energy into acting. And it’s always been what I love to do. And I hope to do it for a really long time. And I think similar to Sophia [her character], there are many times in my life since I moved from South Carolina to LA, where I’ve dropped everything just to pursue the career, and that is what passion is about, just pursuing your dreams and doing what you can to fulfill the opportunities that are given to you.”
While Scott Eastwood loves acting, he had a little bit of a different view that Britt Robertson. He told us, “I love films. I love making films. I think I’ll always be a part of making films. Whether I’m an actor forever or not, I don’t know. I love outdoors activities. And that’s sort of my real passion when I’m not acting. I live in San Diego. I travel the world either surfing or diving or fishing. And those are my real passions. But, I also like making movies too.”
And onto Nicholas Sparks — who really did have a twinkle in his eye.
A blogger asked, ” I have a question for Nicholas. I am a huge fan of all your novels. And I think it’s interesting because in every single novel, there’s a different part of love that’s tackled. Like, in Safe Haven, it’s love is a safe haven. In this one, it’s sacrifice. So, I was just curious if you think about that theme when you’re writing or before you’re writing? Or does it just come later on? You’re like, oh, this is what it is.”
Sparks replied, “I’m pretty clear on the themes prior to writing because one of the things I try to do is to make as much different as I possibly can when we all know a little bit what’s coming. I mean it’s a love story. We know that. There’s going to be a couple that falls in love. It’s going to be in North Carolina, probably a small town, a place. You know, you’ll like the characters, right? Make a really pretty movie poster. We all know what’s coming, right? But, how do you make it different, right? And so, the goal is to explore different themes, different ages, different periods, sometimes in the same context of the same story. And I think that that’s what keeps the stories feeling fresh. I mean I think you can watch A Walk to Remember and The Longest Ride and not think that they’re not the same at all. But, you can enjoy them on different levels. The same thing with Dear John and The Notebook, very different, but you can enjoy both. And that’s what you try to do. And the only way to do that is to make them as different as you possibly can in every other way, including different themes.”
Next, we got to sit down with director George Tillman, Jr., Oona Chaplin and Alan Alda. Stay tuned for my next post about this.
The Longest Ride opens on April 10, 2015.
Longest Ride on Social
This press event was hosted by 20th Century Fox