It was a scorchingly hot day in August 2014 when we headed out to the set of the latest Nicholas Sparks book-turned-movie, The Longest Ride, outside Jacksonville, NC. But, you wanna know something? It was all worth it, thanks to the incredible cast, led by Britt Robertson & Scott Eastwood, as well as Nicholas Sparks himself.
Not only did we get to take a walk on the grounds of the most gorgeous ranch ever, but we also had the chance to sit down with the beautiful blonde actress & ruggedly handsome actor who brought leading characters Sophia Danko & Luke Collins to life and talk about their personal love struggles, bull-riding and the pressure of bringing another Nicholas Sparks tale to the big screen:
Britt’s worst date: “I think I had a blind date once and that was horrible; it was the worst experience, I’ll never do it again. Right before the blind date, the girl who set me up was giving me all these notes and tidbits to talk about and blah blah blah. It was so stupid, by the way, because if you’re going to be fall in love with somebody, especially by a blind date, you want it to be organic and you want to actually feel something as opposed to being forced into the situation… Just talk about whatever you want to talk about and get to know somebody as quick as possible because people are messed up, and you don’t want to be with the messed up ones for very long, so make it quick!”
Scott’s dating advice: “I think people try to put on a representative when you first meet somebody. Instead of doing that, just drop all that crap. You don’t have to tell people who you are or all the good things you’re doing. Like your representative would say, just be yourself.”
Britt on Scott’s actual bull-riding abilities: “I’ll give you two seconds, three seconds, you could make it out of the shoot.”
On the biggest challenges Britt faced bringing the story to life: “For me, the biggest challenge was, especially when you’re doing Nicholas Sparks books, the audience is very specific and they do love his books. My family is [made up of] huge Nicholas Sparks fans, and you kind of have to cater to a specific audience, but at the same time, we’re trying to make a really great movie. So, just to be honest in these moments and to not try and make it anything other than the movie that we’re trying to build here — the biggest challenge is finding that balance. At the end of the day, the book for me was a history lesson and we are trying to make it a separate entity.”
As for Scott… “I think reading the book, I got to know sort of the values of the character and learned what he stood for and what he was about. Taking all that, just remembering all the characteristics and what he believed in and then bringing yourself to it as well.”
So, did Britt take anything away from the romantic tale? “Working with Alan [Alda], because he’s been with his wife for over 50 years, not only just his personal relationship, but also his professional advice along with that has been really helpful. The main theme that I’m going to take away from this movie and working with him is compassion and empathy. If you have those two things an actor, as a person, as a human being in relationships, then you’ll go a long way if you can understand where the other person is coming from. The movie talks a lot about it; it’s about sacrifice and understanding the other person and where they’re coming from, so I’ll try to use that in my own life eventually.”
The Longest Ride hits theaters on April 10!