‘Stuck In Love’s’ Nat Wolff And Liana Liberato Talk Acting, Drug Addiction, And Susan Boyle [Exclusive]
The emotionally driven romantic dramedy Stuck In Love has many ingredients that make it a worthwhile film. At the center of the film’s melting pot is the bright young talents that keep the spirit of the film hopeful and alive.
In the center of that melting pot is the arc between Nat Wolff and Liana Liberato. Nickelodeon’s Nat Wolff plays the wide-eyed innocent of the Borgens family. Being the common thread that’s holding all lines of communication between the family, he has the unique position of being a point of reference for most of the film, while being involved in a very new journey. Convinced to take action over his life, as it will ultimately make him a better writer Rusty finds himself entangled in a new relationship with the girl of his dreams (Liana Liberato). He eventually finds out that his dreams aren’t exactly what they once were, and through much turmoil he finds the key of what he’s been searching for within himself.
What made Stuck In Love a wonderful viewing experience was the raw honesty behind the storytelling. Seeing young actors root the scenes so well, created a special environment for the film to live in. This proved to be especially important for Rusty’s arc, which dealt with his not-so-perfect relationship with not-so-secret crush Kate, who’s struggling with demons that are beyond his scope. Seeing the innate chemistry Wolff had with Liana Liberato made the story that much more believable, and left no room for any kind of dramatization.
As The Inquisitr’s Niki Cruz sat down with the equally hilarious Liana Liberato and Nat Wolff, it was easy to see why their story popped.
THE INQUISITR: This was a fantastic script and the both of you brought it to life. When you read a script what do you look for?
LIANA LIBERATO: Authenticity. I think what’s real and what is portrayed accurately is always a good quality to have in a script.
NAT WOLFF: I could really relate to the character. I come from a family of musicians and actors and I could really relate to the dinner table conversation that they would have, because my family’s dinner table conversation revolves around music, just as Rusty’s family revolves around writing. It also creates the same kind of fights that are in the movie. Also the romance was so well written. I was just excited to work with my friend Liana.
THE INQUISITR: How long have you known each other for?
WOLFF: We’ve known each other for three years. We met in 2010 and we were looking for something to work on together for a long time. Liana was attached to it and sent me the script, and I fell in love with it. Then we had this meeting with Josh (Boone) and Josh and I fell in love really quick. He gave me a CD with all the music that was going to be in the movie, and the book “It.” The rest is history. They still made me come in a bunch of times!
LIBERATO: Once! It was an intense audition though.
WOLFF: I had to come in and it was scary, but it was good. Liana and I did the scene the night before and kind of cheated the system. I was just awkward enough.
THE INQUISITR: The act of writing is widely discussed in this movie. Did you guys keep any journals while on set, or do you keep journals in general?
LIBERATO: I’m pretty sure Josh wanted us to do that.
WOLFF: He did!?
LIBERATO: Yeah I think he wanted us to!
WOLFF: Liana’s a really great writer. She wrote a bunch of scripts, and she went to the NYU screenwriting program over the summer.
LIBERATO: Nat’s my publicist.
WOLFF: I’m a songwriter, but I wrote a script and sent it to Liana, and she read twenty pages and didn’t read the rest.
LIBERATO: Because I was working!
WOLFF: She told me she read the whole thing, but she just admitted that she didn’t read it.
THE INQUISITR: So since you both write, who are some of your favorite writers?
LIBERATO: God, I don’t know! Josh (Boone).
WOLFF: We’re Josh’s publicists too! I work for a lot of clients. I work with Liana, Josh, Susan Boyle.
THE INQUISITR: So you listen to Susan Boyle on set?
WOLFF: Yep. Susan Boyle plays a lot on set. Wait, Susan Boyle’s a singer right? Because that’s the first name that popped into my head.
THE INQUISITR: Yeah she’s a singer! Did either of you watch or read anything on drug abuse?
LIBERATO: I met with a girl who had an addiction. She was a little older and in her 20s, but when she was a teen she had a very similar experience. I didn’t really understand what goes through the mind of an addict and she was able to open my eyes to the types of struggles she has to deal with every day.
WOLFF: I think a lot of times if you do all of this research, it’s hard to see the end result of what came from what, but I think it’s an accumulation. It all pays off somewhere. It’s just hard to point out.
THE INQUISITR: Both characters are going through a little bit more than growing pains, and are dealing with sensitive issues. How did that fit in terms of being comfortable around each other?
WOLFF: Yeah I think it’s impossible not to. We were doing the movie in North Carolina, as opposed to shooting it in New York or Los Angeles where you can just go home at the end of the day. We were all stuck in the same hotel so me and Liana, Lily (Collins), Logan (Lerman), and Josh (Boone), became really close. We would all spend time with each other in our hotels rooms watching movies, and going bowling. I think in the end we’re so relaxed in front of each other that it made the scenes easier. You just feel comfortable to try things.
LIBERATO: When you get to know someone really well you kind of learn how they work and I think that was the case with Nat. I’ve never really worked with someone as well as when I work with Nat. I think we have the same preparation and the same philosophy on how we work.
WOLFF: And working with Liana was unbelievable, she’s such an amazingly responsive actress. Josh asked me why it was so much fun to work with Liana, and I said, “It’s like breathing air!” And it sounds really dumb but it’s true. I don’t know why it’s true but there’s something so easy about it.
THE INQUISITR: Liana you were fantastic in Trust and that also dealt with issues that were incredibly raw. As far as prepping to get to that vulnerable place, was it different for this film?
LIBERATO: I think that they’re both kind of victims of circumstance or substance. I think a lot of my characters have been victims in a way, but in very different ways. I think Kate is definitely more experienced, so that’s kind of why I wanted to play her. I was tired of being this very young and innocent girl. I wanted people to see me in a different light. I’m doing the corrupting, rather than being corrupted. I think that they have similarities but I think they took two very different paths of how they handled their issues.
THE INQUISITR: How was it working with fairly new directors? At the time David Schwimmer was a new director, and this is Josh Boone’s first film.
LIBERATO: This has always bugged me throughout my short career. I feel like people have this pre-conceived notion of how first-time directors are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be difficult to work with, but I’ve worked with quite a few first-time directors and they’ve been absolutely amazing, and completely open for constructive criticism. They’re incredibly happy to be where they are. I think that’s the beauty of this business. Being lost is giving people opportunities, because talent is talent, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you have experience or not. Spielberg wasn’t always Spielberg, someone had to give him a shot.
The Inquisitr: Now that the both of you are transitioning to more adult material, how has that been? Especially coming off of a Nickelodeon show.
NAT: When I was doing Nickelodeon I loved it. I learned a lot and I was with my friends, and with my band. I was eleven so I loved doing Nickelodeon. I’ve been lucky that what I’ve been working on has been what I’ve loved since the beginning. I don’t know how that happened. I guess I just ended up at the right place at the right time. This movie was really honestly a life changing experience for me as an actor, and as a person. I met so many great people and I’m lucky that I’m at a point where I can sort of choose what I want to do. Obviously you’re still fighting for what you really want to do, but I’m in a little more control of the films that I work on.
LIBERATO: Our work grows as we grow.
WOLFF: I just find that I’m not growing anymore actually. I’m seriously done growing. I’m 6’1 but I’m done. Can you write that down, that I’m 6’1? I really want to get that in there.
THE INQUISITR: Consider it done!
THE INQUISITR: Speaking of new projects you just wrapped on Palo Alto, and I spoke with Emma Roberts earlier about that film. I was wondering how your experience was filming that?
WOLFF: I loved the script. I did an audition for Palo Alto when we were shooting this movie that nobody ever saw. Liana read it with me and my mom set up lights in the hallway, because she was visiting. I asked James Franco because I wanted his input since it’s based on his book. The story follows these two friends, and I got to play the crazy one, the crazy psychopath friend. I always thought that the other friend was the one that’s based on James Franco when he was younger. When I asked James if that character was based on him, he said, “They’re both based on me. It was just the angel side, and the devil side.” I played the devil side, so it was very different from this character. I’m a real psycho. My mom couldn’t look at me in the eye after my scenes.
THE INQUISITR: There’s some pretty powerful stories in that book. Is the film in vignettes?
WOLFF: No the cool thing about this story is that it’s really this full feature about these characters. It takes those beautifully drawn characters from the book and puts them into a through line.
THE INQUISITR: Is there anyone in the industry the two of you look up to as far as modeling your career after?
WOLFF: I’m a huge Dustin Hoffman fan. When I was in eighth grade I won a raffle where I got to have an acting lesson with him. That was one of the best days in my life. Then when we were at the Toronto Film Festival for this film, I went up to him and I said, “You gave me an acting lesson and at the end you said I was a real actor, and now I’m here with a real movie.” And he said, “I gotta charge you more next time!”
LIBERATO: I really like Ben Affleck. I would love to work with him as a director and as an actor, both at the same time. I like Michelle Williams, I think she’s really cool.
STUCK IN LOVE HITS THEATERS JULY 5.