Spoiler warning: Do not read unless you have watched “Paper Towns” which hits theaters July 24.
The cast and creators of “Paper Towns” gathered for a red carpet screening on Saturday at the London West Hollywood and recounted one of their most exciting days on set which included a very special cameo.
The film stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne who attended the screening with the rest of the “Paper Towns” team. In the film, based on the novel of the same name by John Green, a group of five teens embark on a road trip and along the way have to stop for gas. With a limited amount of time to reach their destination, the high schoolers race to collect snacks, go to the bathroom and refuel the van. “The Fault in Our Stars” teen idol Ansel Elgort returns to the Green fold to make a cameo as the gas station cashier.
Popular on Variety
“If you’re going to have a cameo like that, you’ve got to give it the weight it deserves,” said director Jake Schreier. “The gas station scene is one of my favorite scenes in the book, and one that I was most excited about filming. And given that, I felt like it was a great place to put a cameo like that.” The director also commented on how he shot the reveal with a dramatic pan up from the counter. “If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to have a good reveal for the shot,” he said. “You can’t just cut to him.”
“It’s a great shot,” agreed Green. “Jake made a great shot. I watched the movie in Brazil with an audience, and yeah, there was a significant reaction.”
“It was a fun day just in general,” remembered Halston Sage, who interacts with Elgort in the scene. “We were shooting the gas station scene which is kind of like, ‘Go, go, go,’ which is kind of how the day was. We definitely got our exercise in.”
Although actor Justice Smith is stuck outside pumping gas in the scene, he recalled his thoughts on the dynamic between Elort and Sage. “He did the scene with Lacey (Sage) and that was kind of interesting to see her shoot him down because that’s just a weird concept to me,” he said. “Two beautiful people, I just assume they go together, but I guess that’s not how life works.”
Actress Jaz Sinclair remembered witnessing the reunion between Green, Elgort and Wolff. “It was really funny to watch him and Nat and John Green reunite, and that dynamic which was very different than the ‘Paper Towns’ dynamic,” she said. “They were a little bit more bro-y than we were.”
Several special guests also attended the screening, sponsored by WSJ. Magazine and Forevermark Diamonds, including Kylie and Kendall Jenner, who attended to support Delevingne, along with Jaden Smith, Jeremy Jordan and Wolff’s brother and band partner, Alex Wolff.
After the screening, the cast and other notable attendees, including president of Fox 2000 Elizabeth Gabler, gathered at the London for a reception. At one point during the evening, Green was overheard imparting wisdom on some likely awestruck teen girls. “As the great poet Robert Frost once said,” the author recited, “‘In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.'” Green’s words, it turns out, may rival the sincerity of his writing.