EXCLUSIVE: Justice Smith from ‘Paper Towns’
When mysterious Margo (Cara Delevingne) disappears, Q (Nat Wolff) and his friends set out on a road trip to find out what happened to her. Justice plays Radar, one of Q’s best friends.
The movie, based on a book by best-selling author John Green, is Justice’s first role on the big screen—and he could not be more excited.
At the time of the audition, he was not aware of Paper Towns, he did however read one of John Green’s other books, ‘Abundance of Katharines’. Justice only knew what he read off the script they had given him for Paper Towns at the audition. Afterwards, he was elated to find out more about his character.
“When I realized what it was and I read the book and I read the whole script, I started to incorporate who the character actually is. I feel like I already had a way I was going to play him and luckily it was not too far off from what is in the book and what the fans are going to want to see from Radar.”
Though Justice does not own the world’s largest collection of black Santas like Radar’s parents do, the two still share a lot of similarities.
“We’re both very intelligent! We’re both very loyal. Radar is a little more reserved and I feel like I can be that sometimes. I very much enjoy my privacy and my reticence and not always being big and out. Radar’s very introverted… and we both wear glasses sometimes!”
John Green, who also penned The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, held high praise for the way Justice handled his character.
“From the moment I saw Justice’s audition, I knew we’d lucked into the perfect Radar. I didn’t yet know of course that he is brilliant and charming in life as well as in character, but I am so grateful that he will forever more be Radar to me.”
The encouragement and support from John Green and fans of the book (called ‘Nerdfighters’) constantly lifted up the cast’s spirits on set. The love from the fandom shook away Justice’s doubts of playing the character wrong, and John Green’s support took the pressure of his shoulders.
“John really trusted all of us. He once said that we know the characters more than he does now. It’s because we had to live as these characters everyday during the two months we were shooting. I guess we discovered more about the characters and really incorporated them into our own lives. We were really supported and trusted and that made everything easier.”
Justice said he would not change anything about the experience even if he could. Like the characters of Paper Towns, at the end of the day, he discovered something new about himself through his journey, emerging with experience and new friendships that will last a lifetime.
“I learned a lot about myself from this experience. It was my first movie and there’s a lot of technical lingo I learned. I feel like the people I got to know have shaped me in new ways. It’s hard to pinpoint—I guess I’m not that self-aware—but I do feel like I’ve grown a lot especially in acting.”
First Published @ Fanlala.com