The blonde beauty dished about everything from her goth makeover in the film to what it was like being part of a cast that included so many of young Hollywood’s up-and-coming stars. Check it:
JJJ: We’d love to get to know you better. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
EW: I’m from Louisville Kentucky and I moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Evansville in southern Indiana where I majored in Theatre!
JJJ: Nice! Was there any movie or actress you saw growing up that made you want to be part of the magical world of film?
EW: My grandmother took me to see the movie Anywhere But Here with Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon. I remember feeling so inspired by their performances. It’s still one of my favorite films.
JJJ: Yeah, it’s a great flick! Can you tell us about your character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower?
EW: I play Alice. She’s the closest to Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman‘s character.) They are best friends, but I’d say Alice is the Robin to Mary Elizabeth’s Batman… Sort of. Alice is struggling to find her voice, which is why she experiments with things like her style, for example. One minute she’s wearing an Asian inspired dress to prom and the next she looks like an androgynous goth. She’s a little unsure of who she is and who she wants to be after she graduates.
Click inside to read the rest of Erin Wilhelmi‘s interview…
JJJ: Does the script stay pretty close to the book’s storyline?
EW: Yes, definitely. Of course, there are some differences here and there, some moments in the book are not in the film and vice versa, but on the whole it’s very close to the book. I think fans of the book will be very happy with the movie.
JJJ: Seeing how this is your first big screen role, did you wake up the morning after you landed the part of Alice and feel like you were still dreaming?
EW: I still feel like I’m dreaming. I can’t believe I was given such an amazing opportunity, not only to be a part of my first feature film, but to be a part of a story that has already touched so many lives. I feel so honored to have helped bring Stephen Chbosky‘s book to life.
JJJ: We heard you’re a Harry Potter fan! Was it fun working alongside Emma Watson after watching her in that movie franchise over the years?
EW: Definitely. I couldn’t believe I was going to get to meet her. She was so sweet and really helped me feel so comfortable on set. My sister literally grew up with the “Harry Potter” books. I remember my dad reading them to her before she knew how to read. She helped me to become a fan, but my sister is the ultimate fan. We both loved the character of Hermione, so it was very exciting to get to work with Emma. But Emma definitely breaks free from Hermione in this film. She is so talented and I can’t wait to watch her in many different roles to come.
JJJ: Do you have a favorite on-set memory with Emma?
EW: One moment in particular really meant a lot to me – we were shooting a scene that was actually cut from the final version of the film – but in it, Emma was supposed to tear up and I was supposed to be upset with Charlie (Logan Lerman). I was worried about one of my takes and she turned to me and said, “All I have to do is look at your face while you’re saying your line and I’m able to get my motivation to cry.” I don’t think she knows how much that meant to me, but it really helped me to calm down and trust myself.
JJJ: TPOBAW centers around the tales of heartbreak, love, and finding one’s self. Which scene would you say captures the movie’s message the best?
EW: The tunnel scene for sure. When I saw it for the first time, I was speechless. It captures every element of the story in one moment. I also love the scene towards the very end of the movie when the fab five run to the top of the bleachers to declare their freedom from high school, and their victory of having survived it.
JJJ: What do you think is a perk of being a wallflower?
EW: Wallflowers are keen observers. They see things, as Patrick (Ezra Miller) says to Charlie (Lerman) and that means they have a heightened sense of awareness in my opinion. I guess people pay less attention to wallflowers so they’re free to watch. And I think the key to becoming a great artist is to be very observant. So maybe wallflowers make the best artists? Charlie becomes a writer, Alice becomes a film major etc…
JJJ: Did you and your cast-mates share any of your real-life school experiences with each other while filming?
EW: You know what’s weird, we really didn’t. Maybe it’s cause we each had such extremely different backgrounds and educations. I mean, Mae has been working professionally since she was like three and Emma since she was nine. I was the only one with a normal, boring upbringing lol.
JJJ: One of our favorite lines in the movie comes from Sam (Watson) when she says, “Welcome to the island of misfit toys!” What does that quote mean to you?
EW: That no matter what, we’re not alone in this world. There is always someone, somewhere, who can relate or empathize with what you’re going through. It’s comforting. You may feel like you don’t belong here, but you’re not alone in that feeling. And that means, you do belong. Does that make sense?
JJJ: Can you share any insider secrets about The Perks of Being a Wallflower?
EW: The casts’ body guard is in the movie! She was with us during the whole shoot and we all became very close to her, so when Stephen asked her to be a chaperone in the school dance scene it couldn’t have been more perfect. She’s next to Paul Rudd in a very brief clip and she’s sort of dancing. It was so much fun to see her get into makeup and hair really get into character.
JJJ: How fun! Did you find out any interesting facts about your cast-mates while you were filming?
EW: We often hung out as a group in the hotel after shooting, which was so much fun. Logan, Johnny, and Ezra are amazing musicians so we spent a lot of time in Logan‘s room listening to them improvise on the guitar and piano. And when Landon Pigg joined in, it was like we were getting free concert! I really enjoyed spending time with Nina as well. She’s an amazing yogi and she found a studio near the hotel where we practiced together. I hope I get to work with her again someday.
JJJ: Did you guys get to do any sightseeing in Pittsburgh when you had time off?
EW: Stephen took us to a Pirates game and we drove through the Fort Pitt tunnel together many times. Mae‘s birthday was during the shoot so we went downtown to a restaurant to celebrate. Other then that we spent most of the time in South Hills Pittsburgh, which is a beautiful area.
JJJ: How would you describe Nina, Ezra, Mae, Logan, and Emma?
EW: Oh that’s hard! Ok, um, Ezra – insane (in a good way), Nina – passionate, Logan – talented, Mae – focused, and Emma – generous.
JJJ: The premiere’s right around the corner! Have you picked out your gown yet?
EW: I haven’t yet. I’m still trying to figure that out. If you have any ideas let me know!
JJJ: If you could invite your celeb crush to go to the movie premiere with you, who would you ask?
EW: Michael Phelps. Maybe that’s because I’ve watched too much of the Olympics, but he’s so down to earth in all of his interviews and he started that amazing foundation.
JJJ: Good choice! Besides acting, what else do you enjoy doing?
EW: I enjoy yoga, singing/taking voice lessons, and I really enjoy when I’m able to spend time with my family.
JJJ: Can you share a secret about yourself with Just Jared Jr. readers?
EW: I hate sunflowers. They freak me out. Especially when the seeds fall out. They look like honeycomb. Which also freaks me out. I know…a little strange.
JJJ: You recently joined Twitter! Who would you love to have respond or re-tweet you?
EW: I did! I don’t know why it took me so long. I’m still getting the hang of it. Is Michael Phelps on twitter? I pick him.
Make sure you check out The Perks of Being A Wallflower when it opens in limited theaters on September 21.
Posted to: Erin Wilhelmi