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Uploaded:2014-05-31
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Author John Green at the "TFIOS" junket in New York.

Interview: Vanessa Christin Poehlmann
John: I would walk into Starbucks every day for several weeks, and I would like, open up my computer at eight o'clock in the morning, and I would start typing, and I would cry for three hours-

Vanessa: (laughing) Oh, God!

John: And then I would close my computer and I would leave. And I'm sure the people at Starbucks just thought I was crazy.

(Vanessa laughs)

(intro reel)

Vanessa: You've been voted as one of the most influential people in the whole world, from Time's magazine. Um, congratulations!

John: Thank you!

Vanessa: What do you do with such a title? I mean, no pressure, right?!

John: Yeah, um. Well, every time my wife asks me to do the dishes now, I say "I'm sorry, but I'm one of the world's 100 most influential people, and people like us just don't do the dishes."

Vanessa: Right.

John: No, nothing changes in my life (John and Vanessa laugh) I was very flattered, and I loved what Shailene wrote about me. It meant a lot to me that Shailene wrote such nice things. But no, I mean, those lists are a little ridiculous.

(cuts to a clip from The Fault in our Stars movie)

Augustus: Hello, ma'am! Uh, your daughter, she's done a great injustice, so we've come here seeking revenge. See, we may not look like much, but between the three of us, we have five legs, four eyes and two and a half working pairs of lungs, but we also have two dozen eggs. So... If I were you, I would go back inside.

(cuts back to the interview)

Vanessa: When we talked before, I asked you about your favorite quote, and you told me it is a quote none of the other people really liked. Tell us more about that.

John: So uh, before I wrote The Fault in our Stars, I was working on a different book for about a year, and I wrote, you know.. The entire book. But it wasn't any good. And in the end, I only was able to salvage one sentence, uh, from that entire book, that ended up in The Fault in our Stars. And that sentence - it appears near end of the book. The sentence is: "It was kind of a beautiful day." And uh, (laughing) it means a lot to me to have salvaged that one sentence.

(cuts to a clip from The Fault in our Stars movie)

Augustus: Hazel Grace, they don't actually hurt you unless you light them.

Hazel: Hmm?

Augustus: I've never lit one. It's a metaphor, see. You put the thing that does the killing right between your teeth... But you never give it the power to kill you. (pause) A metaphor!

(cuts back to the interview)

Vanessa: Why did you write that book?

John: I wrote it, I think ultimately because I wanted to um, I wanted to celebrate uh, the lives of people who may not have long lives. I wanted to um, celebrate the love and humor and richness of their lives, and argue that short lives can also be good lives.

Vanessa: I actually shed one or another tear at some moments. When you wrote it, did that happen to you?

John: Oh, yeah, I cried. I cried a lot.

Vanessa: You did?

John: Yeah, yeah. I would walk into Starbucks every day for several weeks, and I would like, open up my computer at eight o'clock in the morning, and I would start typing, and I would cry for three hours-

Vanessa: (laughing) Oh, God!

John: And then I would close my computer and I would leave. And I'm sure the people at Starbucks just thought I was crazy.

(Vanessa laughs)

John: Yeah, it was very sad! I mean, I was also working my way through my own grief, because I'd lost a friend who was very young. She died when she was 16. The book is dedicated to her. And, I think, you know, a lot of it was written in response to her death.

(cuts to a clip from The Fault in our Stars movie)

Waiter: Do you know what Don Pérignon said after he invented champagne?

(Augustus shakes his head)

Waiter: "Come quickly," he said. "I'm tasting the stars!" We've bottled all the stars for you this evening, my young friends.

(cuts back to the interview)

Vanessa: Do you ever think about how Hazel's story might go on, beyond the book?

John: I- I don't. Um. I- like Peter Van Houten, I believe that a book ends when it ends, and that the author's voice should not be privileged when it comes to matters outside the book. Um, I hope she is well.

(outro reel)