Quentin Jacobson has been entranced with the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman since the day she and her family moved into the house next door in his suburban neighborhood. He was nine years old at the time. Close as children, now they have different groups of friends, little in common and no longer even talk to one another. Nat Wolff’s Q is academic, nerdy and hangs out with the equally nerdy Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith).
The charismatic Cara Delevingne is perfectly cast as the elusive Margo, who is adored by everyone. In contrast to Q, who wants to be a doctor and has his future mapped out, Margo is instinctive, impetuous and fearless.
The film takes a fascinating look at illusions and reality: how people have a tendency to idealize the object of their affections, without having any idea who that individual really is. Q is in love with Margo, or thinks he is, even though he barely knows her. Then late one night, she appears at his bedroom window and enlists his help for a wild quest she has planned. Exacting revenge on her cheating boyfriend and disloyal friend, Margot takes Q for a thrilling night of daring and outrageous antics. It could be the start of a romance! But the next morning, Margo has disappeared, leaving behind a series of clues for Quentin to decipher. Together with Ben, Radar and two other friends: Lacey (Halston Sage) and Angela (Jaz Sinclair), Q sets off on a road trip to track down the girl of his dreams and in the process discovers a lot about himself. Paper Towns examines the complexities of life for young adults. Like last year’s hit film, The Fault in Our Stars, also based on a novel by John Green, it is fresh, authentic and witty.
Cara Delevingne is 22 years old and one of the most recognizable faces in the world. In addition to her huge successes in fashion, she has a burgeoning and exciting acting career – with five films due for release. In 2012, Delevingne made her film debut in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley. Upcoming, she has Michael Winterbottom’s
The Face of an Angel, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last September, starring Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Brühl, Joe Wright’s Pan starring Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Rooney Mara and Garrett Hedland, Matthew Cullen’s London Fields with Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, Chris Foggins’ Kids in Love opposite Will Poulter, Alma Jodorowsky and Sebastien de Souza and Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever alongside Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz and Jack O’Connell. She will also begin production for DC Comics’ Suicide Squad later this year. Delevingne and her Paper Towns co-star Nat Wolff recently won the Rising Stars of 2015 Award at ‘CinemaCon’ in Las Vegas.
What was it like when you found out you had won the role of Margo?
I can’t explain to you how excited I was. I was in love with the book by John Green and with the character of Margo. I auditioned and it was a dream role for me; it meant so much to me. But I didn’t ever think I would get it. I doubt myself constantly. I don’t like to expect anything out of life because then I’m never disappointed. So when I got the call saying I had the part, I freaked out. It was one of the best days of my life and I didn’t stop ranting about it for a long time. I was actually by myself in a hotel room and I ran around the room throwing things up in the air and screaming into pillows. Someone from the hotel called to check if I was okay (laughs). It was pretty funny. Then I worried that I wouldn’t do the role well enough.
What do you like about John’s writing? I know you two have become friends.
I love John. I think he’s amazing and his writing is genius. He is so sincere and hysterically funny. He captures the spirit of a teenager so well; his interpretation of teenagers is very real and he writes from their point of view. His stories are also intelligent and the way he sees things is different. All his characters are three-dimensional.
Margo is an intriguing character, how did you envisage her?
She is an extremely free spirit. She cannot be caged in by her parents or by anyone. She creates explosions without realizing the damage she is doing. Like an animal, she survives on instinct, goes with what she knows and hopes for the best.
Do you identify with Margo?
Yes of course. I was nothing like her at the age that she is in the story; she is a lot more mature than I was. But I do identify with Margo a lot; in terms of the way she is living in the present and not really thinking about the future and just doing what seems right at the time. I also identify with the way she is having fun and causing chaos (laughs). I never try to cause chaos and nor does Margo. She creates a strong reaction all around her without even meaning to do that. She is very opinionated and so am I. She’s a bit of a leader and an individual, who is on her own wavelength and isn’t following anyone else’s rules. Margo doesn’t know who she is and that’s the best bit about her; she is on a road of discovery trying to figure out who she is. She’s not about to let anyone stop her from doing that.
read more in the print edition.
MARGOS SPUREN / PAPER TOWNS
Drama/Mystery/Romance USA 2015 – Directed by Jake Schreier
Written by Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber based upon the novel by John Green Cinematography David Lanzenberg Edited by Jacob Craycroft
Starring Cara Delevigne, Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith, Halston Sage, Jaz Sinclair, Caitlin Carver, Cara Buono, Hannah Alligood
Distribution Twentieth Century Fox, 113 Minutes
Release: July 31st