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Authors Who Bonded with the Stars of Their Adaptations

Article by Eliza Bayroff 

Writers and actors don’t seem like the most obvious bedfellows, but every so often sparks fly between a writer and the people tasked with bringing their story to the screen. Here are 4 authors who totally bonded with the actors playing their characters. 

1. Harper Lee and Gregory Peck

Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

Visiting the set of the film adaptation of her novel To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee was immediately taken with Gregory Peck, the actor playing righteous lawyer Atticus Finch. “I saw him walk out of his dressing room in the three-piece white suit and called out, ‘My God, he’s got a little pot belly just like my Daddy,” Lee told journalist Michael Freedland. “In that film, the man and the part met,” she asserted. Lee even gave Peck a pocket watch once owned by her father Amasa, the model for Atticus, as a token of admiration. Even sweeter: The watch was in Peck’s jacket when he accepted his Oscar for the role. The two remained close friends until Peck’s death in 2003.


2. S.E. Hinton and the cast of The Outsiders

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In addition to her warm relationship with director Francis Ford Coppola, S.E. Hinton became a surrogate mother to the young men portraying her rough but loveable Greasers. Hinton, who makes a brief cameo in the film as a nurse, still keeps in contact with the cast thirty years later, which includes then-unknown stars Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, and Emilio Estevez. “They were typical goofy teenagers,” Hinton told Entertainment Weekly, “but you get ’em in front of a camera and they’d turn into these serious artists. I loved watching that.”


3. John Green and Nat Wolff

Image courtesy of Bustle

John Green, the author of YA sensation The Fault in Our Stars, became quick friends with Nat Wolff—the actor portraying blind and lovelorn teenager Isaac —while visiting the set of the 2014 film adaptation of the novel. “I love Nat as a person and I love working with Nat and I just have so much respect for him as a person and as an actor,” Green told Variety. The feeling was mutual. Wolff reportedly told Green he loved him “a half-hour in” to their first meeting. The two became so close that Wolff was handpicked by Green to play protagonist Quentin “Q” Jacobsen in the 2015 adaptation of his novel Paper Towns.


4. Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp

Image courtesy of The AV Club

In early 2017, actor Johnny Depp made news when his estranged business manager alleged he spent nearly $3 million on shooting the ashes of his friend Hunter S. Thompson out of a giant cannon. “I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out,” Depp said at the time. The actor and the journalist had met during the making of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the film adaptation of Thompson’s landmark 1971 novel noted for its intense exploration of psychoactive drugs and the 1960’s counterculture; Depp played Raoul Duke, Thompson’s stand-in.


Featured image courtesy of The Wrap