“Thomas brought an honesty and realness to the character of Greg that is out of this world.
The film’s director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon couldn’t agree more: “He just embodied this character, and because he was the engine of this entire movie, I had to make sure he was someone I could trust.He did a beautiful job.” As for what’s next, Thomas isn’t sure. I feel like I've reached this level and I just want to get better and work with people I respect and admire.” TM: The first time I read the script was about a year and a half before they even started casting. Greg sort of goes on this really amazing journey and I think I saw a lot of myself in Greg.“I made great friends on that film,” Thomas says, “Anytime you're working with a lot of young people it's a lot of fun and you just love hanging out off set.” , is already garnering incredible praise.It won both the Grand Jury Prize for Drama and the Audience awards at Sundance this year and sold for a record 12 million dollars to Fox Searchlight. He plays Greg Gaines, a teenage filmmaker who befriends a girl with cancer. “I just never read a character that sounded so much like myself,” he said.With the support of his parents, Thomas moved to Los Angeles, at age 17, to give acting a serious go.
A friend from acting class was already there, so he moved in with him and his family, to save money on rent. The latter, of which, brought him to Atlanta to shoot opposite Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba, and a dream team of young up and comers.
It was really funny but also about something very serious and I liked the gray area that the movie lived in. And I met Olivia [Cooke, his co-star] the night before we auditioned to get the first day jitters out of our system. TM: I had never read anything that sounded like the kind of kid I was in high school. I love the script so much because it was so funny while dealing with this really dark subject matter. I feel like he's got this wall up and he tries to keep everybody at arms length to protect himself and his feelings.
He was funny but he was really insecure and had a lot of issues that he had to own up to. No one is really good or bad let me start this question over. And as an actor it's really fun to sort of play both of those things and make it flow seamlessly. I could relate to that in some ways and by the end he realizes, that if you want to have substantial relationships, you have to let people in and share yourself with them. I feel like every job I make a few solid friends I keep in touch with. Every set is so different and there's a completely new group of people who live a whole bunch of different lives.
There were some days that you had to really live in this solemn place but it was never really dark or lonely or sad. I was there, surrounded by really talented people and everybody really trusted each other. Everyone had some personal connection to the story and was there for the right reasons. I felt like it was a time that I needed something deeper.
“It was more complex than a lot of coming of age scripts that I'd read.
It spoke to me.” That emotional connection was evident to everyone on set.