If there’s one thing that gets people talking here in the Philippines, it’s love, embodied by OTPs (Jadine, Kathniel, LizQuen) and hugot social media posts we just can’t seem to let go of. Love gets us exhilarated, and what’s more exciting than love? Forbidden love.
Fresh from a book signing and meet and greet the day before, I am joined by New York Times’ best-selling author Lauren Kate and Harrison Gilbertson, one of the actors in the movie adaptation of Fallen.
We talked to Lauren Kate and Harrison Gilbertson on their blossoming career, feelings on forbidden love, and pre-premiere jitters.
YOUNG STAR: Is there any character in particular in the series that you had a hard time writing about?
LAUREN KATE: I had a hard time writing Luce initially, not so much later in the series, but certainly in the first book because she was in such a different place than I was. I was writing the prologue of Fallenwhen my husband proposed to me and I was in a very romantic and exciting place and she was very alone. I used different tools. I listened to music a lot. I tried to write it not quickly but without interruption. It was the only thing I did for several months because I found that if I could stay down there with her I could get close to her. If I tried to come up and go to a birthday party or do things that normal people like to do on their time off, it was really hard for me to get back to that place.
As a writer, you’re usually an individual working your craft. Aside from the mixtapes your husband makes for you to help set the mood for your writing, how does he come into the creative process?
He’s a writer too, a poet and a musician. We work together a lot, we read each other’s work and tear each other’s work apart and put them back together again. Sometimes it’s really challenging but overall, mostly at the end of the journey I feel really grateful for his feedback. I don’t share my work with a lot of people before it’s published — it’s basically my agent and editor. It’s a really private thing for me and I need to get a lot of drafts in before I can say “This is it.” Before I feel ready to even show it to anybody.
I’ve noticed that you’ve had this interest in the concept of forbidden romance. What draws you to write about it? And what topics have you yet to explore and write about?
Love is a central preoccupation for me, I think erotic love and romantic love is “the thing.” I think it’s the reason that we’re here aside from clean water and food, and personal freedom. It’s when there’s a push and pull of a doomed love — when it feels right on a number of levels and wrong on a number of levels — that central conflict is just the sweet spot for me to explore. It obsesses me. I wonder what love says about us and autonomy. I think I’ll probably be writing about it and circling around it my whole life.
What made you say yes? Since book-to-movie adaptations always have this pressure attached to them, were there any hesitations about taking the role?
HARRISON GILBERTSON: Yeah, I mean the fear of upsetting the fans and not being what they imagined. It was really humbling again yesterday to hear how many people were saying I was the perfect Cam. It’s a really big weight off your shoulders when people don’t write back and say “This is not the guy I wanted,” so I feel really lucky on this, that Scott made the choice to let me represent the character that people are excited to see.
Now that you’re a few days away from your premiere, how are you feeling?
L: I’m just having fun, enjoying spending time with Harrison. We’re waiting for Addison Timlin to get here, to be with the Filipino readers, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what people think of the movie. I’m a little nervous, but also excited.
H: I’m feeling nervous, it’s never a sure thing. If the film doesn’t get received well, that’s a big chapter of my life that closes, and that’s a sad feeling but if it is successful then big chapters can open up and that can be life-changing.
What would you like to say to your Fallenatics?
L: Nothing but gratitude. Thank you for inspiring me and to bring new elements into the story, and thank you for your commitment to this romance, it’s spurred me on like I never have anticipated.
H: Thank you. Thank you for being supportive and patient. I hope the film is what you’ve waited for, and I hope that we get the chance to make more.