‘It Ends With Us’ author addresses Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni casting controversy

“We have to age them because I messed up,” author Colleen Hoover said of the characters in the film adaptation.

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Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty, Nancy Rivera/SplashNews.com

A shared image of Colleen Hoover, Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni

Colleen Hoover clears the air.

At Book Bonanza, the New York Times best-selling author’s annual book festival, Hoover spoke about the upcoming film adaptation of It ends with us — and addressed some of the controversy surrounding the film.

The film is based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Hoover, which, according to a synopsis on its website, follows Lily, a recent college graduate who moves to Boston and falls in love with Ryle, a neurosurgeon with a rule of “no appointment”. . As the two grow closer, Lily’s first love, Atlas, comes back into her life and threatens what they’ve built.

Related: Blake Lively Film ‘It Ends With Us’ NJ Production Halts Due to WGA Strike

Since announcing that Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni will play Lily and Ryle in the film on January 26, Hoover has faced backlash due to the significant age differences between the actors and their It ends with us characters.

Lively, 35, is more than a decade older than the 23-year-old protagonist. Likewise, Baldoni, who is also directing the book’s screen adaptation, is nine years older than his 30-year-old counterpart.

Atria Books Novel cover

Atria Books Cover of the novel “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover

Now, five months after their casting, Hoover has an explanation for the age gap.

“When I was writing It ends with usthe new adult [genre] was very popular,” she said at the June 23 festival, according to Today. “You were writing college-aged characters. That’s what I was hired to do.

The author continued, “I didn’t know neurosurgeons went to school for 50 years. There isn’t a neurosurgeon in his twenties.

Related: Everything To Know About Blake Lively’s Upcoming Movie, ‘It Ends With Us’

Hoover saw the adaptation as an opportunity to right his mistake. “When I started doing this movie, I was like, ‘We have to age them because I messed up,'” she said. “So it’s my fault.”

The author also said she was “extremely happy” with the cast, especially Lively, whom Hoover said she had been “obsessed with” since her turn as Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl.

Despite this, the self-proclaimed pessimist said she didn’t allow herself to “get really excited” about Lively joining the cast – or anything else – because something bad could happen. “It’s not over filming,” Hoover told the festival, according to Today. “Anything can go wrong.”

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As for fans who are, as Hoover put it, “overwhelmed by the outfits and all,” his advice is to simply wait for the film to hit theaters.

Although she said she “loved” the costume conversations generated by the film’s stills, she had a message for fans: “You’ve seen a few outfits that are completely out of context. I do not care.

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“I don’t remember describing any outfits at all,” the author told fans, per Today. “I don’t care what they wear. In my head, it’s about the conversation they have and the story.”

And as for the story being translated to the screen, Hoover said she was “blown away.”

Related: Blake Lively Goes Redhead Filming ‘It Ends With Us’ With Justin Baldoni in Jersey City

“I have been able to see the footage they have filmed so far,” she said, per Today. “I am not a crier. I know I write emotional books but I’m not an emotional person. And I cried so much on set.

Hoover continued, “You’re going to be so happy. I’m extremely happy and now my expectations are high and I’m going to maintain them.”

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