The Best of Me

Written by Rolemommy contributor, Kristin Flannery.
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Ever wonder what it would be like to reconnect with your long, lost love? I have to say that this Rolemommy contributor found out but alas we figured out why it didn’t work in the first place. This wasn’t the case with Nicholas Spark’s THE BEST OF ME which opens in theaters on Friday October 17, 2014.
Rolemommy sat down with the films stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan to find out what it was like during filming and if they ever found their own lost loves.
This isn’t the first time that James Marsden has been in a Nicholas Sparks movie (he played the ditched fiance in The Notebook) so we were wondering if he was promised a happy ending…
James Marsden filled us in “Yes, he’s a sadistic, isn’t he? Oh, I have to be careful. You’re recording this. I didn’t mean that, Nick. Which is going to be a slow progression over the next 10 years, when I’m in the next Nicholas Sparks movie.Something else is going to happen right before I get the girl. No, I didn’t actually meet Nicholas until “The Notebook” premiere. So, he’s obviously is a presence in these movies. But, when we’re out there filming the scenes and working with Michael (director Michael , it’s pretty much just us.” Michelle Monaghan thinks “he is writing the next 10 books, basically, while we’re out shooting.”
We thought that this one was the most violent Nicholas Sparks movie, book, that we have seen yet so we wondered how was it on the set.
James Marsden confessed “It’s pretty intense. I mean, I know that Luke got the brunt of all of that, and dealt with that more than I did, except that I, you know, I’m sort of the product of that down the line. But, I think, there’s an edge to this movie. And his upbringing, love and someone defining that for him at a young age was very absent in his upbringing. And so, that’s what I think when he meets Amanda. It’s like he comes alive, you know. It’s the first time he’s ever felt these emotions for somebody else, and what it feels like to be cared for and to care for somebody else. It was a very serious thing that he was dealing with, and in having an abusive father.”
It’s a really nice story, I think, as somebody in middle age to see you come back and you have a second chance in there. And are there anything that you guys would want to have second chances at now in your life?
Michelle Monaghan believes “It’s funny because you can sort of look at your life and go, “Okay. Well, maybe I would have made a different decision,” or something like that. But, I guess regrets are kind of hard because every single one that I’ve made, whether they’ve been good or bad, they’ve informed my life in some way. So, I can’t say, “Oh, dear, that was maybe not the right thing to do.” But, I learned something from it, or I have grown from that. And I think that’s where people in general just grow.”
We wondered have you really been in this kind of love, like in this love, because it’s lovely to see these kind of movies, but thinking in real life?
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James Marsden replies “Not everybody is lucky enough to find it. I like these characters so much in this movie because there’s so much goodness about them, and they’re so unselfish with the love that they give to one another and how they show it. And I think you can better your chances at maybe finding that by nurturing it as well. It’s not just like love at first sight, and the universe has these two people. And then, for some reason, just them, they’re the only ones allowed to experience it. I think that it’s what they do with their initial reaction to one another and how they treat one another that it’s that that love is then nurtured, and then it becomes that sort of timeless love, I think.
In closing we wondered if they found those emotional moments a lot when they were filming, where you were so drawn into it that you were off-set or on-set like–.
Michelle Monaghan believes “Yes. Well, I think that’s the beauty of these sorts of films, it’s like a privilege to be able to go there, because I think we’re so used to shooting a lot of films, like James was saying yesterday, there’s a lot of bells and whistles, and a lot of special effects and things like that. And this really is just about the emotion. And it’s about these scenes. So, you’re invested in these characters, and you really want to bring as much emotional truth as you can to it. And so, James and I, along with Michael, we really spent a lot of time in creating this emotional arc, and making sure that it made sense, and that it was truthful and based in reality, and it was grounded, and that the emotional responses were earned and deserved. There is joy behind heartache. That is so Nicholas Sparks. There really is joy behind heartache.”
Don’t miss Nicholas Sparks’ THE BEST OF ME in theaters October 17th and for more information follow them on twitter at #thebestofme.
Check out the special trailer here.
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Behind the Scenes at “Safe Haven”

Kristin NC.jpg Last summer Rolemommy had the chance to fly to North Carolina to meet Nicholas Sparks and tour the set of his new movie SAFE HAVEN in theaters February 14, 2013. When I flew in to North Carolina, I was met by a local towncar driver who whisked me away (well, I was running late) and we started on the hour journey to get to the parade scene in the movie.
On our way I learned all about Southport, North Carolina’s history (in 2010 when it was announced that billionaire hedge fund manager, Louis Moore Bacon, bought this huge mansion called Orton Plantation), the other films that have shot in NC (Hunger Games, Iron Man 3 and soon to be released We’re The Millers) and his divorce and kids (what can I say, people tell me everything!). We already knew why Southport, NC was the perfect spot to film SAFE HAVEN but taking a walking tour with Nicholas Sparks was something we did not want to miss….
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: The really interesting thing about North Carolina, it’s one of the reasons why I set the stories here and why this particular place is perfect is that it’s a very unique state in that, unlike virtually every other state, the big cities are off the coast because of the hurricanes.
The entire eastern part of the state is dotted with small towns. Biggest town is Wilmington, about 150,000. And that’s huge. I mean, you know, Southport has a population of 1,500.
So here is something very typical of outdoor dining in these small towns. And it’s a great place where someone like Katie could wander in and, you know, there’s never going to be anyone from Boston that you’d ever happen to bump into here.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: You’re at the mouth of the Cape Fear River here. Over there is Oak Island, where they were filming the parachuting scenes for Iron Man 3.
People here are watching fireworks and people diving from the sky over there. Poor little Southport, right? Southport is interesting. Wilmington was the last open port in the, as they say here, the war for Southern Independence.
Charleston had closed, and everything else had closed, New Orleans had closed. Southport was really the last place that everything came in. And this was the south port, hence the name that they change it to in about 1887. It was originally called Smithville. There’s your North Carolina history lesson.
Most people don’t know, but the last major battle of the Civil War was fought in North Carolina, it was fought after Robert E. Lee surrendered.
This is true, the Battle of Bentonville, which was fought by Joe Johnson because Robert E. Lee, he was just in charge of the armies of Northern Virginia, which was the main army, but you still had the North Carolina regimens–.
Rolemommy: I think this such an amazing experience -it’s fun to see the actual place your filming, and then to see it on the big screen, I know it will look so different.
Nicholas Sparks: yes, it always looks different when you frame things. That’s called movie magic.
We walked down the street to the set of “Ryan’s Port Market” which was fully built from scratch. *Plot spoiler alert* Unfortunately, the very cool-looking market did not stay there in keeping with the plot of Nicholas Sparks’ book they burnt it down.
Nicholas Sparks: The one side of the store is here. This is where they entered. Now it’s burned down, people were sad that it was gone. One of the great things about North Carolina are these live oaks. I love these trees, they are very interesting because they don’t shed like regular oak trees. They stay green year round, they shed three times per year.
And so, they’re always as beautiful as this. It’ll be this green throughout winter, these little leaves just fall all the time.
Normally when they grow let’s say, in Virginia, they don’t look like this because it’s not quite as wet and humid. It’s the moisture in the air that causes these trunks to twist and to spread out.
So if you buy a live oak in a nursery they won’t look the same. The sad thing they do now is they kind of force them to grow straight and spread.
Nicholas Sparks: So, the best way to get a live oak for your yard — that’ll look like this — if you live outside of North Carolina – is to go out to the forest, find someone with some forest land, and you dig up one that’s already kind of growing like this.
And then in about 60 years when you’re dead, you’ll have a fabulous tombstone there. And people say, “Man, that is a great tree.”
I mean, I think this is one of the most beautiful towns. Ten years ago, I was here for the filming of “A Walk to Remember.” I remember walking down here and I said, “I have to find a book for this place one day.”
So get ready for Nicholas Spark’s SAFE HAVEN in Theaters February 14, 2013
In the meantime, click here to see the trailer and the beauty of North Carolina….