If I Stay is a movie based on the novel by Gayle Forman, about a young talented cellist named Mia Hall and a tragic car accident she is involved in. Losing her family in the car accident, she is put into a coma where she watches things unfold like an earth-bound angel, trying to decide if her life is worth fighting for.
At the press conference, which took place at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Mia Hall, was asked about her training with the cello.
“Basically there was seven months of training with the cello. We had this If I Stay cello that traveled around the world with me to every location I went to. Seven months, two hours a day, and honestly I would be silly to say that in seven months I learned such an intricate instrument, so really what it was, was learning the emotionality of it and the passion that comes with being a cellist, you kind of have to surrender your entire soul to this instrument as you play it.”
“Like Mia, she had discovered this great passion and gift at a very early age and had committed herself to it and spent her childhood really developing it. It was something very real that she was able to bring to her portrayal of a character, and part of why I think it’s such a powerful performance.”
Cutler also mentioned that this film isn’t just targeted at teens – it is a movie for everyone. “We do not think of this as a movie for teenagers or for girls, we think about this film as a movie for people who are in families, who have parents, who are parents. We find that all of those people respond to the film and respond with a full emotional impact. So please help us spread the word.”
Mia’s love interest, Adam, is played by British actor Jamie Blackley, who actually sings and plays the guitar in the movie. His American accent is pretty authentic. I wasn’t aware that Jamie was British, and it was quite a nice surprise to hear him speak at the press conference with his natural British accent.
“I played the guitar since I was about 12 pretty basically, alone in my bedroom. In the build-up to this, I just had a few lessons back home to make sure that I was kind of ready in terms of knowing the songs as well as I could, and then we recorded a bunch of the tracks about two or three weeks before we started shooting. We had a bunch of band rehearsals before each concert scene which were amazing and fun.”
When asked if he loved being a rock star, Jamie said, “Yeah, it was amazing! Are you kidding me? It was awesome!… It made me feel like George Harrison for a little bit.
Chloë talked about the on-screen chemistry between her and Jamie and how it just came naturally to them. “With Jamie and I, we became good friends. We were able to create this love relationship just by goofing around with each other and being silly and having a good time and rapping to Kanye and being kids and just being fun on set,” Chloë said.
Cutler added that, “In addition to the fact that [Jamie] and Chloë had such good chemistry, we were like, ‘Wow, he’s nailing it on all fronts.’ Finding the guy to play Adam in this film isn’t an easy thing. You gotta find a great actor, a charming guy, and someone who has a connection with Chloë and someone who’s gonna be a rock star. This is the real thing.”
If I Stay opens in theaters on August 22.