Writing Wednesdays: Seeing my characters come to life in #TKBmovie!

In this post I talk about how it felt to see my characters come to life in The Kissing Booth movie!

It's ten days until The Kissing Booth comes to Netflix, so today I'll be talking about how it was to see the characters I'd created come to life. 

Now I got to spend a week on set while they were filming last February, and I got to meet the cast. This was such a huge moment for me, because I'd told Vince (the scriptwriter and director) right from the off that the characters were the most important part of the story for me, and he completely got it.

(As you can imagine, this is one of the things I've been most excited to talk about, because it was such a big deal, and for a long time, I wasn't even sure I could announce who was in the movie!)

I'll talk more about how it was to hang out with the cast in another post - keep an eye out for it!

As a quick bit of background...

Elle, the protagonist of the novel, is played by the incredible Joey King (you've seen White House Down, right? She was Channing Tatum's daughter in the movie!). Elle's best friend, Lee, is played by Joel Courtney (who was in Super 8, a Spielberg movie!) and Lee's older brother, Elle's love interest, Noah, is played by Jacob Elordi.

The most surreal part for me was seeing Elle and Lee together

Now Elle and Lee were so much fun to write. They're incredibly close, joke around, have this completely unconditional love and support for each other, and they just like to have fun.

All it took was a single scene for me to know that Joey and Joel (playing Elle and Lee respectively) had the perfect chemistry. They came to greet me together my first day on set then did a scene together. Off camera they were giggling, joking, grinning... 

And on camera, they were every inch these characters I'd created. They worked together seamlessly, and sometimes I wasn't even sure where Joey and Joel ended and where Elle and Lee began.

They were exactly what I'd imagined, and everything I could've hoped for.

'Poke my bladder!'

One of the things I loved most about having Joey play Elle was that she was just so awesome. She was sweet and lovely and funny and so bubbly and friendly. Not to mention a total trooper, downing fake shots over and over when we filmed a party scene.

During said scene, they took a break to reset the cameras and move them around to get a different shot. I'd been stood watching and Joey just came over to me going, 'Dude! Dude, poke my bladder! I need to pee so bad.' She was laughing, pulling faces and making jokes about the way the fake shots tasted.

There wasn't a single scene I watched where I thought, 'No, that's not what Elle would do. That's not how she'd say that, or how she'd act.' Joey had Elle down to perfection. (And I could totally see Elle laughing to Lee about her too-full bladder.)

And there was that time Joel skipped away from set

One day of filming, Joel wasn't needed for the afternoon shoots, so he left during lunch. He said a cheerful goodbye and then skipped away, doing that little jump thing where he clicked his heels together.

It was exactly the kind of thing Lee would've done. I couldn't stop laughing.

(I'm laughing again just remembering it.)

And Noah was flawless

When I saw Joey, Joel and Jacob together for the first time in a picture, I thought they all looked like great choices for my characters. Jacob was nothing like Noah in real life - but the second those cameras started rolling, he became Noah. 

I mean, the smirk.

Noah's trademark smirk. (Because, duh, of course the love interest had to have the trademark smirk!) The first time I saw Jacob do the smirk, I freaked out. I was watching the screens, my hand hitting out at my dad next to me, and I just kept going, 'That's him! That's Noah! It's Noah! It's him!'

In short...

In short, they were perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better cast.

Sure, alright, maybe they won't look exactly like you imagined, or like I did, but like I said last week, that wasn't so important to me as them being the characters.

(And I know I've only talked about the three main characters in this post, but I'll share more in the next week and after the movie is out about the rest of the cast!)

Joey, Jacob and Joel brought my characters to life in every way imaginable. I still don't know how to describe how it felt watching them except surreal, because it was like the weirdest goddamn dream I've ever had. 

Imagine a reverse fanfic situation. When you get the characters you know and love from TV and someone writes them perfectly into a fic, capturing them exactly, so they leap right off the page and you can imagine it all perfectly (because you also know exactly how these characters look and gesture and so on). Like that, but in reverse.

And it was really, really damn inspirational

I mean this in the writing sense, now. Seeing my characters come to life like that, seeing my story played out - I just wanted to write. Simple as that.

(I also may have taken my laptop to set to work on a new book while I was there... but more on that another time!)

Don't forget that The Kissing Booth will be coming to Netflix on Friday 11th May 2018 as a Netflix Original movie - it's being released worldwide on this date, and you can add it to your list now!

If you have any questions for me about TKBmovie, Tweet them to me @Reekles or add them in the comments here on my blog. I'll be pulling together a vlog answering all your questions that I'll upload just before release day - so make sure to subscribe to me on YouTube, too!

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