‘Beautiful Creatures’ Co-Stars Talk Bullying and BFFs

Beautiful Creatures co-stars Zoey Deutsch and Thomas Mann

No high school saga is complete without a mean girl making trouble or a loyal best friend to adventure alongside our hero. Enter Zoey Deutch and Thomas Mann, who terrorize and support (respectively) Beautiful Creatures teen Ethan as he romances the weird new girl in their small Southern town (she’s weird because she’s actually a witch, but their classmates don’t know that).

The ultra-pleasant Deutsch — not very mean girl-like at all, frankly — tells Hollywood.com that playing the two-faced Southern belle cheerleader was an interesting departure from her reality. “It was both exciting and revenge-filled to get to play a charater [whom] I felt I could base off of people that were mean to me,” she says. “But at the same time …it also felt almost therapeutic because I could understand them and sympathize with the people. Generally bullies generally were bullied previously as well, and they’re hurting inside.”

Meanwhile, Mann says he fully understands why Ethan and his character, Link, are such close friends. “I think the great thing about Link and Ethan’s relationship is that they bond over this same need to get out of the place that they’re in,” he says. “Ethan is of course more well read and intellectual than Link is, but at the same time they both realize that they don’t fit in with these people in this town. It’s cool. Their relationship feels very familiar.”

Check out the full interview with Deutsch and Mann below:

Authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl wrote Beautiful Creatures on a dare from Stohl’s daughter, who was one of Garcia’s students at the time. It was after the Twilight mania began, and the two are grateful that Stephenie Meyer’s monster of a series paved the way for their books. Their large, passionate fan base should not be disappointed with the movie, even though significant parts of the story are cut out or condensed.

“Our book is 601 pages, and that is a very long 601-minute movie that you would not enjoy,” Garcia says. “So we found an Academy-nominated screenwriter who specializes in adapting book to film, who loves fantasy, who loves romance, who loves magic, to bring this world to life and condense it in a way that it does not lose the casters, the town, Ethan and Lena — the things you love. We believe he did that.”

Check out Garcia and Stohl’s interview below:

Beautiful Creatures is in theaters now.

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[PHOTO CREDIT: Warner Bros. Pictures]