I want to get out ahead of it. There’s a movie that’s coming out soon. Called The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS). You may have heard of it. The New York Times bestselling author John Green wrote the 2012 novel by the same name. Regular readers (hello, favorites!) may remember my book review of TFIOS which was more a character study of Isaac, the teenager facing blindness due to an eye cancer. Just as I wrote about the TV show Growing Up Fisher featuring a character who is blind, I’m mentioning TFIOS today since Isaac will be returning.
Fact. TFIOS is a movie/book with a character who is blind.
Fact. An actor who is sighted plays the character who is visually impaired.
Fact. A major motion picture, expected to do great at the box office, features a secondary but prominent character who is blind.
I’m drawn to Isaac for obvious reasons–hold your white canes in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care. I researched a bit about the actor–Nat Wolff–who plays Isaac in the movie. I’ll let him speak for himself.
John: What’s it like playing a blind person?
Nat: When I’m doing the scenes blind, I really can’t see anything. I put stuff over my glasses or Im wearing these contacts that make it so I can’t see anything and its almost freeing because you become really, you loose all self-consciousness. Physically I watched a lot of videos online of blind people. I met with this guy named Ethan and I watched Scent of a Woman. So I got some of those speeches memorized you know.
John: So you got the Al Pacino blind.
Nat: Yeah its like “Im in the dark Charlie. I’m in the dark.” So I’m trying to work that into the movie somehow. “Take a flamethrower to this place”.
Like with J. K. Simmons and Growing Up Fisher, some people have a problem with an actor who is sighted playing a character who is blind. I do not as I wrote about in my Growing Up Fisher post. I’m more interested in the diversity of the characters than who is cast to play them.
Amid recent headlines over BookCon’s non-diverse panel controversy, let’s talk diversity and TFIOS. The cast of TFIOS: bright white. So, that’s not racially diverse. But race is not the only factor in diversity. I’m pleased that John Green wrote about characters with disabilities. (I’m not getting into the cancer: disease vs. disability thing here. I’m counting cancer as a disabler.) I want to read and watch characters with diverse races and ethnicities, but also characters with disabilities and characters who aren’t heterosexual. When’s the last time you read a book or watched a TV show/movie which featured a nonwhite and/or disabled and/or not heterosexual protagonist? When’s the last time you read a book or watched a TV show/movie written by someone who is nonwhite and/or disabled and/or not heterosexual?
Just wondering. Ok, back to the movie. TFIOS premiers on the 6th of June. I plan on watching it, perhaps not enduring an audience of swooning teenagers and sticky theater floors though. I might have to wait for the Redbox DVD release.
I leave you with one final tragedy, worse than the tragedy of fictional characters fighting cancer. They cut Graham, Isaac’s feisty younger brother, from the movie. I can’t find him listed anywhere on cast lists. It’s decided–I’m waiting for the DVD.
*For those who want extra answers from writer John Green, I found more info on Isaac. Warning: Spoilers.
**And a few more details about Isaac Symbolism. Scroll to “Was there any symbolism to Isaac?” More spoilers.