In The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel is obsessed with an Infinite Jest–like book called An Imperial Affliction, to the point where she is desperately trying to find out from its author, Peter Van Houten, what happens to the characters after the book ends abruptly mid-sentence. She even goes to Amsterdam to seek this out. What kind of books and authors inspire this level of dedication for Fault's own cast? For Shailene Woodley, it's Anaïs Nin. At the Gotham Awards, the actress told Vulture she had started reading Henry and June, the unexpurgated diary of Nin's affair with Henry Miller and his wife June. Woodley then declared, "Anaïs is like the ultimate goddess. I feel really connected to her femininity." And six months later, at last night's premiere of The Fault in Our Stars hosted by InStyle and Physicians Formula, Woodley was still in love. When asked if she could track down her favorite author and ask one burning question, the way Hazel does, Woodley had a ready response: "Anaïs Nin! Will you marry me?" And then she wondered, "Ah-ni-is Nin? I don't know if it's pronounced Ah-ni-is or Ana-ees? But either way, she is my quintessential ..."
Comedian Mike Birbiglia, who plays Hazel's support-group counselor, has a more practical question he wanted to ask. "You know whose brain I'd want to pick? Elia Kazan wrote this book called Kazan on Directing, and I'm obsessed with that," he said. "And one of my favorite things about it is that there are so many things in it that you're like, 'Did he sign off on this being in a book?'" Such as a letter Kazan wrote to the movie studio about keeping in "some of these really lurid scenes in Splendor in the Grass. "I want to be like, 'Did you say that's okay, to put your personal letter into this book?' I'm always curious, when people die — what's fair game? Like when we die, do people publish our emails eventually? Is that what's going to be?!" Guessing that yes, all our tweets, Facebook entries, emails, letters, and diaries will be available for posthumous publication, he shook his head, laughing. "I'm furious about that."