Emma Watson stars as Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and at the Toronto International Film Festival we caught up with the actress, along with the film's director, Stephen Chbosky. Stephen explained the moment when he knew Emma was perfect for the part, while Emma opened up about what an emotional experience watching the film was, and also revealed what scene gave her and costar Logan Lerman an unspoken connection. The Perks of Being a Wallflower hits theaters Sept. 21.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written 13 years ago, and this Fall, the adaptation is being brought to the big screen by its own author, Stephen Chbosky. Chbosky wrote the screenplay and directed the film after carefully casting the coming-of-age drama, picking young, talented actors like Logan Lerman and Emma Watson to play high-schoolers Charlie and Sam. At a set visit of the film I attended last year with several other reporters, we talked to Chbosky about turning the novel into a film, shooting the movie in his hometown of Pittsburgh, and why he knew he had made the right casting decisions.
How was it adapting your own novel for the screen?
SC: It really is, as cliché as it sounds, it's a dream come true. I've wanted to make this movie. I first thought of the title of this movie 20 years ago this Fall — or, the title of the book and movie, 20 years ago this coming Fall. So I always felt that it would probably be both. And so yeah, it is a dream come true.
Had you intended for it to become a movie when you were writing the book?
SC: I hoped that it would, yes.
It's been 13 years since the book came out; where do you think Charlie is today?
SC: Um, you'll have to read the sequel [laughs].
What changes did you have to make to shift the book's letter format to a narrative screenplay?
SC: I didn't have to make many changes; I just had to be very specific about the execution. You have to see it; it's hard to describe intellectually. You have to just see it. What I found was, I wrote the book as a series of letters because I wanted the reader to feel very intimately connected to Charlie, and so it was finding a point of view from the film that would lead to the same connection. And luckily with Logan Lerman, it's not very difficult to get that sense of connection.
Find out what else Chbosky said about the film, and why he chose Watson to play Sam after the jump.