The Longest Ride is the latest Nicholas Sparks novel to be adapted for the big screen and is set to be released on DVD on 2nd November.
In The Longest Ride, the lives of two couples from different eras become intertwined after a series of serendipitous events.
Oona Chaplin takes on the role of young Ruth in the film, who meets her husband Ira Levinson in the 1940s.
- Can you describe the qualities of Ruth that attracted you to take the part?
Ruth is a feisty little thing and she seems to know what she wants in her life. She's from Vienna and moves to North Carolina because of the troubles in Europe before World War II. She is Jewish, so her parents took her away from Vienna where she had access to culture and art. She ends up in North Carolina, which is hugely different.
It's a big culture shock. She's trying to get her head around the horrors that are happening in her country and to her people at that time, while trying to make sense of this new world. Then she finds Ira and she thinks that he is the answer to everything. She just needs to love and have a family and bring life out of this nonsense.
I really like her attitude. She doesn't wallow in the hatred and the darkness and the things that have happened to her and her people. She brings all of that into the light, which is the thing that I like most about her.
- Would you say there's a timeless element in this young love? Specifically, in the way that she's torn between her aspirations and the difficulty she finds in her new love?
I think that her main aspiration is having a family. She knows she's going to get married and have a family, and that is that. But she's a very modern woman in that she's not bound by the social constructs that kept women in a subordinate place. That is nice, because she's more outspoken.
Even though she's polite and well behaved, she has no doubt that's she's going to get what she wants. Her love for contemporary art is something that really inspires Ira. That's part of the reason why their relationship works, because she can take steps and he follows her. I think it is so admirable of him.
- In the movie, the young, contemporary couple, sees in Ira an example of enduring love, of how to make a relationship last for a long time. Can you relate to that? Do you have any examples or any personal stories that you can think of?
Yeah, my parents! My parents met in the late 70s and they are still together. They are so in love and they have so much love to give to us, their children and friends. They are the most loving parents. I am the luckiest girl in the world in that respect. They have been together for 40 years and they still make out.
Funnily enough, there's a parallel between my dad and Ira. My dad gave up everything to be with mom. He was a photographer, he was very active in politics, and he was doing all sorts of great stuff with his life, then he met her. They quickly realized that if they both pursued their careers, they would never spend any time together.
One of them had to give up. It was my dad, which was a big step for a Latino man, hairy and scary and the whole thing. He's proved to be the most caring and exemplary man. And he's just devoted to the family and to my mother.
- Isn't it interesting that in the story one couples' choices are driven by a passion for art and the other by a passion for bull riding?
Definitely. When I read the script, I think one of the first things that jumped out at me was how these two things, the art and the bull riding, on paper are so different, but have the same effect on people. I was lucky enough to go to the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) in Vegas. It's a circus.
It's wonderful and so exciting and everyone is totally invested. Then we would go to the bits in the film with the art community at Black Mountain College, and it was the same feeling. It is like there is a community of expression, which in every form has the same effect on people that love it. It's an interesting parallel to draw. I respect Nicholas Sparks for having found that.
- The Longest Ride is a Romantic Comedy. A lot of people are going to watch it on Blu-ray or Digital HD. Do you imagine the audience of this movie enjoying The Longest Ride at home?
I think this movie is actually great to watch at home. In the privacy of your own quarters, especially for men, you can let yourself enjoy it in a way that perhaps in a room full of people in the cinema, not so much. I don't know.
Also you can get little ideas of things to do for your partner. You can jot things down and be like, oh, maybe I will hire a pickup truck and go have a little picnic by a lake with my lady. (laughs) I think it will be really good just snuggling up with this movie.
The Longest Ride is released on DVD on 2nd November.