A conversation with Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert

The main actors in Beautiful Creatures, Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich (characters Lena Duchannes and Ethan Lawson Wate in the movie), visited Boston at the end of January for interviews with the press. British stalwarts Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson played supporting roles in the movie, but regrettably did not make the press tour. Nevertheless, it was fun to meet the young stars. They were entertaining, energetic, articulate, and as endearing as their characters the movie. Gone were the Southern accents from the movie (Englert has a soft New Zealand accent, while Ehrenreich, an NYU alum, speaks with your basic Midwestern accent), and both seemed relaxed during our short interview. Ehrenreich had his feet on the table at one point, and Englert was eating strawberries and doodling on a Ritz Carlton notepad. Here are some of their thoughts:

• Are they in a real relationship à la Twilight? “No,” exclaimed Ehrenreich, while Englert politely said they were just friends.

• Both realize Beautiful Creatures will inevitably be compared to Twilight, but consider it more of a Harry Potter for the Twilight demographic.

• Ehrenreich was attracted to the role because of the “recklessness and determination” of Ethan’s character.

• Both said working with Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Viola Adkins was “amazing,” “like free acting lessons.”

• One reporter asked if they thought the film would make books “sexy” for teenagers, because the characters bond over their love of literature in the film. Ehreneich replied confidently, but somewhat sarcastically, “we’re going to make reading sexy.” However, he also noted that not all of the books mentioned in the film are appropriate for children (for example, Charles Bukowski’s profanity-soaked novels). “I found literature very sexy when I was younger, because no one wanted to go out with me,” said Englert, which was rather difficult to believe.