A Visit from Nicholas Sparks and Josh Duhamel

We’re long-time fans of Nicholas Sparks here at Shutterfly, and we try to pass along our love with interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses into his movies.  We even sent one fan to live the celebrity life on the red carpet of the premiere for Sparks’ movie The Lucky One!

So you can imagine that we were a bit starstruck when Nicholas Sparks stopped by our offices to take a few photos and answer questions about his upcoming film, Safe Haven. It didn’t hurt that Josh Duhamel, who stars in the film with Julianne Hough, tagged along as well.

 We surprised Nicholas and Josh with custom iPhone cases personalized with Safe Haven photos.

Even our CEO, Jeff Housenbold, got into the excitement, posing with Josh.

And it sounds like the sentiment goes both ways. Nicholas shared his own love of Shutterfly: “We actually use Shutterfly products extensively at a school that my wife and I founded. It’s a very global school, and we really try to develop global citizens.”

Our team had plenty of questions for Nicholas and Josh, and they were gracious enough to answer them all.

“Safe Haven was an amazing book for me, and I am immensely proud to finish it in the way it deserved,” Nicholas said, when asked about his writing process.

And Josh had only great things to say about making the movie, especially about his co-star, Julianne Hough: “She’s very real. She did an amazing job in this.”

Signed acrylic blocks featuring movie stills from Safe Haven.

Along with questions from the Shutterfly team, Nicholas and Josh answered a few from our Facebook fans:

Josh, what was different about this role from others you have done that made you say, “This is a role I want to do”?  –  Joey T.

“My decision to take this role had more to do with the components around it. I loved the producing team and the studio. I loved the director, I knew that to be part of a Nicholas sparks movie was a very good thing, and ultimately, I knew that working with Lasse Hallstrom would give me a chance to be really creative with the character.”

Josh – What’s your tip for posing in photos? My husband is always awkward.  – Toni B.

A big cheesy grin always works best!

Nicholas, when you are writing your books, do you have an actor or actress in mind who you would like to play the leading roles if the book makes it to the big screen? – Holly W.

Almost never, but it has happened, and only when I already know that a film is going to be made.  For instance, I knew Miley would play Ronnie in The Last Song, because I’d written the screenplay and the film had already been green-lit before I started writing the novel.

When writing love stories, do you base them on characters from your own life? A true love (ex. The Notebook), or a love lost? – Lisa R.
Some characters in my novels are, without question, based on people that I know or have known.  Noah and Allie, for instance, were inspired by my wife’s grandparents, while Travis — from The Choice — was inspired by my brother.  Still, most of the female characters are modeled in some way after my wife.

Who is your favorite character in all of your books? – Crista S.

I don’t have a favorite character.  It’s a lot easier to pick characters I don’t like (Richard in The Guardian, or Kevin in Safe Haven).  I would say, however, that the easiest character to create was Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember.

A mug featuring a Safe Haven quote: “Take a lot of pictures – I’ve only ever regretted when I didn’t take enough.”

We are all looking forward to the movie! Will you be seeing Safe Haven when it comes to theaters this Valentine’s Day?

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