USA Today: February 2016

Q&A: 'The Choice' stars talk breakups, 'Netflix and chill'

USA Today   |   Written by Patrick Ryan

This Valentine’s Day, many a reluctant boyfriend will be dragged to Nicholas Sparks’ latest big-screen romance, The Choice (in theaters Friday). But rest assured, the weepy date movie isn’t just for women.

“If this is a chick flick, then I’m a chick,” says Benjamin Walker. “Men are just as capable of being vulnerable. … This movie is geared toward people. Not specifically women, just human beings.”

Adapted from Sparks’ 2007 novel of the same name, The Choice follows a successful Southern lothario named Travis (Walker) who falls for his new neighbor, Gabby (Teresa Palmer), an outspoken med student torn between suitors. As is customary with Sparks tearjerkers, the love story unfolds on the North Carolina coast and comes with a third-act twist that puts Travis’ faith to the test.

Walker, 33, and Palmer, 29, talk with USA TODAY about the film, their favorite romantic movies and Valentine’s plans.

In what ways are you similar and different to your characters?

Walker: I’d like to think I’m not as big a womanizer as Travis. But in other ways, we’re very similar. I enjoy my independence and have a freewheeling spirit. I like to think I’m charming. A lot of people might disagree with me.

Palmer: Eh. You’re all right.

What’s one thing you learned about the other that people wouldn’t expect?

Palmer: He can play piano, he’s an amazing guitarist, he has a beautiful singing voice, he does stand-up, he can drive a boat, he makes everybody laugh. Also, he is very good at ballet.

Walker: Ugh. Dammit.

Palmer: He does a very good — what’s it called?

Walker: Turnout! I learned that she will embarrass you to USA TODAY.

What’s the most romantic movie ever?

Walker: Casablanca.

Palmer: Gone With the Wind. But I’m also a huge Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet fan. That was the first time I felt the desperate need to have a boyfriend and be in love, and I also wanted that boyfriend to be Leonardo DiCaprio. I actually had a necklace that said his name and I’d wear it every day. Then when I met him, I was like, “Oh, my God, if only I could go back to my 13-year-old self.”

What’s your go-to movie after a breakup?

Palmer: Eat Pray Love. That’s a good inspiring one.

Walker: One of my best friends and I, any time we go through any kind of traumatic relationship experience, we’ll watch Tangled.

Palmer: Oh, that’s so cute!

Walker: It’s just beautiful. It’s funny and charming and the music’s great and I’m so embarrassed that I’m letting you write this.

What’s one sacrifice you refused to make moving in with your spouses?

Palmer: I’m a true-crime girl. My husband (actor Mark Webber) won’t watch those really gritty shows. I was like, “If you don’t like it, then you can go out.”

Walker: When my wife (actress Kaya Scodelario) moved in, I had a lot of tools out. It’s a fair point: She didn’t want to look at my chainsaw, so I had to put that in the basement. I bet that’s going to sound really creepy.

Palmer: Well, I’m talking about true crimes.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Palmer: Netflix and chill.

Walker: Netflix and chill, man. For me, Netflix is what’s become romantic: What you sit on the couch and watch. We’re both kind of obsessed with Making A Murderer. I know that sounds strange, but it’s something you do with your partner and anything can be romantic.