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Much like the magnetic pull Tessa and Hardin have for one another in the bestselling phenomenon that is the After series, the books cannot be separated from the movie franchise for too long. The fanbase that initially formed on Wattpad back in 2013 (much like Netflix’s The Kissing Booth series) when Anna Todd published her fan fiction story inspired by One Direction’s Harry Styles has exploded into a massive following that helped After have a No. 1 weekend at the box office last year.

Following the success of the first movie starring Josephine Langford as Tessa and Harry Potter’s Hero Fiennes Tiffin comes the sequel After We Collided, which has proved to be bulletproof given its international performance that outperformed Tenet with its per-screen average last month. Now there’s already two more sequels on the way. So did the cast read ahead? Here’s how Langford balances the books with the script:

For me I read all the books before I started because I wanted to know the journey and I wanted to know the arc and it's the same as the script. It would be nice if everything was shot in order and you didn’t have to read ahead and you could be in the moment. But, just with the realities of filmmaking, it's not practical or feasible, so I read ahead.

During an exclusive interview with CinemaBlend, Josephine Langford admitted she reads the books in between playing Tessa on screen because she wanted to see the complete arc of her character. Plus, she has the luxury of having entire books devoted to allowing her to get inside her head. Of course, why wouldn’t she? Here’s what else she said during the interview:

When you have 1000, 2000 pages of someone’s internal dialogue, you really get to know their thinking process and how they react in certain situations. It’s just like having a window into someone’s brain. It’s really helpful.

On the other hand, the After We Collided star portraying Hardin, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, doesn’t have the same approach when it comes to the books vs. script. In his words:

Yeah, I have a pretty different process to Jo, especially given the first book being written from Tessa’s perspective. Unfortunately because the scripts simply cannot encompass everything that’s in the books, I made a conscious decision not to read them and really make my source material only be the script, but having Anna Todd so close to us all the time, she’s kind of our go-to rule book for making sure we stay in line with the books.

If Hero Fiennes Tiffin read the books just like his co-star did, he may be too in tune with the inner workings of his love interest’s brain, and in turn be two steps ahead of her on an emotional level. The After We Collided actors seem to have a good system going to make their relationship flow as well as it does on screen.

As Hero Fiennes Tiffin also points out, the After author Anna Todd is quite involved in the production process, giving the actors an extra resource into the source novels. Todd is a producer on the film, and this time around, she co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Celaya. After We Collided is also directed by Roger Kumble, who helmed Cruel Intentions back in 1999.

After We Collided builds upon Hardin and Tessa’s relationship, who previously had a whirlwind romance when they met in college in After. The sequel brings Dylan Sprouse in the mix as one of Tessa’s coworkers at her publishing internship. Find out what happens in After We Collided, which is now available on PVOD and select theaters, and check out what else is rounding out the year with CinemaBlend’s 2020 release schedule.

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