Roundtable Interview
With Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel
Stars of “Safe Haven”
Dallas, Texas, January 29, 2013

Presbyterian Outlook: Nicholas Sparks was just here, and he was talking about what a great chemistry ya’ll have.
Julianne: Yeah?
PO: Did you feel it?
Julianne: Oh, I felt it, all right. (Everyone laughs)
Josh: Julianne is a very easy person to connect with. She’s an open book. I knew this, sort of, before we started, just having seen her on T.V. (on “Dancing with the Stars”), and meeting her at an event. These movies live or die, you know, on how well these two people who are supposed to be falling love connect. It wasn’t like we had to work so hard building chemistry in this movie, you didn’t have to break down any barriers, it was just easy from the beginning. She’s like a dude.
Julianne: That’s actually a compliment. I like that. My brother was right above me, and I was always the one hanging out with the guys, anyway. I’m a dude that likes to wear heels and make-up. (Everyone laughs) But I’d say the same thing about him, just easy to work with. Of course I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t an attractive person. You see this gorgeous man, and you hope there’s more to him than just that, and there is. He’s talented at what he does, but he’s also a good human being, which kind of sucks for the other girls. You almost wish he wasn’t that way, so you could say it was OK that you didn’t have him, you know? He’s a good guy.
Josh: Yeah, I got everybody fooled. But you know, about the love scenes in the movie, it was awkward with Ryan (Seacrest, Julianne’s real-life boyfriend), and I felt like I had to explain or apologize to him or something. And he was saying, “Hey, don’t worry about it.”
Julianne: But that’s what’s so endearing about him. He thinks about that stuff, you know? (To Josh) But you told me that story, and I’m thinking, “Crap. I didn’t say anything to Fergie.” (Josh’s real-life girlfriend). (Everyone laughs) But what I liked about this character of Katie is that she’s a fighter. And most of the time fighters tend to be a little bit broken, and have gone through things to make them that way, and I definitely relate to that.
Josh: And what I liked about my character was finding the depth, and the complexities, like the conflict with the son, and having an issue with Katie lying about being someone she’s not, and struggling with grief, and not dealing with it as well as I should have. I always liked the story, but I was concentrating on making this character more interesting.
PO: Having done this movie, have either of you given any thought to whether the dead have any influence over the living?
Josh: Great question.
Julianne: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think so. I personally don’t have that connection, but I love his line in the movie, where he’s talking about his (deceased) wife, and he says, “If I wasn’t thinking about her, then who was?” Especially for the kids.
Josh: Yeah, that’s keeping her memory alive for them. Just because you’re moving on doesn’t mean you have to stop loving her (their Mom). I have a friend going through this right now---just lost his wife about a month and a half ago, and he’s got two three-year-old twin boys.
PO: Oooh.
Josh: Yeah. And I talked to him about this character, because his wife was in real trouble then. And I tried to understand, “What was this relationship like before? How did we meet? It wasn’t a perfect relationship, either, but what went on, and how did her sickness affect the kids?” And I asked him about all this stuff, not just for my own selfish purposes, ‘cause he’s my friend, too, but to answer your question….Yes, I think the dead affect the living. I wouldn’t call myself overly religious, but I am definitely spiritual, and I think that there’s something about the human spirit, the human soul, that is far more present than we can even comprehend. And the more we evolve, there’s just gotta be more. The soul doesn’t just go away.
Julianne: I think about it like, “Whatever decisions I make in my life, I’m going to be with him again some day.” Hey, are we getting all heavy here? (Everybody laughs.)
Josh: He asked the question! And it was a good question!
Julianne: Yes, it was a good question.
PO: (to Josh) Keep talking to your friend. This is when he needs his friends.
Josh: Yeah. For sure. I just talked to him today.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving, Texas