We talk to Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough for their new film, SAFE HAVEN

Writer Nicholas Sparks is the undisputed king of romantic comedies, who on screen has united more couples than Cilla Black. Most famous for 2004 romance classic The Notebook, he’s also responsible for hooking up Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in Dear John, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in The Last Song, Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Nights In Rodanthe.
Sparks’ new movie Safe Haven brings us a brand new Hollywood power couple, Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. The on-screen lovers were in Dublin recently to promote the film, we sent Sarina Bellissimo along to check out their chemistry.

You’re staring in a Nicholas Sparks movie, he is the King of romance films. Did you feel any pressure when you signed on, to live up to all the other films?
Josh Duhamel: Yes, there is pressure because these have been very successful over the years, but at the same time we tried not to think about that. We really just focused on what was happening in each moment and tried to tell the most honest story that we could. That’s really what Lasse (Director Lasse Hallstrom), Julianne and I talked about – not thinking about this as a Nicholas Sparks movie, not try to compare ourselves to anything else but just making the best movie that we could.

It’s a bit different too in that it is not just about the romance…
Julianne Hough: It is. And I think that that’s what really drew both Josh and I to the film. it’s an honour to be a part of a Nicholas Sparks, I don’t want to say franchise, but his whole thing you know. But then to do something a but different is even, I think, a bit cooler, because this is something different to anything we’ve seen him do. That thriller, suspenseful element just kind of puts it over the top, and we’re excited about it.

Talking about different, we’re used to people improvising when it comes to comedies, but it’s not usually the done things in romantic dramas. You were asked to improvise in tough scenes, in a love scene, Were you nervous about going off script?
JD: Well, normally in love scenes, in my private life, sometimes it would be nice if it were script. I would perform a lot better if it were scripted actually [Giggles]
JH: The improvising, it was cool doing it with these kinds of scenes. Yeah comedy, you can definitely see where people improvise, but this was cool because Lasse kept saying that he wanted to make it as documentary like as possible, and when you think about, in real life, two people falling in love or getting to know each other, you don’t necessarily say the most perfect things, and you kind of have to think about what you are going to say, and sometimes It comes out and it doesn’t make sense, but it kind of does. I know that sort of goes down – exactly, wait a minute. Whatever I am saying right now that doesn’t make sense, this is what happens. That’s what I’m saying! [Both erupt into laughter]

When it comes to love, you’re both in happy relationships, what do you think is the key think to look for in that special person, or what’s the key to a happy relationship?
JD: Well, that’s a very good question. I would say, for me, I have to genuinely like the person. Of course there has to be love, but in order for it to be a lasting relationship, you have to like the person. And that person doesn’t just have to have a nice ass, but also have a kind heart and be thoughtful, and all of those other things. And I do look for a nice ass, but she also has to be thoughtful and kind and I’ve found that.

It’s not just the two of you who are in the spotlight but so are your partners (Fergie and Ryan Seacrest). How do you cope with people wanting to know about your lives, or being out on a date and the paparazzi are trying to snap photos – always in your face.
JH: Ryan and I don’t go out as much as maybe it looks like we go out. We stay at home a lot and kind of have our own life. But I do tend to say too much so I don’t know if it is necessarily everyone else’s fault. It’s more my fault of like putting my foot in my mouth, because I am just so open and there’s no filter with me so I tend to kind of bring it on myself.- by accident! I guess I could be a bit more private but I just have too much fun talking!

Words: Sarina Bellissimo

Safe Haven is now showing in Irish cinemas