Interview: Nicholas Sparks, Britt Robertson & Scott Eastwood On ‘THE LONGEST RIDE’


THE LONGEST RIDEPreston Barta // Features Editor

If you have ever read a Nicholas Sparks novel, you may have wondered whether he has some kind of magic formula for creating such absorbing love stories. Part of the ingredients include two people falling in love, despite their differences, in the lovely setting of North Carolina. How the man takes that and shakes it up into something fresh each time (especially here) is beyond me.

When we last spoke to Sparks back in 2013 for SAFE HAVEN, we discussed his favorite novel that he had written. He told us it was the one that he was working on– THE LONGEST RIDE.

I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Sparks is on a bit of a hot streak. His last two books got immediate movie deals, with THE LONGEST RIDE getting one before the novel even hit bookshelves (which goes to show you it’s certainly something special).

Ruth (Oona Chaplin) and Ira (Jack Huston) look to a bright future together.  Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox/ Michael Tackett.

Ruth (Oona Chaplin) and Ira (Jack Huston) look to a bright future together. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox/ Michael Tackett.

THE LONGEST RIDE tells two love stories: One focuses on the budding romance of a champion bull rider named Luke (Scott Eastwood) and an art history student named Sophia (Britt Robertson). The other is of Ira Levinson (Jack Huston, Alan Alda), a Jewish haberdasher, and his wife, Ruth (Oona Chaplin), who came to North Carolina from Vienna when Hitler’s atrocities were merely speculation.

Fresh Fiction recently had the opportunity to sit down with author-producer Nicholas Sparks and stars Britt Robertson (TOMORROWLAND) and Scott Eastwood (FURY). We discussed the moment that caused their life to change, the romance within the film, and what kind of cuts director George Tillman Jr. would make if he made a movie about each of their lives.

THE LONGEST RIDE opens Friday, April 10.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.