Not only is Haley Lu Richardson our favourite human on Instagram, but this funny girl is now starring with Cole Sprouse in the tearjerker Five Feet Apart. Its about two teenagers in hospital with cystic fibrosis (CF) who need to stay separated at all times or they risk getting a life-threatening infection. But that doesnt stop them forming a connection from afar. We couldnt wait to chat to her and get all the tea on the film.
This movie made us cry! And one theme it explores is touch. What did you think of that idea?
I definitely think its a really interesting, unique thing to explore in terms of a romance story, and the fact that the two main characters that fall in love cant touch each other. They cant even get close to each other!
What kind of research did you do into the world of cystic fibrosis?
I did do a lot of research, and luckily we had Justin [Baldoni] too. He was great directing Cole and I where to go for research and introducing us to people. We also had an actual CF nurse on set, making sure that we knew everything that was going on as actors and walking us through these different scenarios and what it would really be like with these kids that she worked with all her life.
Have you met any teens with CF?
Yeah, I have. The girl that I spent the most time with was named Claire Wineland. She actually just passed away recently. Getting to meet her and hang out with her was my favourite thing about making this movie, hands down, and probably one of my favourite things in my life so far. She was 21 and had the wisdom of an 80-year-old monk. Shes also kind of a legend in many ways because she had a YouTube channel similar to my character Stella in the movie and there are a lot of people with CF that she inspired.
Tell us about working with Cole had you met him before?
I had never met him before, but I really liked working with him. We both work similarly because we both really cared to make the movie as real and grounded as possible, and we both really cared about doing our part with these characters in bringing them to life. But then we are also both just dodos who have fun; well, I am probably more of a dodo than Cole but I dont think I would have had as much fun on this movie if it was with any other actor. As serious and heavy as the movie is, we somehow managed to have a blast and we laughed till we cried and I peed my pants!
You post a lot of goofy stuff on your Insta. Tell us about that.
I never really thought about it much until recently when a few people asked me similar questions. I am much more comfortable being silly and having fun than taking myself too seriously.
I just like taking pictures of my stupid faces and maybe thats why it seems authentic. Seriously, I just did air quotes when I said authentic [laughs]. But it does make me sad when I see people on Instagram and I can just tell that they are trying to be someone that theyre not or theyre doing something for some sort of reaction. I just feel like everyone should be themselves, no matter what.
Congratulations on your engagement to Brett Dier (from Jane the Virgin). Is it true you were the one who proposed?
Yeah, that was me. It was very much not planned, it was just an in the moment thing where my gut or heart just took over my mouth and I started talking and had no idea what I was going to say but all of a sudden I asked him to marry me. It was the best day of my life, so that was good, I guess!
Are you planning a wedding soon?
We are waiting. I feel like I am 12 years old and Brett is internally like seven or eight so we are taking it slow!