Movie Facts: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

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Greg is a 17-year-old in Pittsburgh, who has managed to make it through high school with all but a handful of friends. Then his parents force him to start hanging out with Rachel, a girl he knew in Hebrew school who was just diagnosed with leukemia.

This is the story of how Rachel changed Greg’s world forever.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has directed many episodes of American Horror Story and Glee, took lead on this project. The cast includes many astounding performers. Greg is portrayed by Oregon’s 23-year-old Thomas Mann (Project X’s Thomas). Florida’s 23-year-old RJ Cyler (Second Chances’ RJ) plays Earl. Our heroine, Rachel, is played by England’s 21-year-old Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel’s Emma).

Here are 10 fast factoids for you before you head out to see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl this weekend!

  • The story is based off Jesse Andrews’ 2013 novel.
  • Emma Roberts was considered for the lead role.
  • MPAA has rated the move PG-13 for drug material, generic viagra, language, sexual content, and some thematic elements.
  • The scenes in Greg’s home are actually filmed in the author’s childhood home.
  • This is the first film Olivia Cooke has been in that wasn’t a horror or syfy.
  • The movie runs just about an hour and 25 minutes.
  • The film was first released at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015.
  • The screenplay was listed on the 2012 Blacklist – a list of scripts that haven’t been made into films that are most enjoyed.
  • The film was bought by Fox Searchlight at the Sundance Fest. They spent $12 million for the project – making it the biggest buy in Sundance history.
  • The directed did not make the film with the intent of the classic boy-meets-girl-with-cancer-and-falls-in-love-with-her. Actually, the film has many references to the director’s life, but really it was a project to help him grieve the loss of his father, who passed shortly before he took the film on. He said, “I found [grief] too abstract to get a handle on. I thought this film would let me give it a shape. I felt I’d be putting myself back together like Greg was. But it was only after the film screened with my dad’s dedication at Sundance that it forced me to talk about it. When I had to start talking about my dad, that became the unexpected second act of this journey. In celebrating him it becomes less about loss and more about the great love.”

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl with Olivia Bates, Thomas Mann, and RJ Cyler is in theaters now!