The 24-year-old actor also dishes on filming sex scenes, speaks about working with his co-star Josephine Langford and shares why he thinks Hardin and Tessa's love story is so special.
Spoilers ahead for the ending of "After Ever Happy."
"After" fans are likely going to be absolutely shocked after watching the final scene of the fourth installment, "After Ever Happy" -- and star Hero Fiennes Tiffin is sharing his thoughts on the film's surprise ending.
The romantic drama, which picks up right after the events of "After We Fell," again follows the ups and downs of Hardin (Fiennes Tiffin) and Tessa's (Josephine Langford) romance, but the couple is tested more than ever before.
"After Ever Happy," which is an adaptation of Anna Todd's book of the same name, was believed to be the final film installment, not counting a previously-announced adaptation of the prequel novel, "Before," in addition to a sequel film focusing on Hardin and Tessa's children.
However, unlike the book version of "After Ever Happy," Hardin and Tessa don't get their happily ever after -- and the two seem to break up for good. TooFab caught up with Fiennes Tiffin, who opened up about the movie's shocking conclusion, and shared whether or not he thinks Hardin gets his own happy ending.
The 24-year-old actor also spoke about working with his co-star Josephine Lanford, revealed his favorite Hardin and Tessa moment, dished on filming sex scenes and more. Check out the full interview in the video, above!
Note: A couple of days following TooFab's interview with Fiennes Tiffin, it was announced that not only is there a fifth "After" film, titled "After Everything," but it has already wrapped filming!
See a video of the exciting announcement, and TooFab's Q&A with Fiennes Tiffin, below.
"After Ever Happy" has a very different ending from the book. Instead of having Hardin and Tessa end up together and fast-forwarding to their future together, the film suggests that they broke up for good (after Tessa leaves Hardin's book signing.) BUT, Castille Landon is working on a sequel focusing on Hardin and Tessa's children, so that obviously says they ended up together. What were your thoughts/interpretation of the ending?
I mean, I was obviously quite kind of like shocked initially, but then I also quite like the aspect of leaving bits up to interpretation, and I think the most honest answer I can give is I'm enjoying the ability to -- as an actor -- hide behind the decisions that the producers and the higher-ups and directors make. But it's definitely debatable but I think that's kind of like the beauty of film sometimes is you get fans who really think it should have been done one way and fans who think the opposite and that just shows they care so we'll have to see what the wider range of fans think of that ending, but yeah, you're right. It is definitely surprising and different from the books.
From the first film to the end of the fourth, Hardin goes through a complete transformation, including going through a lot of growth in this film. How would you describe Hardin's journey? Do you think that he has a happy ending?
Yeah, I think he does. I think he does. I mean, it's hard because the books are different from the films ... it's difficult, but I definitely believe that he does eventually. In my heart, to allow me to sleep at night, he definitely does.
You and Josephine Langford went through this entire experience together. What did you love most about working with her?
What do I love most? Not just to mention that she is so talented and easygoing and easy to work with and on time and polite and great at what she does, but also she does more than just act. She has an eye for the continuity and costume and, you know, the bigger picture, which I think's always important to cover yourself. I think it's important for people to be like that, and she really is. If anything, I probably like learned maybe from her how valuable it is to have someone on set who is doing more than just saying the lines, you know?
Due to the fact that you had to do a lot of intimate scenes, did you establish that trust early on? Did shooting sex scenes get easier over time or did it not change?
No, I think maybe the first five minutes of the first one [were] difficult, but then you quickly realize it's just like any other scene. No one else cares about it as much as you do. There's so many sex scenes in every movie, you know, in this day and age. I know "After" really does get its numbers up, and there's definitely more sex scenes than most films, but it's a part of the job. And I think it's so important to do things that get you out of your comfort zone so that they are in your comfort zone moving forward. And you don't look at the next script and think, "Oh god, what am I gonna do now?" Or like, "I'm so worried about this scene." Now, it's just kind of, you know, just like any other scene.
Out of all of the films, what was your favorite Hardin and Tessa scene/moment?
When you said scene, I was thinking of other ones, but when you said moment, I definitely think the bit -- and I remember thinking this as soon as I read it -- the bit in the bath when he writes, "I love you" on her back and she can't guess what it is. I think that is so beautiful. I think that is just such -- like, I think everyone's done that game if it was their parents when they were young or like whatever, where you draw a letter on someone's back. I really like that bit. That's probably my favorite moment.
What do you think makes their love story so special?
I think it's the same reason that people try and, you know, draw out some answer from me or [author Anna Todd] whoever they ask about whether the relationship is toxic. I think it's the fact that it requires so much work and it might be too draining in reality, but what makes it so special on-screen is how hard they have to try to make it work. And it's that if you want something great, sometimes these things take time and effort and yeah, I think it's a double-edged sword because what makes their relationship so challenging is also what makes it so perfect if they can overcome those challenges.
And it's more realistic. And it's not easy.
Yeah. No, definitely. ... And they're such different people, but they're so similar in other ways, which I think is also so relatable. I think when you really look at relationships and people in relationships, there's obviously similarities that they have, but the differences kind of become heightened. And I think it does a good -- I think the characters are really well balanced and in how they're portrayed in that way.
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"After 3" and this film were shot back-to-back. Did you shoot the films chronologically and in order?
No, I think it was literally -- this is why I struggle in these interviews -- when people [ask about] a bit in ["After"] 3 or 4. And I'm like, "Wait, hold on a minute." 'Cause yeah, we shot 3 and 4 together as one long movie, but obviously out of order. So there was probably a scene that happens at the start of 3 that we filmed at the end and a scene that happens at the start of 4 that we filmed at the start. But obviously now like two years on from filming, we've done the press for number 3.
Honestly, it's yeah, it's a bit of a challenge, but I think that was the best way to do it logistically to film 3 and 4 back to back in that way. And it was good in the way that we kind of like got the momentum going. So like that towards the end, you really felt like you had some steam behind you.
What was the last scene to film? What was it like when they called cut for the final time?
To be honest, I think we were always expecting it to be sad. And by the time it came, we'd spent three months filming in lockdown in Bulgaria. I say Bulgaria, it was more just in a hotel in Bulgaria because the COVID regulations were pretty strict. So I think [for] everyone, it was definitely bittersweet, but everyone was, was kind of happy to get home and have a rest. But you know, it was probably like two, three weeks later for everyone else. They were like, "Wow, I can't believe we're done." But then we come back and we do press and then we go home for a bit and then we come back and do press again. And it's been like a nice, long, slow gradual goodbye. So it hasn't been like a ball drop that's really shaken us up. I think it's been nice that we've been prepared for it.
"After Ever Happy" is in theaters now, and will be available on VOD on September 23.