Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush are the two young stars of The Giver, which has been brought to the big screen by director Phillip Noyce from Lois Lowry’s 1993 Newbury Medal-winning novel.

Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush On ‘The Giver’

Neither Thwaites nor Rush had read Lowry’s novel prior to reading the script for the feature, but picked up copies soon thereafter. Though their characters – Jonas and Fiona – are four years younger in the book than the teens they were bringing to the big screen, they both found the read helpful in developing them.

“I think reading it helped me a lot with approaching this character,” Rush told uInterview. Thwaites added, “Once I read the book I kind of said to myself, ‘Wow, this is a dream.’ You know, it’s a license almost to feel such an array of emotions. So it was a great challenge.”

One of the emotions Thwaites had to master was one’s first encounter with love – an emotion that had been “stolen” from Jonas by injections but that he begins to feel for Fiona. “We find love throughout the film,” Thwaites explained to uInterview exclusively. “When I stop taking my injections I start to feel a sense of love, and I guess that is returned when [Sophia’s] character stops taking her injections. And that’s what we fight for.”

Thwaites & Rush On ‘Jamming’ With Swift & Bridges

When Thwaites and Rush’s characters weren’t falling in love onscreen, the actors enjoyed the company of their costars – namely the musically inclined Taylor Swift and Jeff Bridges. On working with Swift, who plays the late daughter of Bridges’ character and former Receiver of Memory Rosemary, Thwaits said, “It was great, we had a lot of time off set to play guitar. […] It was a fun couple of days working with Taylor.”

Though Rush didn’t have scenes with Swift, one of her favorite recollections from working on the film was “jamming” with the “Shake It Off” singer and Bridges. “[Jeff] plays guitar [and] he sings, and Brenton would play and sing, and I sang,” Rush revealed. “When Taylor came she also played with us, like [Brenton] said. I think those moments were really fun. Jeff always told us not to take life too seriously and to enjoy it. And, Jeff knows how to enjoy his life in the time that he works on set.”

The Giver is currently in wide release.