Tom Welling plays one of the romantic leads in The Choice, the latest movie adaptation of a heartstring-pulling Nicholas Sparks’ novel.

Tom Welling On The Choice

Welling’s character Ryan in The Choice has followed in his father’s footsteps into the medical profession, and will soon take over the family practice. At the outset of the film, he’s poised to propose to his longtime girlfriend Gabby (Teresa Palmer), and start the life he’s always wanted – but it might not be the life that Gabby wants.

“As it turns out, [Gabby] is kind of torn between doing what is expected of her and what her heart wants,” Welling told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “And there is a big choice that Teresa’s character has to make.”

The big choice Gabby has to make is whether to go through with her plans to wed Ryan, or go off course and pursue a relationship with her new neighbor Travis (Benjamin Walker). As Welling points out, both men are good choices; it’s a matter of who’s the best choice for Gabby.

“This isn’t a choice between a good guy and a bad guy,” said Welling. “It’s not about anything other than her heart. Her heart is literally pulling her in two different directions.”

For Welling – and for prolific love story writer Sparks – “The Choice” means more than just the singular choice that Gabby has to make in regard to her heart. The title represents the summation of choices that make up one’s life.

“Some choices are big and some choices are small, but in the end it adds up to a life,” Welling explained. “In this film, each character has very big choices to make for themselves. And respecting other people’s choices as well.”

The Choice hits theaters Feb. 5.