Three Love Lessons from the Stars of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice

Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer offer up some helpful romance tips.

Travis Shaw (Ben Walker) and Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) in THE CHOICE. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley

Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer in The Choice. / Photo by Dana Hawley / Lionsgate

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, author Nicholas Sparks is back with his latest big screen adaptation, The Choice, which hits theaters this week.

During a recent trip to Boston, we caught up with stars Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer to get their thoughts on the romantic holiday, how technology has affected their relationships, and more.

Here, three love lessons from the actors:

1. Chemistry Is Important—On and Off Screen

“The truth is, chemistry, you either have it or you don’t. And luckily we have it,” Walker says of his on-screen romance with Palmer.

The pair took inspiration from another Nicholas Sparks movie, The Notebook, because they thought the vibe between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams helped make their love story feel authentic to audience members.

“That chemistry was off the hook, and it was so beautiful to watch…you feel so connected to the two of them,” Palmer says.

Walker explains that the initial friction between the characters in The Notebook, as well as in The Choice, mirrors many people’s experiences. Every couple goes through rough patches, but that’s what makes us human.

“We attempted to do the same thing, which is not make them two-dimensional and to make them as human as possible,” Walker says. “Part of that is conflict. They’re both very independent people and there’s friction in the beginning like a lot of relationships.”

Travis Shaw (Ben Walker) and Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) in THE CHOICE. Photo Credit: Dana Hawley

Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer in The Choice. / Photo by Dana Hawley / Lionsgate

2. Don’t Sweat Valentine’s Day

For The Choice stars, the big day doesn’t really mean that much. They tend to have low-key celebrations with their spouses. Walker and Palmer agree that couples should show their love all the time and not just relegate their passions to one holiday out of the year.

“I don’t put so much stock in Valentine’s Day,” Palmer says. “I don’t think it should be just one day.”

Walker agrees that while it sounds cheesy, there’s a lot of truth behind it.

“The thing about Teresa and I in our stable relationships [is that] we like to live every day like it’s Valentine’s Day. Barf,” Walker joked. “I’m semi-joking because it sounds so disgustingly cliché, but it’s true. It’s kind of what the movie’s about, living life where you choose each other every day.”

He adds, “If there’s only one day where you go, ‘Actually, I really love you’—you’re in real trouble!”

3. Cyber Love Can Be Useful

How people find and stay in love has changed a lot since the rise of dating apps like Tinder, but both stars admit that technology has been pretty helpful to their relationships.

Even when Walker is away from his wife, he keeps up an almost daily ritual of asking for her hand in marriage, whether it’s over the phone or through messages. Palmer couldn’t help but call this action the “sweetest thing.”

As for the actress, she met her husband Mark Webber via Twitter. Palmer thinks it’s only a matter of time until we see Sparks tackles online romance.

“You might see a Nicholas Sparks movie that’s in the cyber world,” she says.

The Choice hits theaters Friday, February 5.