Now that we’ve calmed down somewhat over the news of John Green’s Paper Towns movie, we have to confront the most pressing question: Who should play Margo Roth Spiegelman? We know that The Fault in Our Stars‘ Nat Wolff is coming on as lovesick teenage protagonist Quentin Jacobson, a.k.a. Q, but how about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who summons him to find her when she mysteriously disappears?
What we need is a young woman who can embody all of our favorite elements of the alluring, frustrating Margo: the way that she commands her loyal high school drones and then mercilessly drops them; the twisty scavenger hunt/chase she leaves for Q; and, as we later discover, her own feelings of emptiness and fakeness.
Considering her steady takeover of the YA film sphere, of course Shailene Woodley is our top choice.Kidding. We’ve got a number of up-and-comers and semi-established actresses in mind—check out our contenders, and share your own!
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Yeah, she’s a tad too old. But then again, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was only four years ago, and it’s her Ramona Flowers that convinced me she can play the sulky, pretty, intoxicating object of young men’s affections.
Just look at that face—there’s Margo’s smirk, and the bit of sexy swagger she carries in the halls before she enacts her revenge and disappears. Crystal Reed is one of those up-and-comers we want to see more of. And considering the events of the most recent Teen Wolf season finale… Well, let’s just say we want to see Reed on another project, stat.
Gotta give props to MTV News on this one: Whitman’s got the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude we love and hate about Margo. As Green’s original pick for Hazel Grace Lancaster, clearly she’s already made an impression on the author. Plus, the last few years she’s spent on Parenthood have helped her hone her ability to make us cry buckets.
I have such a girl crush on Deutch right now; it helps that she’s talented enough to be a great fit for the part. A bit part in Beautiful Creatures and the starring role in the Vampire Academy series are an excellent start for her in YA film franchises, but she could really establish herself as Margo. Deutch can play wounded queen bee, acerbic loner, and alluring Paper Girl. Of course, her take on the MPDG trope would require a level of self-awareness we didn’t see in the book… but I think that’s a layer the character needs.