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Justin Baldoni Says Blake Lively Made Everything ‘Better’ With Her ‘It Ends With Us’ Involvement

Justin Baldoni Says Blake Lively Made Everything Better With Her It Ends with Us Involvement
Justin Baldoni and Blake Lively Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Fans currently waiting for It Ends With Us to come to theaters at least have some new insight from Justin Baldoni and Blake Lively to keep them going.

Baldoni, 40, praised Lively, 36, for bringing the lead role of Lilly to life, telling People on Tuesday, April 30, “There wasn’t a part of this production that she didn’t touch and have influence on. And everything she put her hands on and her mind to, she made better.”

The actor, who is also an executive producer on the project, called Lively’s performance “strong, funny and intelligent — all the things you want from a female heroine.” Baldoni, meanwhile, is set to take on the role of Ryle.

According to Baldoni, the experience taught him a lot after working on adapting It Ends With Us for five years.

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“I had to dig up a lot of stuff, and I found parts of me that I didn’t know existed,” he added about how the film “really comes from the heart and from the depth” of his soul. “In some way, playing Ryle was actually very healing to me as Justin. There was parts of me as Justin that I thought that I had maybe worked on and healed that I realized I hadn’t.”

Justin Baldoni Says Blake Lively Made Everything Better With Her It Ends with Us Involvement
Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Baldoni continued: “Getting to know this character and his depth and his love and his joy and his darkness, I was actually able to work on those parts of myself.”

It Ends With Us is based on Colleen Hoover‘s bestselling 2016 novel of the same name. The book follows Lily, a recent college graduate who falls for a doctor named Ryle, as she is navigating the death of her father. Her romance with Ryle ultimately takes a dangerous turn when Lily’s first love, Atlas (Brandon Sklenar), comes back into her life.

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“Lily resonated with an enormous amount of people, as the success of the book made clear,” Lively told People on Tuesday. “Stepping into a character who’s had such a meaningful impact is an honor to take on.”

Lively said she “loved” playing the protagonist, adding, “And I hope that love is felt by those who care about her like I do, and also those who are getting to know her for the first time in this film.”

Meanwhile, Hoover said seeing the characters come to life was “a dream come true.”

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“The movie experience adds another layer to the connection readers already have with the characters,” the author told the outlet. “The power of visual storytelling is undeniable, and it can evoke even stronger emotions and empathy from the audience by bringing a sense of immediacy and intensity to the story. I definitely felt so much while watching the adaptation.”

Hoover said the entire cast and crew “maintained the essence” of her work in a “delicate and beautiful way.”

“The readers are the reason this book has been adapted, and I appreciate how much Justin wants to make sure those readers get the movie they deserve,” she noted. “I’m confident they’ll be happy with what has been created.”

It Ends With Us is set to hit theaters on August 9.

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