Belfast Telegraph

Ansel talks brave grandmother

Ansel Elgort has revealed his surprising family history during World War II.

The American actor has opened up about how brave his ancestor was to British magazine The Big Issue.

Talking about his new movie The Fault in Our Stars, a love story surrounding two young cancer sufferers, Ansel says the inclusion of a visit to Anne Frank's house for a scene when the two leads share a kiss served as a pivotal moment.

Ansel takes on the role of Gus while Shailene Woodley plays Hazel, in the movie version of the much loved John Green novel.

“That’s the perfect place to do it. If you’ve read her diary, Anne had her first kiss in the attic, in the same place. I loved that moment and the voiceover in the background," Ansel shared, before revealing his own family's war history.

"[My grandma] disguised herself as a school teacher and would take Jewish kids from Norway into Sweden which was neutral territory. She did that for a while and then she got caught and sent to a concentration camp. She was able to make it out and get to America and have a family.”

After his grandmother settled in the US, Ansel's family quickly made their mark on the artistic world. His father Arthur has worked extensively as a Vogue photographer, and mom Grethe is an opera director.

Following in their creative footsteps was an easy transition for the 20-year-old actor, but there are certain sides to fame he's finding hard to handle.

"It can be crazy,” he laughed of the attention he's received on Twitter. “There are so many tweets it’s hard to look at them all.

"Everyone is going to love me because they think I’m Augustus but I know that’s just because of the character. If I had never done this role no one would ever be sending me ‘I love you I love you I love you’. I’m not going to try and take credit for it.”

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