The first four installments in the ‘After’ film series primarily revolve around the intense relationship between Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s Hardin Scott and Josephine Langford’s Tessa Young. That isn’t the case with the fifth movie ‘After Everything.’ Ever since the trailer of the film was released, the ardent admirers of the franchise were concerned about Langford’s involvement in the film, especially since Tessa’s sequences in the video are from other ‘After’ installments. In the movie, Mimi Keene’s Natalie takes center stage as Hardin meets her in Lisbon, only for him to apologize for betraying her trust. However, it doesn’t mean that Langford is not in the film!
Josephine Langford’s Reduced Screen Time
Josephine Langford plays Tessa in ‘After Everything.’ However, the actress’ screen time is significantly reduced. She mainly features only in the tail end of the movie while sequences from other ‘After’ films, featuring Tessa, are included throughout. The main reason behind Langford’s reduced screen time is that the film doesn’t outrightly revolve around Tessa and Hardin’s relationship. It mainly focuses on Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s character making amends with Natalie and writing his second novel while trying to adapt to the absence of Tessa in his life. The film follows Hardin’s journey of self-discovery and attaining growth by accepting his separation from Tessa.
Since Tessa’s absence is a major part of Hardin’s life journey in the movie, Langford’s reduced screen time is not completely unjustified as far as the narrative of the installment is concerned. The lack of Tessa in Hardin’s life makes him realize the gravity of the mistakes he has been making. He then bravely confronts and accepts them, without trying to justify himself or running away from them. Hardin changes as a person and becomes a better partner for Tessa because the latter decided to remain separated from him. Therefore, Langford’s absence for the majority of the film is apt for Hardin’s story arc.
The ardent admirers of the film series, however, were not happy about seeing less of Langford in the movie. Several of them blamed the creators of the project for making a film that is not based on an ‘After’ novel written by Anna Todd, which is the case with the other four installments in the series. “We are so many fans that we love the story of the books and we love Hero and Jo (together)… and you just killed us. No respect for the fans. No respect for the books. No respect for Josephine Langford. I need answers,” one of the fans shared.
Langford previously made it clear that she would only return to the franchise if it was important. “I would want to come back if it was important, and it made sense. I’m not a fan of overstaying your welcome. It can sometimes dampen a good thing if you’re creating something and it’s canon, and it doesn’t have a reason,” the actress told StyleCaster.