- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Not all the actors at a star-packed news conference Tuesday for the new film “The Giver” had been familiar with Lois Lowry’s acclaimed 1994 book before they made the film. But Taylor Swift sure had been.

The 24-year-old singer read it in school, and says it had a huge influence on her outlook on life.

“It celebrates all the things I hold really dear and are important to me,” Swift said, “like our history, our music, our art, our intellect and our memories.”

Swift, who has a small role in the film alongside the likes of Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, waxed philosophical about the idea that people should be protected from the darker side of life. In “The Giver,” people live in a community of Sameness. They have no memories of the past, to protect them from feelings like pain or loss. But they also never experience love or real happiness. One boy, Jonas, seeks to change all that.

“I’m seeing so many fans write to me on Instagram and Twitter, or in letters, saying they’re having such a tough time with life,” Swift said, “because they can’t imagine that we can experience such great pain, such intense loss, such insecurity.

“And the thing that I just wish I could tell them, over and over, is that we live for these fleeting moments of happiness. Happiness is not a constant. It’s something that we only experience glimpses of every once in a while - but it’s worth it.

“And I think that’s what they’ll take away from this movie.”

“The Giver,” directed by Phillip Noyce, opens Friday.

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