I woke up with a crushing migraine today–which I get about once a year or so—so I’m not really in the mood for updating my Scout stats or addressing some controversies in that arena. (But kudos to Katie Robinson, who made my blogspot a very popular place for a few days!) Doped up with Advil, caffeine and beta-blockers, I’m instead to going to amuse myself, and hopefully my readers, by ‘casting’ the movie of my book, Wives of the Saints.
First off, I don’t see Wives as a theatrical feature film, but as a miniseries, maybe for HBO or Netflix. I enjoy cable network miniseries, even though I don’t have premium cable, but I’ll snap up the discs as soon as they turn up on the library’s ‘New DVDs’ shelf. I loved Olive Kitteridge, with Frances McDormand, and I think Wives would have a similar feel, just set in Connecticut instead of Maine. Love, love, love Call the Midwife on PBS, and have always been a longtime fan of Doc Martin. I like Masters of Sex (of course I do!) though the more explicit scenes are too clinical for me. I’m waiting for discs on The Affair. And a good friend affectionately bullied me into following Outlander, even though I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction on TV—love it in print, though. Okay, so now that I’ve established myself as a follower of televised serial fiction, onto to the casting couch, so to speak.
I have two strong female characters over fifty, a pair of potentially plum roles for two aging actresses: My wives. The actresses who play them would have to have a feel for light comedy, and they have to be willing to be very dowdy and unpretty at times. And they have to relate to each other, since Grace and Miranda have a very strong kinship, a deep and abiding love for each other. And although I compare a young Grace to Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco, she really isn’t a regal beauty. I’m seeing Laura Linney in that role right now. Maybe Laura Dern. Someone who’s vulnerable, with a cool shell, but wryly witty, with a deeply hidden spiritual nature.
Miranda is a little harder to cast. I didn’t make it so obvious in the book, but she is biracial (I used my beautiful nieces, who have Portuguese and Cape Verdean ancestry, as a model for her) dark, voluptuous, though as the level-headed, motherly ER nurse, she does not play up on that with men. She is practical to a fault, but ruefully accepting of life’s curve balls. But no one automatically comes to mind—it could be a breakout role for an actress no one’s ever heard of. And if all the miniseries I watch weren’t so lily-white, I might be able to come up with someone.
For Fulton, I see Greg Kinnear, or some other tall, lean, handsome graying man, but he has to look good in tortoise-shell spectacles. For Sal, who could easily devolve into an Italian-American stereotype, I would pick Paul Giammati, someone who could add nuances to his character. And for Kenny—well, that would have to be Bill Murray, who has the right mixture of spaciness and secret intelligence. He might be a tad too old, though, and doesn’t really physically resemble him. Grace’s son could be any generic young actor, but he needs a weird-looking nose, because that’s how Grace ties him to his father.
The setting shouldn’t be too hard to recreate: I did not identify it, although some will guess it’s Middletown or Meriden in Connecticut, which is close—it’s a small city (or large town) that might be a blend of those two. Fulton and Grace live in a graceful Victorian, while Sal and Miranda have a 50’s split-level in the same neighborhood, and both New England and New Jersey are filled with these older neighborhoods—some up to two or three centuries old–full of mismatched homes. Not everyone lives in a condo or planned community.
But none of this will materialize until I can get Wives published. So if you haven’t checked out my Kindle Scout page yet, please do so. I’m too groggy to dredge up the link right now; just type Kindle Scout nominees into your browser and look for the aqua rectangle. (See what a great marketer I am!) You only have ten more days, and I promise not to whine if I don’t win. Oh, and below, check out the inspiration for my title, taken at my local county library: