Two weeks ago, I participated in the Next Big Thing blog chain. One question was this: If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, whom would you pick? Well, since my book will most likely never be made into a movie, I thought it’d be interesting to devote an entire post to casting real actors in an imaginary movie. So without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!
Lizzie is smart, independent, responsible, a fighter, and a survivor. She’s filled with spunk and fire. I recently watched “Ramona and Beezus” with my sons and thought Joey King, the young girl who played Ramona to perfection, would be an ideal fit. (Of course Lizzie has blonde hair, not brown, but for me personality takes precedence over hair color. And after all, there is such a thing as hair dye. I know from personal experience. )
Ben is Lizzie’s best friend. Like Lizzie, he is responsible. But he’s much less temperamental, more thoughtful, and quite wise (though Lizzie doesn’t think so). Dakota Goyo, such a cutie in “Real Steel” and “Thor”, has a face that screams sweet and supportive.
Erin is complicated. In Lizzie’s eyes, she’s nothing more than a spoiled brat, but Ben sees something more—a deep hurt behind her attitude. Put Bailee Madison’s hair in braided pigtails and she’d be the perfect fit for Erin. Bailee has proven she possesses mad acting skills. I have no doubt she would add loads of depth to Erin’s character.
Mama (Rose Hawkins):
I love Julia Ormond! She’s gorgeous, a brilliant actress, and nails every period piece she acts in. In Every Day After, Mama slumps into a severe depression after her husband abandons her and Lizzie, and Julia Ormond’s vacant expression in “Legends of the Fall” is a dead ringer for how I see Mama in my own mind (minus the scissors and gun…).
Daddy (William Hawkins):
Okay, so we all know how swoon-worthy Cary Elwes was as Westley in “The Princess Bride.” I think Will Hawkins was once that dashing—before the Depression. But as times grew harder, so did he, and all that “Westley good” that filled him began to fade away. So, what better fit to play Daddy than an aged Cary Elwes who now has more than a few bad guy roles under his belt? Because a man who deserts his family in the midst of trying times is about as bad as you can get.
Out of all the secondary characters, Mr. Reed is my favorite. He’s “old as the hills,” “thin as a rail,” and full of mystery and strangeness. Lizzie and Ben, and all the kids of Bittersweet, are simultaneously fascinated by and afraid of Mr. Reed. I didn’t need to search at all for the actor I’d chose to play Mr. Reed. I already knew. When I see Mr. Reed, I see Larry Hankin.
Indeed, there are many more characters in Every Day After, but I’ve cast those I feel are most important. I had a blast putting this together, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Look for Every Day After in bookstores on June 11, or request an Advance Reader’s Copy on Edelweiss.