September 5, 2013

clc: casting call


With the Internet buzzing after Monday's major casting announcement for the film adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey trio, this week's Chick Lit Chat topic couldn't be more timely.

That's right. The fabulous Stephanie Haefner is leading a discussion on dream casting in tonight's chat, which begins at 7 p.m. CDT on Twitter.

Since word broke that Charlie Hunnam would play Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson would play Ana Steele, I've read countless posts and articles with people weighing in on their thoughts. They're outraged. They're thrilled. (Though mostly they seem mad.) Heck, one of my BFFs and I devoted a lengthy chunk of time to hashing out our thoughts on the cast and how we thought they'd compare to the actors we imagined.

In the end, we ultimately came to the same conclusion: It doesn't really matter who we wanted to see play Ana and Christian. What matters is how the actors selected -- along with the screenwriter, director and everyone else affiliated with the film -- execute the story. Because in my mind, whether or not you love or hate the books (and I'm not going to get into that discussion right now. You're entitled to your beliefs either way), there is a story to tell. And if it's done well, it can be about more than sex.

Seriously, people, it's going to be OK Charlie was picked instead of Matt Bomer or Ian Somerhalder. We'll survive with Dakota instead of Alexis Bledel or Emma Watson.

Remember how outraged people were when Jennifer Lawrence was selected to play Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." Now people (myself included) love the shit out of that girl. And remember when people said Heath Ledger couldn't play the Joker? The guy won a posthumous Academy Award for his chilling portrayal. People even warmed up to the cast of Harry Potter, several Batmans (Though not Clooney. Shiver) and every Nicholas Sparks book-turned-blockbuster.

While it's fun to think about who might portray your characters, what it ultimately comes down to is how the performers bring the role to life on the screen with the support of his or her team.

When I wrote the first draft of my soon-to-be published debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats, I had one man in mind to play Jason Beaumont, but that's a post for another day. I never really had a clear vision of who would portray his love interest, and the main character of my book, Lexi Burke.

In recent months, when friends and beta readers ask me who I imagine playing the lead, I quickly say "Jennifer Lawrence." I even asked one of my good friends to ignore professionalism and ask her to star in my unpublished (and then unsigned) book when he was back stage reporting at the Golden Globes. Do I think she could play the role? Certainly JLaw is talented, funny, quirky and senstive.

But what it really comes down to is this: I want to meet the girl. I want to gush over how much I loved her in everything she's ever been in. I want to force her to become my BFF. I want to find a balance in both endeavors that prevents me from coming off like a completely crazy lady.

Maybe it's the start of another girl crush, or maybe it's maturity on my party, but lately, when I've been giving the matter some serious thought -- not because I actually think this book will ever become a movie -- I think Shailene Woodley would be a better Lexi. Jennifer doesn't need to worry, because I have the perfect roll coming up for her in a future book.

But what do I know?

I wanted Ian Somerhalder to play Christian Grey, because I have a crush on him. Then I changed my mind to Matt Bomer last Friday after having a dream where he portrayed the megalomaniac Christian and I played Ana. (Don't get excited. We were cast to play older versions of our characters who were exhausted and sex-free after starting a family that included two toddlers and infant twins.)

And apparently, neither of my dreamboats were even considered for the role, according to this article.

Like my opinion really mattered in the first place. Still, it's a lot of fun to talk about, right?

Chick Lit Chat starts at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CDT on Twitter. Use #chicklitchat to follow the action. This should be a great chat.

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