Thursday, July 2, 2015

Andrew Roe's "The Miracle Girl"

Andrew Roe is the author of The Miracle Girl (Algonquin Books). His fiction has been published in Tin House, One Story, The Sun, Glimmer Train, Slice, The Cincinnati Review, and other publications, as well as the anthologies 24 Bar Blues (Press 53) and Where Love Is Found (Washington Square Press). His nonfiction has been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle,, and elsewhere.

Here Roe dreamcasts an adaptation of The Miracle Girl:
My wife is my first reader, and when she read The Miracle Girl for the first time, one of the first things she told me was that it would make a good movie. I hadn’t thought of that while writing it, plus it always seemed like turning the book into a movie would be a challenge due to the large cast of characters and multiple points of view, as well as the significant amount of time/pages spent on interior stuff. All that said, however, I’d love it if my novel was adapted into a film. Who wouldn’t?

Jennifer Connelly was my wife’s choice to play the title character’s mother, Karen, who’s overwhelmed by caring for her daughter (eight-year-old Anabelle is in a coma-like state after a car accident) and also must deal with the growing number of visitors to her house who believe the girl can perform miracles. And I liked that choice, too, but over time (I worked on the book for several years) we both agreed that, since the character in the book is in her late 20s, Jennifer Connelly had probably aged out of the appropriate demographic. So another Jennifer might work better: Jennifer Lawrence.

A second key casting choice would be for John, Karen’s estranged husband. Jason Segel comes to mind. I’m thinking he can pull off a sort of schleppy, squirrely quality to the character (someone who, at 29, still hasn’t fully transitioned into adult life). And, based on what I’ve seen and heard about his portrayal of David Foster Wallace in the upcoming movie The End of the Tour, it seems like he can handle the heavier dramatic scenes, too.

As I said, dozens of characters populate the book, so casting all of them would take a while. But here’s one more thought/wish/recommendation: I can clearly picture Richard Jenkins as Donald, an elderly man who’s drawn to the title character because of his dying wife. I was just thinking about Jenkins’ amazing performance in The Visitor the other day. He’d make a great Donald.
Learn more about the book and author at Andrew Roe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue