Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new book, Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest:
It’s hardly a leap for me to imagine my book as a movie because the firefighters I’m writing about -- flesh-and-blood smoke eaters here in New York City –are genuinely larger-than-life. Their drive and charisma would easily translate to the big screen, and firefighting itself is inherently dramatic. Firefight would also adapt well to a period piece, given what it reveals the earliest first black firefighters in NYC and around the country and the discrimination they encountered. Wesley Williams, one of the city’s original pioneers, was a tremendous individual and any actor who got to portray him would be very lucky indeed! Here’s my casting wish list for Firefight the movie:Read more about Firefight: The Century-Long Battle to Integrate New York’s Bravest at Ginger Adams Otis’ website.
Young Wesley Williams: this one is easy, it should be his great-grandson, Chris Myers! He’s a Juilliard-trained Broadway actor who could bring his family history to life.
Older Wesley Williams: the perfect man for this role is Hisham Tawfiq, a working (soon-to-be-retired) FDNY firefighter now, Hisham is also a working actor currently starring in Blacklist with James Spader.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg: this actor is a little young but he could bring a lot of the Bloombergian qualities to vivid life, Peter MacNicol, otherwise known as one of the lawyers on Ally McBeal.
Capt. Paul Washington: someone like actor Jeffrey Wright, bringing the drama like he did in Basquiat, would be fantastic.
Lieut. Michael Marshall: one of my long-time favorites, Anthony Andersen, could embody Michael’s unique mix of charm, humor and determination.
Capt. Paul Mannix: The obvious choice would be Denis Leary, of course, because he has firefighting in his blood. But thinking outside the box, maybe Jon Hamm or Daniel Craig.
Regina Wilson: Has to be Viola Davis! She is a little older than the actual character but she’s got the grit to handle this role as one of NYC’s few black women firefighters.