Monday, April 2, 2007

Laura Wiess's "Such a Pretty Girl"

The book description for Such a Pretty Girl reads almost like a movie pitch:
Meredith was promised nine years of safety, but they only gave her three. Her father, who was sent to prison for sexually abusing Meredith and other children in their small town, has been released on good behavior. He was supposed to be locked up until Meredith's eighteenth birthday, when she could legally be free of both her abusive father and her delusional mother who dwells on a fantasy that the three of them will be a happy family once more.

But Meredith is only fifteen, and her father is out of prison ... and her mother is bringing him home. And Meredith won't let him hurt her, or anyone else, ever again. No matter what the cost.
So what does the author Laura Wiess think about casting this hypothetical film adaptation of her novel?
You would think casting Such a Pretty Girl, the movie, would be easy for me, seeing as how I wrote the book but that’s not the case.

I know so much about Meredith, the fifteen year-old main character, but the one thing I’ve never seen is her face. It’s always stayed just a little hazy, and off-focus, hidden behind a curtain of hair or a blank expression to mask her emotions. I’d like to see her played by an actress who could be any girl in the world, the girl next door, someone who is extraordinary not because of cheekbones or grooming, but because of her strength during ongoing, silent terror, determination and survivor spirit.

Meredith’s boyfriend Andy, who was also molested by Meredith’s father, would go to an actor with a lean, angular and hungry look to him, someone who, with long brown hair and a goatee, could have been plucked out of a garage band.

Her pedophile father Charles appears to be a regular kind of guy, on the handsome side, friendly, helpful, seemingly sincere, and very attentive to children, but has quite a frightening dark side. Readers have suggested Rob Lowe, Billy Zane, Dylan Walsh, and Julian McMahon, among others. Some of the actresses suggested for Meredith’s mother have been Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kelly Ripa and Portia de Rossi.

I can’t decide.

For retired police officer Nigel Balthazar, however, I’d choose Dennis Franz, and for Leah Louisa, Meredith’s no-nonsense grandmother, Glenn Close. Kathy Bates would be stellar as Paula Mues, and Gilly, Nigel’s Great Pyrenees, would go to an as yet undiscovered, gorgeous canine starlet.
Visit Laura Wiess's website, her blog, her other blog, and her MySpace page.

Read the results of the Page 69 Test for Such a Pretty Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue