Thursday, June 28, 2007

Judy Clemens's "Till the Cows Come Home"

Judy Clemens's Till the Cows Come Home was a 2005 Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel and 2005 Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel.

Now, with her fourth "Stella Crown" mystery on the way, Clemens speculated about which actors might star in a film adaptation of Till the Cows Come Home:
When Marshal asked me to write a blog about my Stella Crown series, giving thought to what actors I would choose for the movie, I had to laugh. Which one of us authors doesn’t dream of our book hitting the big screen? Or even the little screen, these days. Seems like television gets as much play as theaters anymore.

Till the Cows Come Home, the first book in my series, introduced the protagonist – a twenty-nine year old female dairy farmer and HOG enthusiast. She is edgy, brittle, and somewhat foul-mouthed, but also has more likable traits, such as loyalty, honesty, and a solid work ethic. People have often asked me who I’d cast in her role, and the actresses that come to mind are ones who have dared to play characters with a harder personality – people like Hilary Swank or Charlize Theron. I wouldn’t want a “soft” version of Stella, and these are women I think would be up to the task.

A few of the supporting characters deserve some thought, too, when considering casting. Nick Hathaway, Stella’s love interest (well, one of them!) is a blond, blue-eyed Virginian with “teeth as white as milk.” A few of my friends (and my husband) are convinced they were the catalyst for this character, and those who are actors want to play him. I, however, think Matthew McConaughey would fit the role to a T. He can do the “gorgeous guy with a soul” rather well.

I had a hard time thinking of someone for Abe Granger, Stella’s one-time love interest but actual best friend. He is handsome, but more in the guy-next-door kind of way. A younger version of Matthew Broderick would be perfect. Or a bit older version of the kid on the Mac commercials who’s now in that Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis and played Warren on Ed. Perhaps someone can give a better suggestion. Most movie stars tend to be dreamboats, and it’s difficult to come up with someone who’s good-looking in a more approachable way.

It’s fun to think about casting the characters, but I know it’s pretty much a dream. Should the book ever get sold to Hollywood I realize I would lose complete control of it. They’d probably cast some model-type with big boobs as Stella, and Abe would become just as much of a heartthrob as Nick, making a love triangle of immense proportions. They’d also most likely change most of the storyline and add a few characters I’d never imagine.

But you know, I suppose that would be okay. I’ll take the advice of some other authors I’ve met who say, “Take the money and run.” For the money they pay for movie options, I could run a long, long way.
Visit Judy Clemens's website and her blog, and read an excerpt from Till the Cows Come Home.

--Marshal Zeringue