Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sophie Hannah's "Little Face"

Sophie Hannah is a bestselling poet and novelist who regularly performs her work both in the U.K. and abroad.

Here she develops some casting ideas for film adaptations of her novels Little Face and Hurting Distance:
If Little Face were to be made into a movie, I would like Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting, Dog Soldiers) to play the part of Simon Waterhouse, the main detective. McKidd is brilliant at being wronged, furious and persecuted, and that is how Simon always feels, so I think he'd be perfect. Vivienne, the controlling mother-in-law, would ideally have been played by Bette Davis - I'm not sure I'm willing to settle for anyone else! Alice, the heroine, is tricky. The young Sissy Spacek would have been perfect. I see Donald Pleasance as Detective Inspector Proust and Nicole Kidman might be all right as Briony, Alice's friend and ally. Writing this makes me realise how glad I am that I don't have to make decisions like this! My books are being adapted for TV in the UK at the moment, and I'm glad I'm not in charge of casting. In a way, I think it's better to have unknown actors playing all the roles, because then they will be identified only with one book/story - they can really become the characters they're playing. I still think of Richard Gere as Zack Mayo from An Officer and a Gentleman! Oh, while I'm thinking of that film, I wouldn't mind Debra Winger as Charlie, my female detective, though she's probably the wrong age now. Part of the problem is that my novels are set in England, so I should probably have English actors, but all the actors that spring to mind are American.

My second novel Hurting Distance is harder. Robert Haworth, the missing married lover of Naomi, would be very hard to cast. I can picture him exactly in my mind, and he doesn't really look much like anyone I can think of. He's supposed to look a bit like Elvis Costello the singer, but bigger and broader-shouldered. Naomi, the heroine, could be played by Kate Winslet - she doesn't look like her, but Kate Winslet is one of my favourite actresses and has the necessary spirit. For some reason, the person who springs to mind for Naomi's sensible friend Yvon is Laura San Giacomo (from Pretty Woman).
The Page 69 Test: Hurting Distance.

The Page 69 Test: Little Face.

--Marshal Zeringue