Monday, May 4, 2009

Alex Bledsoe's "Blood Groove"

Alex Bledsoe grew up in West Tennessee, an hour north of Graceland and twenty minutes from Nutbush. He now lives in Wisconsin.

Here he shares some thoughts on the cast of a cinematic adaptation of Blood Grove, his new novel:
This was an interesting exercise because, with the exception of the main character, I hadn’t really pondered actors for the characters in this book. I did have input on casting the heroine for the book trailer, but that’s not the same as imagining someone going through all the character’s emotions. As Jess Riley said in her post, I assumed that if a movie is ever made, I’d leave casting to the people who know about such things.

Blood Groove is a horror novel set in 1975 Memphis, so it’s a period piece. The protagonist, Eastern European vampire Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski (a.k.a."Rudy") was originally based on Mike Raven's look from the 1970 Hammer film Lust for a Vampire. Zginski is smooth, intelligent, and absolutely heartless, although there is an element of George Hamilton’s Love at First Bite ironic Dracula in there as well. Robert Carlyle, with a look similar to the one he had in 1999's Ravenous (the non-scruffy part), would be perfect.

The heroine, Fauvette, is a Kentucky hillbilly made a vampire at fourteen half a century earlier. She's very sad, bitter and weary, although she's also the only vampire with a real conscience. Valentina de Angelis, who played the younger Bo in 2005’s Off the Map, has the right demeanor, as does Stephanie Leonidas, heroine of MirrorMask. The trick is finding someone who can do a Southern accent that doesn’t sound like a community theatre Blanche Dubois. Too bad sad-eyed Amber Benson, who hails from Alabama, is too old. I wonder if Lina Leandersson from Let the Right One In can act in English?

The two African-American vampires, Leonardo and Olive, both appear to be teens as well. Olive is curvy and heavy-set, more Beyoncé than Whitney Houston. Despite being close to eighty years old Leonardo tries to appear as a typical 1975 teen, like Kevin Hooks of the seventies TV series The White Shadow and the 1975 film Aaron Loves Angela. Redneck vampire Toddy, who was turned at age seventeen in the sixties (and in the South that meant crew cuts and racism, not peace and love), would be a Southern Eminem/Michael Rapaport type.

The main antagonist, assistant coroner Danielle Roseberry, also has to look young enough to pass for a teenager. I envisioned Nicole de Boer circa the last season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, or Jennifer Blaire of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The other antagonist, Sir Francis Colby, is a typical Victorian gentleman who’s also an expert on the occult. Brian Blessed would be my first choice, although Ian Holm or Bob Hoskins would also work.
Learn more about the book and author at Alex Bledsoe's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue