Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Joanna Hershon's "The German Bride"

Joanna Hershon is the author of Swimming, The Outside of August, and the highly acclaimed The German Bride. Her writing has appeared in One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Post Road, the literary anthology Brooklyn Was Mine, and was shortlisted for the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories.

Here she shares her thoughts on cast and director for a cinematic adaptation of The German Bride:
I do love a good casting session and when Vanity Fair asked me last March to "cast my novel" shortly after The German Bride was published, I admit to becoming so engrossed with the process that I had to remind myself that I did not, in fact, have Gael García Bernal on speed dial. I do think that this book would be a sweeping and juicy movie (if expensive to make, although thankfully that miraculous southwestern light is still free of charge) and there are terrific roles for actors.

Natalie Portman is the obvious choice for Eva-- complicated and intelligent, with just a touch of imp. Rachel Weisz would bring her inimitable warmth and charm to the part of Henriette-- Eva's beloved sister, while darkly sexy Christian Bale is perfect for the role of Eva's illicit lover Heinrich, a portrait painter. Eva's ambitious (and duplicitous) husband Abraham would be a great role for either Liev Schreiber or Javier Bardem (since this is a fantasy cast I don't have to decide!) and his noble brother would be played by the whip-smart Ben Shenkman. Once Eva arrives in America she has a "frienemy" in Beatrice Speigelman, who'd be played to witty and stylish perfection by Emily Blunt, and a possible love interest in Levi Ehrenberg, who I see as the (aforementioned!) Gael García Bernal. Last but not least, Erykah Badu would bring her considerable talents to the soulful Pauline.

Anthony Minghella would have been the perfect director for this movie. His mastery of both historical and deeply emotional material was remarkable. I'd also be interested to see what Jane Campion would do with this story, as her vision would doubtlessly bring something new and strange to the already new and strange world of my book.
Read an excerpt from The German Bride, and learn more about the author and her work at Joanna Hershon's website.

The Page 69 Test: The German Bride.

--Marshal Zeringue