Thursday, October 1, 2009

Belinda Acosta's "Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz"

Belinda Acosta lives and writes in Austin, Texas, where she is a columnist for the Austin Chronicle. Her non-fiction has appeared in Poets & Writers, Latino USA, the radio journal of news and culture, AlterNet, the San Antonio Current, and Latino Magazine.

Here she shares some ideas for the principal cast should Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz, her debut novel, be adapted for the big screen:
What a fun project, imaging Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz as a movie. I asked some friends for their suggestions and there were a couple of great ones, but in the end, this is my dream list of who would play the major characters in Damas, as a movie.

First, Ana Ruiz: I had a lot of difficulty with this until my good friend Maribel Sosa reminded me of Talisa Soto. “She's got that soft look, she's thin, but curvy, she has those eyes, and even that dark little patch of skin,” Mari e-mailed me. “In most pictures she has straight hair and looking very va-va-va-voom, but sometimes she looks so gentle and fragile but ultimately has that don't f**k with me thing.” I couldn’t agree more. Check her out. I think she would make a perfect Ana.

Casting young people is always difficult for me, and I found this especially true when it came to Carmen, Ana’s difficult teenager, full of spit and vinegar, angry over her parents’ separation. Since the invitation was to “imagine,” I would cast Madison De La Garza—in five more years. The nine-year-old currently plays the oldest child of Gabrielle and Carlos Solis (Eva Longoria Parker and Ricardo Chavira) in Desperate Housewives. Madison’s little spitfire is cute at nine but I can see her pulling off the mouthiness AND the anger as a teenager.

As for Bianca, the hands down favorite is Selena Gomez, who currently appears in Wizards of Waverly Place. Cheerful, bubbly, and pretty, she would make a perfect Bianca. Of course, she has to dye her hair (Bianca is blond), but somehow, I think Ms. Gomez would be up for it.

Montalvo: Ah, this was fun. After a couple of false starts, my friends and I all voted for one perfect choice: Benjamin Bratt. Sexy, athletic, handsome—did I mention sexy? He would be the ideal Montalvo, Ana’s dangerously attractive, almost-love-interest. The fun thing is that in real life. Bratt and Soto are married. So, I would hope the chemistry that brought them together in real life would burn up the screen.

And finally, Esteban, Ana’s husband. My personal choice is Mike Gomez. Mike is one of those actors you’ve seen, but can’t quite place. The thing I like about him (besides the fact that he’s a dear man in real life) is that I think he embodies the rough, workingman look that Esteban requires, but would still be able to imbue him with a gentleness that makes him a loving father. Mike is one of those actors that should be working more. In my dream world, he would have this role and become a big star!
Learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website and Belinda Acosta's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue