Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Julie Hyzy's White House Chef mysteries

Julie Hyzy's White House Chef mysteries include Eggsecutive Orders (January 2010), Hail to the Chef (December 2008), and State of the Onion (January 2008).

Here she shares her idea on who might play her characters in a big screen adaptation of the novels:
Wherever I go, readers ask when my White House Chef books will be turned into a movie. My answer is always “Soon, I hope!” but so far Hollywood hasn’t come calling. But when it does, I know there won’t be any difficulty casting it. Readers always ask me who I would choose if I had the final say. Although I know I would definitely not have the final say if my WHChef books ever made it to the big screen, the question is so much fun that I can’t resist participating.

First of all, a little intro: The White House Chef Mysteries feature Olivia (Ollie) Paras who feeds the First Family and saves the world in her spare time See, Hollywood? I already have my tagline!

In the opening scene of State of the Onion, Ollie is returning to the White House with a commemorative frying pan meant to be a gift for Henry, her boss who’s retiring. Just as she makes it through security at the front gate, she spies a man running across the north lawn. Secret Service agents are in hot pursuit and snipers on the roof are taking aim. When the intruder manages to dodge the agents, he veers in Ollie’s direction. She does what any red-blooded American would do in that situation: She conks him in the head with the frying pan. That act of bravery (which angers the Secret Service to no end) thrusts Ollie into the midst of an international conspiracy and gets her “noticed” by an assassin known as The Chameleon.

In order to get this movie up and running, I first need to cast Ollie. She’s petite (very short) and dark haired. From the start I’ve envisioned America Ferrera in the lead role. Not only does she have a great name for a White House-based story, she’s got a great sense of humor and a lot of pluck. Personally, I think she’s perfect. For Ollie’s boyfriend, Tom Mackenzie, I see Mark Salling. You probably know Mark from Glee -- he plays Puck. The actor is a bit older than his high-school age character. He's 27. Mind you, as a Secret Service agent, he’d have to lose that Mohawk!

Our villain, The Chameleon, would be best portrayed by Paul Bettany. That actor is amazing in every role he inhabits, whether it’s Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale, or the albino in The Da Vinci Code. Granted, he may be a bit too tall for this role, but this is my dream cast, so he’s in.

I see Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Riker) as Henry, the retiring chef, Ann Morgan Guilbert (Millie from The Dick Van Dyke Show) as nosy neighbor Mrs. Wentworth, and Daniel Davis (Niles from The Nanny) as persnickety Peter Everett Sargeant, III. I can’t have a White House without a Commander in Chief, so I’d bring Bruce Greenwood and JoBeth Williams on board as President and Mrs. Campbell. Rounding out the kitchen staff would be Ellen Page as Cyan (she would have to dye her hair red), and David Hyde Pierce as Bucky.

I can see it already. And as I envision all these great actors in their new roles, I can’t wait to write the next book. But even as I do, I still wait for “The Call.” With this eclectic mix of stars, I know audiences would flock to see the film. Are you listening, Hollywood?
Learn more about the author and her work at Julie Hyzy's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue