Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tracy Richardson's "Indian Summer"

Tracy Richardson lives in the suburbs of Indianapolis with her family and a Jack Russell terrier named Ernie.

Here she shares some ideas for casting a film based on her novel, Indian Summer:
I wonder if every author imagines their book as a movie? When I write, I see the characters as fully formed people interacting in a very real world. I know the color of their hair and how they dress and what they would eat for lunch. That could partly be because I often use bits and pieces of real people and places to create my characters and settings. I usually combine several aspects of different people into a character, so no one is entirely based on a real person. The scenes begin in my imagination, but in some ways, the characters create the action themselves as the story evolves. It‘s exciting for me to see the book unfolding, almost like watching a movie.

Trying to imagine who would play the characters in Indian Summer – the movie proved to be difficult. I have such a definite picture in my mind of what the characters are like. The heroine is a twelve year old girl and there aren’t as many well known actresses that age. Then they grow up and become too old for the part. However, I think Elle Fanning, the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, would be a great choice to play Marcie Horton. She’s the right age and she has the kind of pixie look that Marcie has – small features and turned up nose, or ‘snub nose’, as Marcie calls it. Elle is blond and blue-eyed, whereas Marcie has strawberry blond hair and green eyes, but they are both fair and tall. Elle did a wonderful job as a creative girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder in Phoebe in Wonderland. She had a bit of the shy, hesitant quality that Marcie has at the start of the book.

If Jamie Lee Curtis were a bit older, she would be perfect for Mamaw. Her look is perfect; tall and angular, salt and pepper, close-cropped hair, and warm smile. I think she has the depth to play the sage grandmother really well. Two totally different actresses come to mind for Jill Horton, Marcie’s mother. I first thought of Julianne Moore possibly because of the red hair and because I really like her work. I also thought of Mel Harris even though she has dark hair. I identify a little bit with all my characters, but since I’m a mom of a certain age, I think I identify a lot with Mrs. Horton. I want an actress who can show her as a complex person who is not just Marcie’s mom, but an archeologist, wife and woman. I remember Mel from thirtysomething, and think she would bring all that to the role.

Al, Marcie’s elderly neighbor who helps her in her quest to save the forest from development, is a tough one because he’s in his eighties. Sean Connery has the right craggy-featured, balding look and has the talent to play a physically declining but mentally sharp octogenarian. Marcie’s brother Eric, is a few years older, and I always imagined him as a bit of a heart throb. Both Kaitlyn and Sara, Marcie’s friends, have crushes on him. I have to say that I couldn’t come up with a good choice for Eric. Being a casting director is an incredibly difficult job!
Read an excerpt from Indian Summer, and learn more about the book and author at Tracy Richardson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue