Friday, September 24, 2010

Mary Jane Maffini's "Closet Confidential"

Mary Jane Maffini is the author of three mystery series and a number of short stories. Her real life dogs are Daisy and Lily, both miniature dachshunds of "a princessy disposition." They look a lot like Sweet Marie and Truffle in the Charlotte Adams mysteries.

Here Maffini shares her thinking on a few of the more important casting decisions should Closet Confidential, the latest Charlotte Adams mystery, be adapted for the big screen:
A main character is like a beloved child. I think this is especially true in a mystery series where author and sleuth are yoked together for years. And as if writers didn’t have enough responsibility, we have to worry about our protagonist’s well-being too. We want the best for them: love interests, loyal friends, excellent instincts, speedy recoveries and, of course, not getting killed anytime soon. The usual. In short, we want everything to work out all the time. So I’m thinking big in considering who would play my amateur detective Charlotte Adams, currently sleuthing her obsessive little heart out in Closet Confidential, the fourth Charlotte mystery.

A little background on Charlotte: she’s just turned thirty and is running a professional organizing business in Woodbridge, NY, a historic town on the Hudson River. She’s pretty well over that lying dog of an ex-fiance and has fun hanging out with ‘the misfits’, her lifelong wisecracking buddies – think Friends with murder. That’s good because people are always getting bumped off in Woodbridge, and Charlotte always finds herself trying to unmask one villain after another. Nice work if you can get it.

A professional organizer sees into people’s homes and lives. And as Charlotte likes to say: “Show me your closets and you show me your secrets”.

All this build-up to say, Ellen Page would make a great Charlotte Adams. I am totally captivated by this small, vibrant and talented actress. And by the time the Closet Confidential movie got made, she’d be the right age. Hey, these projects don’t happen overnight.

Ellen Page has the right intensity and that interesting bit of edge. She’s 5’1” and Charlotte’s just a tiny thing too. Perfect. In spite of that edge she’s likeable, as is Charlotte. Neither one of them is a pushover. Even when Ellen has played troubled characters, they’ve had something resilient and admirable about them. She has the essential comic timing and dry wit that would be essential, as we saw in her Oscar winning Juno performance. Funny yes, but with authentic emotion underneath.

Her coloring’s right too: dark hair and eyes, crisp features. As a bonus, she’s from Nova Scotia as I am. I’ve been watching her career grow through Canadian television productions like ReGenesis and films like Marion Bridge, then on to Juno and right through to this summer’s blockbuster Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m proud of that girl. Plus I couldn’t help but note that Inception launched within two weeks of Closet Confidential. I’ll take that as a good omen.

In short, Ellen Page would do justice to Charlotte Adams and give her star power.

But you know, it’s not only the protagonist that matters. What about Charlotte’s miniature dachshunds, Truffle and Sweet Marie? They would best be portrayed by Daisy and Lily, my own two, seen here in their dressy pearls. Of course, they’re Canadian too.

Between Ellen Page and the canine companions, I can’t wait to see this movie. Pass the popcorn!
View the book trailer for Closet Confidential, and learn more about the author and her work at Mary Jane Maffini's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Mary Jane Maffini & Daisy and Lily.

--Marshal Zeringue