Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Katrina Kittle's "The Blessings of the Animals"

Katrina Kittle is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers. The Kindness of Strangers was a BookSense pick and the winner of the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. Early chapters from that novel earned her grants from both the Ohio Arts Council and Culture Works. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University in Louisville.

Here she shares her preferences for the above-the-line talent in an adaptation of her latest novel, The Blessings of the Animals:
What a fun, fun game! I've been playing "casting director" for my other novels for some time, but since The Blessings of the Animals has only been out a couple of months, it was the first time I was exploring casting for these characters. I had some readers help me out with suggestions. It's a blast to cast A-list actors in ALL the roles, even the smaller ones and not have to consider budget at all. Oh, if only it really worked that way!

First of all, I'd want Jodie Foster to direct it. Her direction of Home for the Holidays was brilliant, and showed her deft hand with the drama/comedy balance in family stories.

My top choice for Cami is Laura Linney (but the short list included Julianne Moore and Kate Winslet). My top choice for Bobby was Dominic West (but top contenders were Hank Azaria and Robert Downey Jr. Of course, friends accuse me of casting Robert Downey Jr. in everything!)

The only casting choices no one questioned and that everyone who participated in my little poll embraced with total approval were the Davids. As Davy, I want Neil Patrick Harris, and for his partner, Big David, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

My dream actors to play Cami's parents would be Meryl Streep and John Lithgow.

Vijay would be played by Naveen Andrews (I think my friends have forgiven me for suggesting, "Don't forget that Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for an Oscar for playing an African-American, so I see no reason why he couldn't play an Indian").

Dubey would be played by Michael C. Hall, since he's so genius at capturing that frozen emotional depth. He could show us how shut off and afraid Dubey is, at the same he could show us the potential underneath all that.

I guess I should stop there, with the major roles...but it was fun to assign big name stars to even the smaller parts! We can dream, can't we?

All I know for sure is that this movie would need a big, talented team of animal handlers!
Learn more about the book and author at Katrina Kittle's website.

Writers Read: Katrina Kittle.

The Page 69 Test: The Blessings of the Animals.

--Marshal Zeringue