Friday, January 28, 2011

Eileen Cook's "The Education of Hailey Kendrick"

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

Here she shares some casting ideas for an adaptation of her latest novel:
If they make my book, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, into a movie, deciding who I would want to play the lead roles is difficult. First I have to eliminate all the actors I want to meet (Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, Helen Mirren) just because I would find them interesting, versus because there was actually a role for them.

Then there is the challenge that unlike some authors, I don’t write my books with an actor in mind. In my mind the characters are real people, it’s like asking who you would want to play your parents if they made a movie of your life. There might be an actor that reminds you of your parents, but it isn’t the same as the real thing. I suspect this is why authors aren’t always invited onto movie sets. We’re constantly confusing our imaginary world with reality.

Despite all the problems of confusing imagination with reality, I had fun searching IMDB for the perfect cast. Emma Roberts would make a great Hailey. She has that all-American girl next door look, but I can see her as having enough of a sarcastic side to pull off Hailey’s humor. Taylor Lautner from Twilight fame is a good Tristan. This character is supposed to be from a big Hollywood family so his good looks and comfort in front of a camera would be perfect. Zac Efron would be another option, but his hairstyle drives me nuts (I would want to constantly push it out of his eyes), so I’m going to take a pass on him. Hailey’s best friend could be played by anyone, her looks aren’t described in the book, but I would love to see an actor of color in the role, maybe someone like Jennifer Freeman or Erica Hubbard. The actress that plays her needs to be able to pull off someone who might seem shallow at first, but is a loyal friend. The character of Drew I can see as the not well known, but perfect for the part, Alex Pettyfer. He has a perfect blend of a touch of a bad boy blended with general dreamy-ness.

While this is my perfect cast, I’m open to suggestions. Heck, I’d even take Zac Efron, but we’re going to have to do something about the hair.
Learn more about the author and her books at Eileen Cook’s website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.

--Marshal Zeringue