Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jenny Hubbard's "Paper Covers Rock"

Jenny Hubbard is a poet and playwright, and has taught English in both high school and college for many years. Pat Conroy called Paper Covers Rock, her debut novel, “one of the best young-adult books [he's] read in years.”

Here Hubbard shares some ideas for director and cast of an adaption of Paper Covers Rock:
When I wrote Paper Covers Rock, I never envisioned it as a film, and I saw the characters as mish-mashes of real-life people I’d encountered in my ten years teaching at an all-boys’ boarding school. Were I truly fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to cast the movie, I would go with unknowns. But because this site's editor has invited me to play this alluring game, I’ll toss out recognizable names that breach the generation gap.

Since all well-made films start with an artful director, I'm going to be ambitious and choose Sofia Coppola for her crystal-clear vision and lyrical resonance.

The main characters in Paper Covers Rock are two seventeen-year-old boys (boarding-school preppy) and their twenty-two-year-old female English teacher (Ivy-League understated).

Alex, the soulful protagonist, might best be embodied by a younger-than-he-is-now Andrew Garfield, an actor who’s a little awkward, a little shaky. When my editor first read the novel, she pictured Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But my 14-year-old niece Elizabeth says to go with Patrick Adams.

Glenn, the athletic antagonist, needs to be a golden-haired Adonis: a teenage Steve McQueen, perhaps, or even a pre-Love Story Ryan O’Neal playing against type. But Elizabeth votes for Chris Pine.

Miss Dovecott: Mia Wasikowska for her delicate balance of fragility and strength or a 25-year-old Julia Stiles, who gets my vote every time for likeability and down-to-earth intelligence. Elizabeth’s opinion? Bonnie Wright or Emma Watson, both of Harry Potter fame.
Learn more about the book and author at Jenny Hubbard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue