Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mary O'Connell's "The Sharp Time"

Mary O'Connell is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the author of the short story collection, Living With Saints. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in several literary magazines, and she is the recipient of a James Michener Fellowship and a Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award.

Here she shares some ideas about casting the leads for an adaptation of The Sharp Time, her first novel:
I’ve already watched The Sharp Time in my head with this perfect cast. A girl can dream, and hope, and pray that someone buys the movie rights…

My dream cast for The Sharp Time, the movie:

Kyle Chandler as Henry Charbonneau: Calling all you Friday Night Lights devotees! Who wouldn’t want to see Coach Taylor play against type as a quirky vintage clothing storeowner? Vintage Frocks, Beautiful Shop, Can’t lose…

Sinead O’Connor as Erika of Erika’s Erotic Confections: Sinead O’Connor was so amazing as The Virgin Mary in The Butcher Boy and I certainly envision her as the kind-hearted baker with the edgy exterior. (I also listened to “Theology” incessantly while I wrote The Sharp Time.)

Clint Eastwood as Arne, the pawn shop owner: He would be so fantastic as Arne, a tough guy who wears a “Charlton Heston is my president T-shirt” but also reads Denis Johnson poetry out loud.

Rosie O’Donnell as Mrs. Bennett: She has that amiable midwestern veneer, but I think she could absolutely bring it if she played the awful teacher.

Nat DeWolf as Brother Bill: His acting has the emotional resonance that makes the simplest gestures meaningful, so he could certainly carry the last scene, where his wave goodbye means so much to Sandinista.

Laura Kirk as Heather Jones: She was such a gem in Lisa Picard is Famous, and she would be perfection as Sandinista’s beloved mother. Again, the specific actress I had in mind as I wrote…

Sandinista Jones: Somewhere there is an actress in her early twenties, temping or waiting tables and dreaming and hoping and that’s the girl for this role, just at the role of her friend Bradley should go to another young hopeful. Here’s to the dreams of the unknowns!
Learn more about the book and author at Mary O'Connell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue