Monday, April 23, 2012

Joseph Olshan's "Cloudland"

Joseph Olshan is the award-winning author of ten novels including Nightswimmer and The Conversion. He spends most of the year in Vermont.

Here he shares his preferences for the lead in an adaptation of his latest novel, Cloudland:
I feel lucky to have had at least one of my books made into a movie (Clara's Heart that starred Whoopi Goldberg) and perhaps less lucky to have had the story-line of another book stolen by a Hollywood studio and made into a television movie that was so bad I couldn't bring myself to start a legal proceeding. As Cloudland makes the rounds of the movie studios, I am imagining it as a film.

The casting of the main character, Catherine Winslow, is the most crucial because she is the one who will carry the film. Catherine is in her early forties, a seasoned yet disillusioned journalist who has given up her high-powered career to live in rural Vermont and write a household hints column. She is a highly intellectual yet damaged soul who reads voraciously and who dares to have an affair with a former student 15 years her junior. Because Kate Winslet chose one of my earlier novels (The Waterline) as one of her three favorite books of all time, I obviously give her the first right of refusal for the role. I think it would be a perfect vehicle for this actress who would have no trouble playing a brainy, quirky and very attractive sleuth who discovers the frozen body of a woman; but should she turn the role down, I have two alternates.

The first would be Laura Linney who is a very close friend of Kate Winslett and who is certainly an intellectual in comparison to many actors in her league. Laura's father is the writer Romulus Linney, so I have no doubt she grew up in a household where books were read and discussed.

If Laura turns the role down, then I'd go to Patricia Clarkson whom I saw at the Opera the other night and who looked absolutely gorgeous in a black velvet dress. Patricia is a bit older than the character in the novel, but she looks fantastic. I think Clarkson would bring a great deal of personal insight to my heroine, the brilliant, disillusioned and cynical Catherine.
Learn more about the book and author at Joseph Olshan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Cloudland.

Writers Read: Joseph Olshan.

--Marshal Zeringue