Sunday, April 15, 2012

Robin Wasserman's "The Book of Blood and Shadow"

Robin Wasserman is the author of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Hacking Harvard, and the Skinned trilogy, which bestselling author Scott Westerfeld called "spellbinding." She has a master's degree in the history of science, and is fascinated by Renaissance philosophy, religion, magic, science, and the interplay among them.

Here she shares some ideas for casting an adaptation of her new novel, The Book of Blood and Shadow:
I’m the kind of writer who never really pictures what her characters look like (just as I’m the kind of reader who has no idea what anyone else’s characters look like), so the casting question is always a tough one for me—fortunately, I’m obsessed with the idea of my books getting turned into movies and TV shows, so it’s one I tend to invest a lot of time puzzling out. And it’s a lot easier when I’m allowed to pick and choose actors from different generations (not least because all of my favorite teen movies come from the 80s.) I’ll start with Max—boyfriend of Nora (the main character)—who’s the only character for whom I actually had an actor in mind from the start: Christian Slater, specifically as seen in Pump Up the Volume, ie the world’s sexiest nerd. If you haven’t seen the movie (and if you haven’t, you should, immediately), basically Christian Slater plays a reserved, awkward kid who radiates the kind of intensity that makes most people uncomfortable…and that’s hiding an entire secret self that he’s either too afraid or too angry to show the world. Plus, those glasses!

As for Eli, the mysterious—and seriously snarky—guy who pops up out of nowhere and won’t go away, I think I might go with my current obsession, Sebastian Stan (who you might know from Gossip Girl, but who I love from the too-soon-departed Kings). He’s got the right combo of sexy, snarky, and dark, at least if he could tone down the sneer.

Adrienne, Nora’s best friend with brains, beauty, and an agenda of her own, seems like the most carefree girl in the world but has just lost the (presumed) love of her life. So she needs to be played by someone who could pull off both tough and vulnerable, and cover both with a sheen of don’t-give-a-crap cool that you could mistake for shallowness if you didn’t know better. Maybe it’s the Battlestar Galactica fan in me talking, but if I could build a time machine and snag teenage Grace Park, I’d take her.

The toughest to cast, of course, is Nora, who’s smart and damaged and extremely well practiced at keeping all her emotions to herself, which means she’d have to be played by an actress who could reveal a lot without saying very much. The early Winona Ryder (circa Heathers and Beetlejuice) comes to mind (though that may just be because I love her, especially circa those days), and weirdly, I think Kristen Stewart might have pulled it off back in her In the Land of Women days (weird, vaguely terrible movie – good acting). But in the end, I think I’d go with Alessandra Torresani, the star of the late, great, Caprica, who did an amazing job playing a girl who’d been turned into a robot, and spent many scenes standing totally still…while still managing to be the most interesting person on the screen. Best of all, she’s actually the right age, so if anyone in Hollywood is out there reading this…let’s get on it!
Learn more about the book and author at Robin Wasserman's website and blog.

Wasserman is also the author of the Seven Deadly Sins series, Hacking Harvard, and the Skinned trilogy, which bestselling author Scott Westerfeld called "spellbinding."

Writers Read: Robin Wasserman.

--Marshal Zeringue