Friday, May 18, 2012

Terra Elan McVoy's "Being Friends with Boys"

Terra Elan McVoy has held a variety of jobs centered around reading and writing, from managing an independent children’s bookstore, to teaching writing classes, and even answering fan mail for Captain Underpants. McVoy lives and works in the same Atlanta neighborhood where her novels After the Kiss, Being Friends with Boys, and Pure are set. She is also the author of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.

Here the author shares some ideas for director and cast of an adaptation of Being Friends with Boys:
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking of my favorite John Hughes films (Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles, specifically) when I wrote Being Friends with Boys. While there isn’t exactly a connect-the-dot between any of the book or movie characters, I hope that the same the mood those films evoke is still there. Were he alive today, it would be awesome to have John Hughes direct the movie version of this book. I also loved (500) Days of Summer and since there’s a heavy music element to this book, Marc Webb might be another interesting directorial choice.

Since all the actors I loved in John Hughes’ films are now almost be too old to play the parents (though gosh—Molly Ringwald as Charlotte’s stepmom, Hannah, would be fantastic), I’ve got try to use my imagination a little more to cast these characters.

For the role of Charlotte, the main character, I’d choose Kat Dennings in her Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist mode, hands down. She might have to work to un-glamourize herself just a little at the beginning of the Being Friends with Boys film, but her tough, edgy, funny vibe would be really perfect for Charlotte, especially once Charlotte learns a thing or two about sticking up for herself. (As she does later in the book.)

Oliver, Charlotte’s best friend since 5th grade, is a bit of a broody looker, and so it’d be interesting to see Daniel Radcliffe (at about HP #5 age) play him. Trip, her other best friend, is bouncier and goofier, so maybe Hunter Parrish (slightly younger than he is now) would be a good fit. The bad-boy of the book, Benji, I can’t imagine being played by anyone else but Macaulay Culkin (much younger and healthier than he is now, of course—maybe around when he was 19). I loved him so much in Saved!, and that’s the energy that would be perfect for Benji. Of course, I’m also a huge Robert Downey Jr., fan, so if we wanted to cast Benji as someone more darkly complected, that might work too (so long as RDJ was, you know, 18). Charlotte’s love interest, Fabian, needs to be someone approachable, but creative and sexy at the same time. Maybe Tye Sheridan; he played a smallish role in The Tree of Life, but I think he’d be ready for a bigger role now!

Of course, the reader’s imagination is always the best casting director ever, so mostly I defer to readers of Being Friends with Boys regarding who should play whom. Even if that means the result is a bunch of yet-undiscovered unknowns!
Visit Terra Elan McVoy's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.

--Marshal Zeringue