Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kim Barnes's "In the Kingdom of Men"

Kim Barnes's books include two memoirs, In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country—a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize—Hungry for the World, and the novels Finding Caruso and A Country Called Home.

Here she shares some ideas for the actors, director, and screenwriter to bring her new novel, In the Kingdom of Men, to the big screen:
If they make my book into a film, here's who I'd like to play the lead role(s):

Virginia (Gin) McPhee (main character—an adventuress young wife from Oklahoma who doesn’t like to obey): Saoirse Ronan.

Mason McPhee (Gin’s handsome, idealistic husband—an oilfield roughneck rising through the ranks): Armie Hammer.

Ruthie Doucet (Gin’s best friend—a woman who has been around and knows the ropes): Tina Fey.

Lucky Doucet (Ruthie’s Cajun husband—a rough veteran of the oilfields): a beefy George Clooney, sporting a sun-bleached crew-cut (maybe because I want to see him canoodling with Tina Fey).

Linda Dalton (Gin and Ruthie’s single friend—a voluptuous platinum-haired nurse): Can we see Christina Hendricks as anything other than a red-head?

Yash Sharma (Gin’s Punjabi houseboy—a middle-aged, educated military man who has self-exiled to Arabia): an older Roger Narayan.

Abdullah (Mason’s driver and translator—a young Arab man, educated in the U.S.): Ben Youcef in a ghutra and plaited hair.

Ross Fullerton (Mason’s district manager—an ambitious and dangerous Texas oil man): A bald, pot-bellied Leonardo DiCaprio with sparse eyebrows, sweating in a Stetson.

Candy Fullerton (Ross’s wife—Houston debutante; never satisfied): I’ve always envisioned my close friend, Kelly Eviston (Mozart and the Whale, The Basket) in this role. She’s from Kentucky, and, as an actor, she’s got that Southern belle ability to turn from saccharin sweet to viperous in the blink of an eye.

Carlo Leoni (Italian expatriate, photographer, lothario, and self-proclaimed pirate): Johnny Depp. Oh, wait. Hasn’t he already played a pirate?

Director: Present tense, Clint Eastwood. Future tense, my twenty-two-year-old son, Jace Wrigley, who’s got the chops.

And should we bring in Tom Perrotta to do the adaptation?
Learn more about the book and author at Kim Barnes's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Country Called Home.

The Page 69 Test: In the Kingdom of Men.

Writers Read: Kim Barnes.

--Marshal Zeringue