Saturday, August 11, 2012

Laurie Frankel's "Goodbye for Now"

Laurie Frankel was recently named one of ten women to watch in 2012. She is a proud core member of the Seattle7Writers. Her first novel, The Atlas of Love, came out in August 2010.

Here Frankel shares some casting ideas for an adaptation of her new novel, Goodbye for Now:
In fact, fabulously, Lionsgate has bought the film option for Goodbye For Now. Exciting, no? So they’re in charge. This is great news for many reasons, not the least of which is that casting a movie is a great mystery to me. Choosing real live actors to play characters who until recently existed only in my head seems completely daunting to me. But what if we took out the “live” part of that equation?

Goodbye For Now is a book about a software engineer who invents a way to digitally, virtually recreate your dead loved ones from their emails, social media, and old video chats. Remember when they brought Tupac back at Coachella? Like that. And you know who has lots of old video footage? Dead movie stars. I don’t know about the real movie, but it seems just perfect to me that the stars of my fantasy movie of Goodbye For Now should be, well, dead.

So Meredith, female lead. She starts off saucy and sweet and -- I don’t think this gives too much away -- ends up sad and sweet. So I’m torn between Katharine Hepburn at the beginning leaning more towards Audrey Hepburn at the end. Why aren’t those two related? Natalie Wood might be a good compromise -- sweet and saucy and sad and hopeful all the way through.

Meredith’s cousin, Dashiell Bentlively (a name he chose himself), is all L.A. chic and Hollywood cool, mysteriously connected to but not actually involved with the film industry, gorgeous, popular, beloved by all, bisexual, very loving towards his family and friends, and surprisingly loyal and down-to-earth and emotional when push comes to shove (as of course it must). Cary Grant, himself gorgeous, popular, beloved by all, bisexual, and very loving towards family and friends, seems a perfect choice. Dash would be delighted.

Sam’s dad is the main character’s father. We never learn his own name -- to us, as to Sam, he’s just Sam’s dad. He’s sort of the moral center of the book, not a huge part but a hugely important one. I like Paul Newman for him, but then, I like Paul Newman for anything. Paul had it going on: sensitive and concerned without being mushy about it, haunted and aching without shrieking tragedy, on his game but with something lurking beneath those eyes. That’s exactly what Sam’s dad needs.

And that brings us to Sam who’s a tough one. He’s the lead. He’s the genius behind the software. He brings the love and the tragedy and the joy and the heartbreak and the humor and the pathos. He’s very funny, very smart, a little wry, and very loving of lots and lots of people. So we need someone with range. It’s hard to imagine old movie stars as computer geniuses. But though Jimmy Stewart probably didn’t log a lot of hours on Twitter, I think he’d be great for the part. He does smart, funny, sensitive, and caring with the best of them. And he brings a touch of the geek, a notch below completely suave and debonair (see Cary Grant above). He’s a little bit more casual about his loveliness, and that’s Sam all over.

Now that I’ve put this post together, I’m dying to see this cast do this movie. If you are a computer genius or a hologram animator, you should call me.
Learn more about the book and author at Laurie Frankel's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Atlas of Love.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Laurie Frankel and Calli.

--Marshal Zeringue