Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tracey Garvis Graves's "On the Island"

Tracey Garvis Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe.

In On the Island, her first novel, two people stranded on an island struggle to survive—and slowly fall in love. Here the author shares some ideas for casting an adaptation of the story:
Upon hearing the news that MGM has optioned On the Island for a feature film, the first thing people often ask me is, “Do you get to help cast the movie?” Sadly, the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun thinking about who would play my characters (and I want to be ready if for some reason MGM just happens to ask me for my opinion).

One of my friends sent me a picture of a very handsome actor. I didn’t recognize him because I don’t watch a lot of television. It turns out he’s on a show called Friday Night Lights. His name is Taylor Kitsch and I thought he’d make a perfect T.J. considering he already plays a high school student on FNL. In the name of research I watched an episode of FNL on Netflix and it pains me to say that although Taylor is absolutely swoon-worthy, I think he’s a smidge too old to play T.J. But, while I was watching that episode I came across the perfect Anna: Minka Kelly. She is absolutely adorable. She doesn’t have blue eyes but perhaps she can wear special contacts like the vampires do in the Twilight films (to be clear – the ones that make her eyes blue, not red). I am open to suggestions for the perfect T.J. He’ll have to be young enough to portray 16-17, yet still have the ability to look like he’s aging accordingly. This could be a really tricky role to cast. I also think pairing an unknown actor with an established actress (the way they did with Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon) might be the way to go. One last casting suggestion: I think John Goodman would be excellent as seaplane pilot Mick. I can just see him sitting in the cockpit eating that cheeseburger.

This will be a challenging movie to make and the right director is absolutely crucial. I have a friend in the movie business and he told me the ideal director will have a distinctive creative vision that s/he can articulate up front and who will fight, yell and scream for that vision without being certifiably crazy. That sounds about right to me.
Learn more about the book and author at Tracey Garvis Graves's blog and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue