Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Joanna Nadin's "Paradise"

Joanna Nadin is a bestselling British author of middle grade, teen and YA fiction, a speechwriter, and a former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister.

Here she shares her ideas for the casting and director for an adaptation of her latest YA novel, Paradise:
I spent way too many hours watching teen movies, and more still stealing actors to people the worlds I’m creating, and yet Paradise was one of the first in which the heroine – Billie Paradise – wasn’t written with Thora Birch, or Julia Stiles on pause and rewind in my head. I spent a long time looking for my Billie, the girl who inherits a house and moves from London to Cornwall to find a new life, and her own past. Sixteen years old, she is skinny, gawky; has that too-tall awkwardness of someone who hasn’t quite grown into their limbs yet; she is pale, ethereal, has a goth or emo otherness about her. I found her in the hunch-shouldered gait of a rain-soaked schoolgirl on a gloomy Tuesday in Bath, but I could as easily have plundered Kristen Stewart as my blueprint. There’s a strangeness about her beauty, an odd Britishness about her: an antidote to LA’s cookie cutter blondes. Ten years ago I’d have picked Rebecca Hall. Twenty: Claire Danes.

Danny, the hero-of-sorts, is older, eighteen. And like all my leading men, he was stolen from a book I read as a teenager: Pennington’s Seventeenth Summer by KM Peyton; a book that engendered in me a taste for the misunderstood, the moody, and, always, the musical. It was Pennington who sowed the seed for my obsession with Christian Slater in Heathers, and for Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life. Like Angela, I loved the way he leaned, like the world was too much. Today’s Penningtons and Jordans, and hence Dannys, are Robert Pattinson, Ed Westwick, Tom Hardy, though if you dirtied Penn Badgley up a bit, he might make the grade.

As for directors, despite my proud ownership of the entire John Hughes back catalogue, I am and will always be an Indie Kid at heart. So I would pretty much throw myself at the feet of Sarah Polley (Take this Waltz) or Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine).
Visit Joanna Nadin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue