Friday, November 23, 2012

Stacey Madden's "Poison Shy"

Stacey Madden holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. He lives in Toronto.

Here he shares some ideas for casting a big screen adaptation of Poison Shy, his first novel:
Poison Shy is full of unattractive characters, so any actors I mention here would have to ugly themselves up a bit for their roles in the film.

I think Poison Shy would make a great low-budget, grindhouse-type movie. It’s full of sex, violence, and people doing horrible things to each other, and what better way to emphasize the book’s gritty nature than by adapting it into a deliberately grainy film with dim lighting and poor sound quality.

For the role of Brandon Galloway, my hapless narrator who works in pest control, I would cast Joshua Jackson, of Dawson’s Creek fame, and ask him to come to the set each day on three-or-fewer hours’ sleep. Brandon’s a hard-on-his-luck kind of guy, and I think Josh Jackson would do a good job portraying Brandon’s pessimism and paranoia.

The real star of the show, however, is Melanie Blaxley, Brandon’s femme fatale paramour. Melanie, a pale and freckled redhead, is described in the book as “beautiful in a trashy kind of way”, causing Brandon to suspect that she could be “the surprisingly attractive offspring from an incestuous marriage” – a character description I’m sure is every young actress’s dream to be told they’re perfect for.

In any case, there is no shortage of flame-haired beauties who, with the help of trick camera work and a talented costume designer, could summon just enough of their inner-bitch to tackle the role of Melanie. The first one who comes to mind is British starlet Natalie Press, who is best known for her role as Mona opposite Emily Blunt in the 2004 film My Summer of Love. Other options are: the raspy-voiced Emma Stone, the doll-like Lily Cole, and short-lived pop star Lena Katina, who was the redheaded half of the fake lesbian duo t.A.T.u.

If none of the aforementioned beauties want to stoop to play the likes of Melanie, there’s always Lindsay Lohan.

As for the supporting roles, I would love to see the man with the best name in Hollywood, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, in the role of Darcy Sands, Melanie’s vile roommate whose unwashed hair smells like gravy. I think playing a scumbag like Darcy would help Mr. Mintz-Plasse to break free from being typecast as a “nerd”. Other options for Darcy are Seth Green, Shawn Ashmore, and Dominic Moynihan. (Sorry guys.)

For the role of Bill Barber, Brandon’s overweight and gassy co-worker, there’s really no other option besides superstar John Goodman.

Brandon’s schizophrenic mother, Eileen, is a difficult role to cast, but I think Diane Wiest, who is probably best-known for her role as the cosmetic saleswoman Peg who ventures into Vincent Price’s castle in Edward Scissorhands, could pull it off.

For the role of Detective Basil Darvish, who is probably the noblest character in the book, I would cast Brian George, who most people would recognize as the finger-waggling Babu Bhatt from Seinfeld. All he needs is a trench coat.

Ewan Bremner, who played Spud in Trainspotting, would be perfect in the role as Viktor Lozowsky, the skeezy bar owner who wears thick-rimmed coke-bottle glasses and shaves his head with razor blades.

Finally, in the roles of Brandon’s dead (and deadbeat) father, Jack, who we see only in flashbacks, and his wrong-side-of-the-tracks mistress Gloria, I can see nobody else but Nick Nolte, circa his mug shot days of 2002, and a haggard-looking Kim Basinger.

My sincerest apologies to any of the aforementioned celebrities who stumble upon this post.
Learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website and Stacey Madden's Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: Poison Shy.

--Marshal Zeringue