Sunday, April 7, 2013

Steph Cha's "Follow Her Home"

Steph Cha is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles, California.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of Follow Her Home, her first novel:
Follow Her Home is a detective novel in the tradition of Raymond Chandler, featuring a Korean-American female protagonist. It takes place in Los Angeles, and hard-boiled detective fiction is a genre so wrapped up with film noir that I’ve always thought of my novel in cinematic terms. Casting, however, would prove a real challenge, even in my head. I would need five Asian-American women in speaking roles. Greedy? Sure. But not if I’d said white men.

Juniper Song is a Korean-American woman in her twenties, so Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh are too old and uh, who else is on the scene? I actually had the now-deceased model Daul Kim in mind when I imagined the character – tall, skinny, with a striking, androgynous face. Brenda Song, who is adorable and small and has been in a number of things lately, could play Lori Lim, the novel’s flirty femme. I’d need a willowy beautiful teenager to play Juniper’s sister Iris Song, and an Asian woman in her forties to play her mother in flashback. Maggie Cheung could play Lori’s steely mother Yujin Chung. Actually, she’d be ideal for the role.

There is a real dearth of Asian-American actors and actresses in Hollywood, which makes my novel even less likely to be made into a movie than the next guy’s. No personal bitterness here, but I would love to see more Asian faces on big screens – and for heaven’s sake, yellowface does not count.

Moving on, though. Luke Cook, Juniper’s handsome friend and sidekick, is definitely a Ryan Gosling, so please, Mr. Gosling’s agent, tell him that for me. Latinos in Hollywood are in the same kind of boat as Asians, but I have at least one idea for Diego Díaz, Juniper’s close friend and ex-boyfriend. He is definitely a Diego Luna type – small, boyish, with a nice smile. For his wife Jackie, who’s a little bit older – Selma Blair.

Luke’s father William Cook could be played by Bryan Cranston, and for the vintage sociopath John – how about Matt Damon? He’s not too busy to play a supporting character in my fake movie, is he? Finally, I would want Enrico Colantoni for my shlubby P.I. Chaz Lindley. He’s a little trim and handsome for the role, but any excuse to use Keith Mars.

This masterpiece which is definitely getting made would be directed by David Fincher or Rian Johnson. I want atmospheric noir with clean edges, and either of those directors would be perfectly acceptable.

(Here is what Juniper Song looks like in my head.)
Learn more about Follow Her Home, and visit Steph Cha's website and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Steph Cha and Duke.

--Marshal Zeringue