Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bill Loehfelm's "The Devil in Her Way"

Bill Loehfelm is the author of Fresh Kills, the first winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and the novels The Devil She Knows and Bloodroot. He was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Staten Island; he lives in New Orleans with his wife, the writer AC Lambeth.

Here Loehfelm shares some ideas for casting the lead in a big-screen adaptation of his latest novel, The Devil in Her Way:
It’s always a fun game to play, who would you cast if... My favorite for Maureen Coughlin, a small cop with a big brain and a bigger ambitions, came as a surprise.

My brother, a movie buff who can conduct entire conversations in quotes from his favorites, insists on Jessica Chastain, a favorite actress of mine as well, especially after The Debt and Zero Dark Thirty. She’s got tenacity and portrays a desperate need to succeed really well. Hard to argue with, and not just because my brother is a lawyer.

Another actress who’s really well suited is Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey. She’s another one who, as the Rebirth Brass Band would say, got that fire, and I’m not talking about her hair color. In both roles she shows her characters’ sparking intellect, iron core, and strong aspirations to push beyond her limits. Maureen isn’t quite that red a redhead, but I’d make allowances. Like Chastain, she can add a subtle and surprising tremor of danger to a character.

For a long time, though, since the first Maureen book, Rooney Mara has been my first choice to play Maureen Coughlin - even before Mara’s incendiary performance as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I first liked Mara as Maureen when I saw her in the recent remake of Nightmare on Elm Street on a night I was up late with insomnia. I had no idea who she was at the time, but she jumped off the screen at me. Mara is loaded with talent, and has a strength and an electric crackle about her I think suits. She gives the impression there are worlds at work behind her eyes, that ghosts haunt those worlds, and that carrying those ghosts makes her a dangerous person. She was exhilarating and terrifying as Salander, and like Lisbeth, Maureen’s small stature is an important part of her character. It makes her, like dynamite, all that more explosive.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Loehfelm's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fresh Kills.

--Marshal Zeringue