Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rufi Thorpe's "The Girls from Corona del Mar"

Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. A native of California, she currently lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and son.

Here Thorpe dreamcasts an adaptation of The Girls From Corona del Mar, her debut novel:
While I didn’t write The Girls from Corona del Mar thinking of what it would be like as a movie, the challenge of trying to imagine it as one is delicious. Because it is a story of friendship, the chemistry of the two lead actresses would be the most important thing. I’m thinking of the kind of chemistry between Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted, or between Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis in Thelma and Louise. Both actresses would need to have a lot of heart, I think, since in their different ways Mia and Lorrie Ann are both difficult, even as they are lovable.

Mia jokes continuously that she has a little black stone for a heart. There is something angry in her and distrustful, but also funny and biting. As much as she bemoans her own weakness of character, she loves those close to her passionately and unendingly, and in her life she manages to make moral decisions. I would love to see someone with a bit of fire in them for the role, but also with a real intellect. I think Jena Malone would be dynamite. I’ve loved her in literally every film she’s ever been in. Huge fan.

For Lorrie Ann, who is so effortlessly good, so beautiful and vulnerable, I always described her as having the sensuality of a woman in a Vermeer painting, and I suppose that colors the actresses I would choose. Thora Birch and Jennifer Lawrence both have that kind of sexuality: simple, like fruit, an utter lack of coquettishness. But I think Jennifer Lawrence has the psychological complexity in her performances to really follow Lor down the dark road that is the second half of the novel. I’ve never seen Birch in a role like that, but who knows, maybe she just hasn’t had the chance or hasn’t wanted to.

I think it could make a gorgeous movie, truthfully. There is so much that could be visually compelling, the settings of California, India, and Istanbul. It is also very much a novel of scenes, of people talking and fighting and finally recognizing themselves in each other. Both of my parents were actors and I grew up in the theater, so I think my love of plays always shows a little bit in my novels. It would be a life dream to see the book made into a film, even if it wound up being made into a bad one! Thanks for giving me the chance to imagine it.
Visit Rufi Thorpe's website.

Writers Read: Rufi Thorpe.

The Page 69 Test: The Girls from Corona del Mar.

--Marshal Zeringue