Saturday, August 23, 2014

Courtney Miller Santo's "Three Story House"

Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she earned her MFA. She is the author of the novels The Roots of the Olive Tree and the newly released Three Story House.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of Three Story House:
Given the importance of setting in Three Story House, any adaptation of the novel would need to be set in Memphis on the bluffs that overlook the Mississippi river. Once that was in place, it becomes a perfect vehicle for an ensemble of female actresses. (Of course I’d also love to see a female director, like Anne Fletcher who would put her trademark zaniness into the production).

Jessica Biel would make a near perfect Lizzie. Not only does she have ties to Memphis (thanks to that hunk J.T. she hangs around with), but she also played soccer in high school. Lizzie’s identity as an athlete is what protects her from her family secrets and yet at the same time also prevents her from moving forward with her life.

Elyse, who is in some ways in the middle of the other two cousins needs an actress who is warm and loud and irreverent. For me, that would have to be Kat Dennings. She is an actress, like Lucille Ball, who understands how to throw her whole self into a role. She is brilliantly witty on her sitcom, Two Broke Girls and I’d love to see her apply that same energy to Elyse, who is so unsure of herself except when she’s with her cousins.

I love thinking about where people I grew up watching are now. I always loved Madylin Sweeten on Everybody Loves Raymond, especially in the show’s last years when we all got to see how beautiful and talented she’d become. She’d be perfect in the role of Isobel, who is a former child actress trying to decide if she should keep pursuing her dream of acting or find another path. In what Madylin has done it is clear that her talents go beyond playing a cute kid.
Learn more about the book and author at Courtney Miller Santo's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Roots of the Olive Tree.

Writers Read: Courtney Miller Santo (November 2012).

My Book, The Movie: The Roots of the Olive Tree.

--Marshal Zeringue