Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gail Carriger's "Prudence"

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. Her books are published in over a dozen different languages. Carriger has received the Prix Julia Verlanger and the Elbakin Award from French readers.

Here Carriger dreamcasts an adaptation of Prudence, the first book in the Custard Protocol series:
Rue: Jessica Brown Findlay

Best known for her tragic role as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby, I chose Jessica Brown Findlay mainly because she can (obviously) do the right upper crust accent for Rue. Also I think she would have fun with a more upbeat cheerful role. Rue is often described as round and jolly and while this actress is skinny (aren't they all?), she does have a sweet round expressive face which I think could do well for my main character.

Primrose: Felicity Jones

Primrose is Rue's best friend and main confidant. Rue and Prim look a little alike, in fact they use this in their schemes, often pretending to be the rich and feckless "Hisselpenny sisters." Occasionally, they will even switch names when visiting those who don't know them by sight (most do know them by reputation). Primrose is more reserved and interested in manners and organization than Rue. I'm thinking of Felicity's portrayal of the sister in Hysteria (Emily Dalrymple) when casting Primrose.

Frankly, given the skill of both the above actresses, I could also see Felicity play Rue and Jessica play Primrose.

Percy: Simon Woods

I know Simon Woods from Cranford and I was thinking of him as the physical model as I wrote Percy. I don't know if he is an natural redhead but he looks good as one. I think he could play the part of stuck up bookish weirdly irresistible Percy beautifully. Also, I bet Tom Felton could also do a great job.


Quesnel is French, raised in England, but bilingual and educated in France. I want a really boyish cheerful clownish feel for him, but also an actor able to show strong emotion and sex appeal. Quesnel is at least ten years older than the three other main characters, so he could be played by an actor in his 30s. When I describe him in the books, I was thinking someone like Alex Pettyfer (possibly too pretty?) crossed with young Leonardo DiCaprio. So I basically ended up with Freddie Stroma. But can he put a tiny hint of French into his accent? That's the question. If not, one wonders: how good is Vincent Lecoeur's English?
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Prudence.

--Marshal Zeringue