Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Virginia Baily's "Early One Morning"

Virginia Baily holds a PhD and MA in English from the University of Exeter. She founded and co-edits Riptide, a short-story journal. She is also the editor of the political series of the Africa Research Bulletin. She lives in Exeter, Devon.

Here Baily dreamcasts an adaptation of her debut novel, Early One Morning:
This is a work in progress and so far I have only managed to cast three of the main characters. I have however suggested minor parts to some young drama students I know if the book is ever made into a movie!

I have chosen Isabella Rossellini to play my main character, Chiara Ravello. She looks the part, dark-haired and elegant and is of mixed Italian heritage. She would be able to convey Chiara’s resilience and her vulnerability and also, whether she knows it or not, she already has a strong connection to the story. Her father Roberto Rossellini directed the 1945 film Rome, Open City, set in Rome during the German occupation, which helped inspire Early One Morning.

If the iconic French actor Simone Signoret were still alive, I would like her to play the part of Simone, Chiara’s dearest friend. I think I might even have had Signoret partly in mind when I named my character and I imagine my Simone as having a similar raddled, sultry beauty. In her absence, I think that Fanny Ardant would carry the role very well. She can act in English, French or Italian and so has that world-travelled, polyglot air that Simone has and has the commanding presence that the role requires.

Early One Morning is about to air on BBC Radio 4 in the United Kingdom. It may be that the actors chosen for that dramatization are so well cast that they migrate to this movie? They include Greta Scaachi as the narrator and Juliet Aubrey as Chiara.

I’m wondering about Andrew Garfield for the part of Daniele. I found him profoundly moving in the film of Never Let Me Go. He is also able to look very young and so could stretch to playing the key trumpet scene when Daniele is a teenager, the even more key love-in-a-jazz club scene when Daniele is about 21 and then go up a notch age-wise for the scenes of Daniele in his late thirties. He would be able to bring the requisite pained intensity and anguish to the part.

Obviously we would need a different actor to play the seven-year-old Daniele!
Learn more about Early One Morning at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue