Monday, February 8, 2016

Jennifer Robson's "Moonlight Over Paris"

Jennifer Robson is the author of three novels set during and after the First World War: Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, and Moonlight Over Paris.

She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

Here Robson dreamcasts an adaptation of Moonlight Over Paris:
My difficulty, when dream-casting one of my books, is that I tend to create my characters with a very specific image of each one in my head, and usually they don’t bear much resemblance to particular actors or public figures. If pressed, though, I would say that Alicia Vikander, who played Vera Brittain in the recent film adaptation of Testament of Youth, is a pretty close match for the Helena I carry around in my head. I also like Saoirse Ronan (so wonderful in Brooklyn) and Mia Wasikowska. What I want to see is someone who has the appearance of fragility—Helena has just recovered from a near-fatal illness, after all—but is strong enough, and brave enough, to leave her comfortable life behind and look for a future that offers her the chance of true happiness.

With Sam Howard, my hero, I have a more specific physical type in mind, mainly because he is a redhead (a ginger to my readers in the UK) and Sam’s dark auburn hair, as I see it in my mind’s eye, is quite rare. If I confine myself to actors with auburn hair, I really like Domhnall Gleeson, who was also wonderful in Brooklyn—and, yes, he was one of the Weasley brothers in the Harry Potter films, but he’s in his early thirties now and certainly mature enough to play the rather world-weary character of Sam. Some of you may be fans of Damien Lewis, arguably the best-known actor with red hair around, but for some reason I can’t quite see him in the role, even though he often plays American characters and does so very well.

As for the secondary characters, I think Emma Thompson would do a fine job of portraying the eccentric but canny Aunt Agatha (I can dream, can’t I?), and Rose Leslie (from Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones) would be perfect as Daisy. But I’m not sure who should play one of the most important characters: Hamish, Agatha’s elderly cairn terrier. My own dog, Ellie, has asked to be considered for the role, but she’s all wrong for the part (starting with her breed—she’s a sheepdog). My literary agent has a lovely Westie, though, and I think the role could be rewritten just for Fergus!
Visit Jennifer Robson's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jennifer Robson & Ellie.

My Book, The Movie: After the War Is Over.

The Page 69 Test: After the War Is Over.

Writers Read: Jennifer Robson.

--Marshal Zeringue