Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ellen Wittlinger's "Local Girl Swept Away"

Ellen Wittlinger is the author of over a dozen YA and middle-grade novels. Her novel Hard Love won both a Printz Honor Award and a Lambda Literary Award.

Here Wittlinger dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Local Girl Swept Away:
I suppose, since Local Girl Swept Away is a book whose four main characters are 17-years-old, I would not be able to cast Benedict Cumberbatch in any of the roles. This is really a shame as I know many people who would pay good money to watch B.C. do nothing more than stare at his shoes for two hours. Maybe I could write in a part for him.

It's harder to cast (even fantasy-cast) teenagers because the actors you like age out so quickly, but I'll do my best. For the lead role, my narrator, Jackie Silva, I choose Kiernan Shipka who played Don Draper's daughter in Mad Men. The blonde hair would have to go as Jackie is a Portuguese fisherman's daughter and not one to bother to lighten her hair. I thought Shipka was one of the bright lights of Mad Men and I'm surprised she hasn't been used more in films for teens. Come on, people, she's going to outgrow teen movies soon!

The second lead, Lorna, is a wild child, impulsive and mysterious. My choice of actor here is, in fact, a woman probably already too old for the part, but nonetheless I choose Evan Rachel Wood. She has a quiet, unknowable quality that I love.

The two male parts are harder to cast. There are probably a lot of young actors who'd do just fine as Finn, the golden boy, destroyed by the loss of his girlfriend. I'll say Ansel Elgort because I liked him in The Fault in Our Stars, but some handsome, soulful newcomer could do the job too. (If only Benedict Cumberbatch were 17!) And Elgort's second in that movie, Nat Wolff, would be fine as Lucas, the last of the four friends. Or Josh Hutcherson would be good too. But they'll all be too old soon, if they aren't already. So let's get this movie made!
Learn more about the book and author at Ellen Wittlinger's website.

The Page 69 Test: Local Girl Swept Away.

--Marshal Zeringue