Monday, November 7, 2016

Leah Kaminsky's "The Waiting Room"

Leah Kaminsky, a physician and award-winning writer, is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia. Her debut novel, The Waiting Room, is followed by We’re all Going to Die. She conceived and edited Writer MD, a collection of prominent physician-writers, which starred on Booklist. She is co-author of Cracking the Code, with the Damiani family. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Here Kaminsky dreamcasts an adaptation of The Waiting Room:
When I first started writing The Waiting Room, I imagined the characters moving about on a stage. Later, the scenes felt more filmic, as if I was peering in on someone’s life from behind a camera lens. Although I knew what each of my characters looked like, I’ve never actually thought about which actors I would cast in the role until now. It’s been such fun trawling through photos trying to come up with the perfect fit. In the end I’ve chosen Natalie Portman to play the role of Dina. She is intelligent, witty and edgy, like my character, but doesn’t shy away from darkness.

I think Gabriel Macht would bring the right amount of toughness to the role of Eitan, Dina’s husband, presenting an outward image as a macho Israeli guy (Eitan means strength in Hebrew). I also like his vulnerability and sense of humor, as well as depth of character which allows him to understand the complexity of his ex-pat wife, Dina.

Dina is haunted by a ghostly memory of her mother, who pops up when she is least wanted, to kibbitz and annoy her daughter from beyond the grave, imploring her to bear witness. Although she is the eternal embodiment of an annoying Jewish mother, she has her daughter’s back, and in a strange way, ends up saving her life. This is the hardest role for me to cast – I’ve loved Betty White since The Golden Girls, so I’m going to give the role to her.
Visit Leah Kaminsky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue