Thursday, April 13, 2017

Stacey Madden's "Touching Strangers"

Stacey Madden holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. He lives in Toronto.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Touching Strangers:
One of the most common responses I get from readers of Touching Strangers is, “I can totally see it being a movie!” If I were ever so lucky, here are some thoughts on how my ideal cast might look.

First: directing. Touching Strangers is a quirky dark comedy with some thriller elements, so naturally the Coen brothers leap to mind. However, I think the project might work better as lower-budget film, directed by somebody like David Robert Mitchell (It Follows), or Kerem Sanga (First Girl I Loved). Both of these directors really know what to do with plots involving young people in peril.

In terms of casting, the roles of main characters Samantha Riske and Aaron Cordic are the most important. Samantha is a raven-haired agoraphobic porcelain doll, and Aaron is a neurotic germophobe trapped in a California surfer’s body. In the Coen brothers version of the film, I can see Samantha being played by Lily Collins or Hailee Steinfeld, but I would love to see her played by Olwen Kelly, who was fantastic in her non-speaking, non-moving role as a corpse in The Autopsy of Jane Doe. As for Aaron, it’s hard for me to see anyone in the role besides Evan Peters of American Horror Story fame. He brings the perfect blend of aloofness and charm that I had in mind while writing Aaron’s scenes.

The villain of the novel is a drug dealer and pervert named Zack Pike. I’d love to see what British actor Will Poulter would do with the role, after his appearance as young Bridger in The Revenant. I can also see Canadian actor Atticus Mitchell from TV’s Fargo in Zack’s gangster get-up.

For the role of Dr. Rosamund Sedgwick – the only medical professional in the book who seems to know what she’s doing – I can see nobody else in the role but Phoebe Waller-Bridge from such shows as Fleabag and Broadchurch.

Last but certainly not least, for the role of Claire, the character who in many ways brings the whole book’s plot together, I would cast Jamie Clayton, best known for playing Nomi in the TV show Sense8 – because roles for transgender characters should go to transgender actors!
Visit Stacey Madden's Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Poison Shy.

My Book, The Movie: Poison Shy.

--Marshal Zeringue