Friday, September 22, 2017

Ismée Williams's "Water in May"

Ismée Williams is the author of Water in May, a pediatric cardiologist who trained and practiced for 15 years at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, the daughter of a Cuban immigrant partially raised by her abuelos, and the mother of three daughters, all of which have helped her to understand the many Maris she has met along the way.

Here Williams dreamcasts an adaptation of Water in May:
I’ve fantasized about Water in May becoming a movie since I started writing it! In fact, I pictured Reese Witherspoon as Helen, the woman Mari shares a hospital experience with, from the very beginning. She would do an amazing job playing the mother of a baby in distress. And I always hoped she would like the book since I once saw her say that if she couldn’t be an actor she would be a pediatric cardiologist (look up Reese Witherspoon, Vogue’s 73 questions video).

For Dr. Love, my vote would be Scott Eastwood. He’s the right age (early 30s) and has that dreamy look to him (along with the blue eyes), yet he is serious enough to make you respect him as a physician.

My main character’s boyfriend, Bertie, is somewhat of a jokester and has a carefree way about him, yet he is also tragically wounded by the circumstances of the novel. I’m envisioning someone like a young Merlin Santana, the late Dominican-American actor who played Rudy Huxtable’s boyfriend on The Cosby Show, among other roles in his short lifetime. He’d have been perfect.

And now for Mari’s girl crew: The role of loud and flamboyant best friend, Yaz, would have to go to a teen version of Dania Ramirez, known for her work in The Sopranos, Entourage, and Devious Maids. Julissa Bermudez, from Empire Girls, would play Teri well, with her innocent schoolgirl looks, but again she would have to be younger. For the role of Heavenly, the statuesque beauty who always has boys panting after her, Zoe Saldana would be my choice.

Mari’s abuela could be played by Iris Peynado, who is Dominican, or even Rosie Perez, who is actually Puerto Rican, though it would have had to have been when they were in their mid-40’s.

My main character, Mari, would be the tough one to cast. Sharlene Taule could play Mari because her skin is light enough to pass for white in certain situations, as Mari’s skin is. But honestly, for all of these younger roles my dream would be for scouts to go to Washington Heights or Santo Domingo and find up and coming talent. It would be incredible to have an unknown play Mari and have this be her breakout role.
Visit Ismée Williams's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan.

--Marshal Zeringue