Friday, March 30, 2018

Christina Lynch's "The Italian Party"

Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Lynch is the co-author of two novels under the pen name Magnus Flyte. She teaches at College of the Sequoias.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of The Italian Party, her debut novel:
I was delighted when Publishers Weekly said that my main character in The Italian Party, Scottie, would have been played by Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. I agree! I had Grace Kelly in mind when I wrote her. The Italian Party takes place in 1956, and Scottie is 20 and somewhat naïve at the beginning of the novel, but a very capable woman by the end. Today I think she would be played by Margot Robbie.

Scottie’s husband Michael is darkly handsome, but insecure and anxious about the many secrets he is keeping. I think Ben Whishaw would be excellent casting—I loved him in The Hour, which was set in the same time period.

For Carlo, the Italian aristocrat/horseman, Raoul Bova would be great. Carlo’s wife, Franca, is still tortured by the death of their son during the war. I think Asia Argento or Monica Bellucci would be able to play all her layers.

Robertino is 14 and needs to be able to ride a horse really well, so that’s hard. I don’t know any 14-year-old Italian actors, but I loved Call Me By Your Name, so I would trust Luca Guadagnino to cast the perfect Robertino.

Sebastian is the most fun role in the book – I don’t want to spoil it, but he’s British-Italian and deliciously deceptive. I would love to see Jeremy Irons play him, or maybe Benedict Cumberbatch, just because I love him in Sherlock so much.

I’m sorry that Anthony Minghella and Saul Zaentz are no longer with us—they would have done beautiful things with this material, as they did with The English Patient. I worked in Hollywood for many years and have written lots of scripts, so I would definitely want to write the movie, but if I couldn’t, I would want Emma Thompson to do it. I loved her script for Sense and Sensibility.

Even though we need more women directors, I must admit I’d love to see Tom Ford or Luca Guadagnino direct the movie. I thought of Tom while I was still writing the book, because of his sense of style and because he knows what it’s like to be an American in Italy. Plus there’s a fox terrier in it, which he would love. As I said, I loved Call Me By Your Name, and I think Luca would capture the lazy beauty of summer in Siena in 1956.

Oh, and for Ecco the dog, I’d like to bring back Asta from The Thin Man, of course!
Visit Christina Lynch's website.

--Marshal Zeringue