Friday, August 17, 2018

T. Greenwood's "Rust & Stardust"

T. Greenwood is the author of twelve novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won three San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. Bodies of Water was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award.

Here Greenwood dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Rust & Stardust:
Because Rust & Stardust is based on a true crime (the 1948 kidnapping of eleven-year old Sally Horner – the crime that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita), I was writing with real people in mind. However, this novel is, in the end, a piece of historical fiction, and these characters have, in many ways taken on a life of their own.

I always love to imagine who might play the roles of the various characters if the novel were adapted for film. And this one was easy. (Here’s my all-star cast.)

Sally Horner:
I adored Brooklynn Prince as Moonee in The Florida Project. She’s both beautifully innocent and wise in that film; her performance was heart-breaking. She’s still a little young to play Sally, but luckily filmmaking takes time, so in a couple of years, she’d be perfect!

Frank La Salle:
Jackie Earle Haley brilliantly played a pedophile in Little Children. While he might not want to revisit that sort of role, I think he’d make a terrific Frank: able to portray a sick man who is simultaneously ominous and pathetic.

Ella Horner:
Sally’s mother would be such a challenging role. A woman who suffers not only emotionally but physically, it would need to be an actress who could capture the sort of resignation that I believe Ella exhibits. I think Laurie Metcalf might be an interesting choice.

Sister Mary Katherine:
I adore Amy Adams’ work, and I think she’d be wonderful in this role, the nun who suspects something is amiss with her young student but is unable, in the end, to save her.

Lena is a hermaphrodite with the traveling circus in Dallas, TX where Frank and Sally settle at a trailer park. I’d love to see Jessica Chastain play this role.

Ruth, in many ways, is the heroine of this story. I could see Reese Witherspoon taking on this part beautifully. There’s a tremendous lightness and simple goodness to Ruth that I believe Witherspoon could capture.

Al Panaro:
Al is such an important character in this story, Sally’s gentle and kind brother-in-law who never gives up hope. I would love to see him played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In terms of directors, my dream director would be Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird and Jackie). This is a pretty gritty story, but there are moments of grace, and I think Gerwig knows exactly how to reveal that dichotomy. As a photographer, I am also very interested in the cinematography…my dream Director of Photography would be Christina Voros. Her work is amazing.
Visit T. Greenwood's website.

--Marshal Zeringue