Friday, January 25, 2019

Chris Cander's "The Weight of a Piano"

Chris Cander graduated from the Honors College at the University of Houston, in the city where she was raised and still lives, with her husband, daughter, and son. For seven years she has been a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools there. She serves on the Inprint advisory board and stewards several Little Free Libraries in her community. Her first novel,11 Stories, won the Independent Publisher Gold Medal for Popular Fiction, and her novel Whisper Hollow was long-listed for the Great Santini Fiction Prize by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. She is also the author of The Word Burglar, which won the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (silver).

Here Cander dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Weight of a Piano:
Clara: Annie Murphy. I’m a huge Schitt’s Creek fan. I watched all four seasons in a few weeks while I was recovering from hamstring surgery. Annie’s character on the show, Alexis, is nothing like Clara—who’s strong, quiet, determined, vulnerable, evolving—but I know Annie could pull it off.

Peter: Armie Hammer. I’d actually love for him to play Greg, because he was born in Santa Monica, CA to parents who were Russian Jewish immigrants to the US. But he’s too tall for that role. I think he’d play the role of Peter brilliantly, though: a physically strong and emotionally sensitive auto mechanic.

Katya: Alicia Vikander. She’s a smart, savvy actress who only wants to play complex, multi-dimensional roles. She’s Swedish but could easily do a Russian accent. She grew up playing violin, so she understands how someone could have a passionate attachment to an instrument, and she learned to play piano for her role in A Royal Affair.

Mikhail: Eli Roth. He’s Jewish with Russian ancestry and studied the language in school. He likes to get in character and does great voices, so I think he’d be able to portray Mikhail’s distinct personality well.

Greg: Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Those piercing blue eyes. I don’t know him but he seems to have a slightly dangerous undercurrent beneath the cultivated politeness that I think matches Greg. Another option would be Tom Payne, who can embrace a pensive and brooding character like Greg.

Boris: Grigoriy Dobrygin. He’s a talented actor and director, but also an actual Russian ballet dancer. In March 2015, he told Interview magazine, "I really want to go back on the big stage and dance something. I didn't finish my last year at the academy—I was not assigned to the theatre. And this was what was once the meaning of life: to dance.”

And of course, the music in a movie version would be exquisite. Here’s a Spotify playlist I made of all the pieces I mentioned in the book.
Visit Chris Cander's website.

--Marshal Zeringue