Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Heather Hepler's "We Were Beautiful"

Heather Hepler is the author of several books for teens and tweens, including Frosted Kisses (2015), Love? Maybe (2012), and The Cupcake Queen (2009).

Here Hepler dreamcasts an adaptation of her newest novel, We Were Beautiful:
Here is a quick synopsis of We Were Beautiful.

It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in a car crash that killed her older sister, Rachel, and left her own face terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it is quickly consuming her. As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the café down the street. There she meets Fig—blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious—who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends—including Cooper, the artistic boy who’s always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

I’ve thought a lot about making this into a movie. The settings between coastal Maine and New York City were what initially drew me into Mia’s story. The cast is pretty straightforward for me. I’d pretty much just ask actors that I love. Here are my suggestions for some of the principals.

Cooper: Noah Centineo – because well he’s in everything recently, but mostly because he was the perfect love interest in Sierra Burgess is a Loser.

Mia: Chloë Grace Moretz – She’s beautiful and funny and smart. She could make the story all those things.

Fig: Masie Williams – because I need to keep Game of Thrones in my life somehow. And because she’s awesome and strong and cool.

I’d have to think more about the other characters, but if I could make space for some 80’s stars like Mollie Ringwold or Winona Ryder I would. I would write in a new part for Keanu Reeves just so I could meet him.

The best part of making We Were Beautiful into a movie would be filming in New York City. The book is set in the summer, but I’m thinking we could film in the spring when it isn’t so darn hot. There is also a lot of food mentioned in the books – cannoli, pie, cotton candy, etc. It might be hard to not leave the theater craving some dessert.

I would be nervous about having one of my books turned into a movie. So often movies just don’t live up to the book’s story. But I think with the right cast and right director, it can often be just perfect.
Visit Heather Hepler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue