Sunday, September 15, 2019

Gilly Macmillan's "The Nanny"

Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, and The Nanny. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she's worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.

Here Macmillan dreamcasts an adaptation of The Nanny:
If they make The Nanny into a film, I would love to see Emma Stone play Jo, the young widow who is at the centre of the story. Emma Stone has that girl next door look but can turn on a haughty look. The actress playing Jo needs to be able to pack a punch in every expression on screen and Emma Stone could most definitely deliver that.

For the nanny character, Hannah, I think either Frances McDormand or Olivia Colman. Hannah is a nuanced character. She needs to very watchable.

For Ruby, the youngest character in the book at just 11 years old. I think a new and undiscovered actress should play her. Somebody who can bring a touch of tomboy, a fierce intelligence and a lot of bravery.

My favourite character in the book is the complex and surprising Lady Virginia Holt. She is Jo’s mother and Ruby’s grandmother and the actress playing her would need to have some real presence and skill. Judy Parfitt the English actress who plays Sister Monica Joan in Call the Midwife would be perfection.

The setting of the book was something I thought about a lot while writing it. I had in mind a medium-sized and very historic English country house like Great Chalfield Manor here in the UK, which is often used in film and tv productions, including standing in for Thomas Cromwell’s childhood home in Wolf Hall. The atmosphere of Great Chalfield Manor is what I tried to conjure up in the book, but the story could just as easily be set in the US in a Great Gatsby-type house and I’d be thrilled to see that. I loved the crazy wildness of Jay Gatsby’s house in Baz Luhrman’s film. A faded version of that would be perfect, but I could also see the book set in a very grand English country house like the one used for Downton Abbey. Most of the book is set in Lake Hall and it’s as central to the story as any of the characters so it would be an incredibly important choice for the director and production team. And it has to have a lake…

Director should be Yorgos Lanthimos or the Coen Brothers.
Visit Gilly Macmillan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue