Friday, December 27, 2019

Darcie Wilde's “And Dangerous to Know”

Darcie Wilde is the award-winning author of the Rosalind Thorne Mysteries, a Regency-set historical mystery series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen. The new book in the series is And Dangerous to Know.

Here Wilde dreamcasts a big screen adaptation of the novel:
I’m not one of those authors who pictures a particular actor or person when they’re writing. The characters evolve too quickly into being their own people in my mind for me to hold onto a “real life” image for them. That said, the casting game is always a fun one, especially for a series. So, here we go…

And Dangerous to Know is a period mystery, set in Regency era London (think Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes), so we need somebody who can handle the language, and look good in the clothes. My two lead male characters are Adam Harkness, who is a member of the London’s proto-police force the Bow Street Runners, and Lord Casselmaine, an English aristocrat. They should be played by Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman, respectively. John Barrowman would of course be acceptable for Adam Harkness (Dr. Who fans will get the joke), but he’d have to dye his hair blond for the role.

For our second “runner,” the careful, thoughtful, Sampson Gautier, the only available choice is Idris Elba, because I think Mr. Elba should be in everything.

Likewise, for Lady Melbourne, our hostess and mistress of the haut ton who is threatened by blackmail and scandal, the only possible choice is the great Dame Maggie Smith.

That leaves my two female leads. We’ve got the best friend,“tiny, dark, quick” Alice Littlefield, who is a journalist and social gossip writer. She should be played by Keira Knightley, or maybe Minnie Driver, from about the time she was in An Ideal Husband (hey, it’s all a fantasy, we can do time travel if we want, right?).

Which brings us to my lead character, Rosalind Thorne. Rosalind is an aristocratic woman who finds herself in what got called “reduced circumstances,” after her father deserts the family. What that actually meant was she’s been left without any money and had to fend for herself. Rosalind manages by helping other women with particular problems. Like blackmail, scandal, and murder.

The problem with casting Rosalind is she’s a tall woman with an hourglass figure, which, as we know, is not a popular look with Hollywood casting directors. Come to that, it wasn’t a popular look in Rosalind’s own time. It turns out this thing we do where we judge women by how well they fit the current clothing fashions, or compare to popular celebrities, is not new. But anyway. I think here I’d have to time-travel again and say who I’d really like in the part would be either Kate Winslet, from about the time she was doing Sense & Sensibility, or her co-star, Emma Thompson, from about the time she was playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

Lights, camera, action!
Visit Darcie Wilde's website.

--Marshal Zeringue