Thursday, December 12, 2019

Jacqueline Firkins's "Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things"

Jacqueline Firkins is a writer, costume designer, and lover of beautiful things. She's on the fulltime faculty in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of British Columbia. When not obsessing about where to put the buttons or the commas, she can be found running by the ocean, eating excessive amounts of gluten, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.

Here Firkins dreamcasts an adaptation of her new YA rom-com, Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things, a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park:
I work in film and theatre as a prof and designer. I loosely based the appearances of my teenage characters on some of the acting students I was working with while I wrote the first draft. However, if a movie was made, I know star power would hold weight. So for my central trio, I’d propose the following:

-Edie Price: Millie Bobby Brown. As seen in Stranger Things, she’s brilliant at conveying a lot with silence, which works well for a character who likes to observe others. She can be angry but vulnerable at the same time. Strong but self-doubting. She does complicated well.

-Sebastian Summers: Asa Butterfield. He nails adorably awkward, sensitive, earnest, and self-deprecating. He’s the guy you can’t help but root for, no matter what role he plays. And he has amazing blue eyes that can fill a frame.

-Henry Crawford: Jacob Artist. He’s good at playing sensitive guys, but I think he can pull off a bad boy, too. He’s drop-dead gorgeous and he does a great job emitting rock-solid confidence. He’d give Henry emotional complexity.

While it may be type casting, I have two dream directors. One is Amy Heckerling, who adapted Austen’s Emma into the incomparable Clueless. She gets the sweetness of love without shying away from sexuality or the embarrassments we undergo when we're figuring ourselves out. The other director would be Patricia Rozema, who did such an amazing job adapting Mansfield Park for the screen within its period setting. Both directors know how to merge Austen’s wit and social scrutiny with big mushy feelings and a contemporary sensibility.

And of course, I’d want to design the costumes.
Visit Jacqueline Firkins's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jacqueline Firkins & Ffiona.

--Marshal Zeringue