Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ismée Williams's "This Train Is Being Held"

Ismée Williams, the author of Water in May, is a pediatric cardiologist who trained and practiced for over a dozen years at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, the daughter of a Cuban immigrant partially raised by her abuelos, and the mother of three daughters. She also has a dog, Rowan, who is commonly mistaken for a muppet.

In Williams's new novel, This Train Is Being Held--
Alex is a baseball player. A great one. His papi is pushing him to go pro, but Alex maybe wants to be a poet. Not that Papi would understand or allow that.

Isa is a dancer. She'd love to go pro, if only her Havana-born mom weren't dead set against it...just like she's dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino. And Isa's privileged private-school life—with her dad losing his job and her older brother struggling with mental illness—is falling apart. Not that she'd ever tell that to Alex.

Fate—and the New York City subway—bring Alex and Isa together. Is it enough to keep them together when they need each other most?
Here Williams dreamcasts an adaptation of This Train Is Being Held:
Alex Rosario is an athlete with a tender and poetic heart. And he’s super good-looking (he’s nicknamed Papichulo!) So the actor has to look the part. Of course Alex could be played by famed baseball great Alex Rodriguez, if A-Rod were younger and wore brown contact lens. A contemporary pick would be Reggaeton singer, Ozuna, who is set to star in his first feature film this year. Ozuna is half Puerto Rican and half Dominican–which would be fine–however he’s only 5ft 5in. The director would have to get creative with the shot angles to make sure Alex looked tall.

Isabel Warner is a blonde, tall, lithe ballerina who is half-Cuban. She has the epitome of a ballerina body type (I took ballet for 13 years and was always jealous of girls like her!). Isa could be played by Bella Thorne, who is tall, occasionally blond and half-Cuban. She has the ideal look for Isa. You would believe she is a dancer.

Jorge Lendeborg, Jr would be great for Alex’s friend, Danny, who is sweet but gets involved with the wrong crowd. If you’ve seen the movie Shot, you’ll know why I picked Jorge for this role.

Bryan, Alex’s smart-ass friend who tries to get Alex to play the field more–and I don’t mean baseball, could be played by Jason Genao, from On My Block.

Manny Perez, a well-known Dominican actor who has played strong, furious characters would be perfect for Alex’s macho papi.

Vivian Lamolli would make a good Kiara, the sassy Dominicana from Alex’s neighborhood who has been pursuing Alex for years and feels the burn of Alex choosing Isa over her.

Madelaine Petsch from Riverdale would be a good choice for Isa’s loudmouth, uber silly best friend, Chrissy, another dancer who distracts Isa with her own boyfriend troubles.
Visit Ismée Williams's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan.

My Book, The Movie: Water in May.

--Marshal Zeringue