Friday, August 7, 2020

Fiona Davis's "The Lions of Fifth Avenue"

Fiona Davis began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater.

After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Fiona's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

She's a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City.

Here Davis dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Lions of Fifth Avenue:
The Lions of Fifth Avenue is about two women, eighty years apart, who are connected by the New York Public Library as well as a series of book thefts that roil the building, in 1913 and 1993. Before I started writing my first draft, I figured out which stars I thought the main characters resembled and posted images of them on my bulletin board. Having an actual face to look at is crucial for staying close to the characters, especially as they grow and change over revision after revision. Here are my picks for The Lions of Fifth Avenue casting:

Laura Lyons: Laura is smart and capable, with a classic beauty, so I would cast Emily Blunt as Laura, the wife of the New York Public Library’s superintendent, who lives in an apartment deep inside the building with her husband and two children when the book opens, in 1913. Emily Blunt has such an intelligence behind her eyes, and I also love her quick wit.

Jack Lyons: Jack is the super of the enormous New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, and I would go with Emily Blunt’s real-life husband, John Krasinski, for the role. They’re a lot of fun to watch together - they tease each other and joke nonstop - so an undeniable chemistry would be already in place. And I love that he’s an inherently likeable guy, as Jack in my story has a complicated reaction to his wife’s desire to explore a career, and I didn’t want him to come off as a jerk.

Sadie Donovan: Sadie is a quirky duck, a curator at the library in 1993 who loves vintage clothes and old books. She’s out of step with her time. For her, I’d love to see the British actress Olivia Colman take on the role. She always seems slightly uncomfortable in her skin, and portrays characters who have heart but not a lot of social grace, which fits Sadie to a tee.
Visit Fiona Davis's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Address.

My Book, The Movie: The Masterpiece.

My Book, The Movie: The Chelsea Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue