Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Peter Colt's "Back Bay Blues"

Peter Colt was born in Boston, MA in 1973 and moved to Nantucket Island shortly thereafter. He is a 1996 graduate of the University of Rhode Island and a 24-year veteran of the Army Reserve with deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. He is a police officer in a New England City and the married father of two boys.

Here Colt dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Back Bay Blues:
Back Bay Blues is the second Andy Roark book. Roark is a Vietnam veteran and Private Investigator in Boston, Massachusetts circa 1985. Roark is taking boring cases and having trouble letting the war go. He befriends a Vietnamese restaurant owner and hired by a Vietnamese woman to investigate the murder of her uncle. Roark’s investigation brings him into conflict with a group of former South Vietnamese army officers who want to topple the current government in Vietnam. It seems Roark can’t escape Vietnam.

If Back Bay Blues were made into a film who would I like to play the lead roles? In my mind I picture Adam Driver as Andy Roark, because Driver was in the Marine Corps and his service would lend authenticity to the role that other actors might not. Driver is both a dramatic heavy weight and quite capable of comedy, which would be well suited to playing a character who suffers from PTSD and who views life through an ironic lens.

I would love to see Chris Pine play the character of Chris, an old Army buddy of the protagonists. The character is a physically imposing man, a Green Beret, Vietnam Combat Vet. For as tough and scary as Chris is, he runs with a biker gang in the San Francisco Bay area, the character is someone who on film should convey quiet menace, toughness and genuine tenderness for the protagonist Andy Roark. I was a fan of Chris Pine’s having seen him in the Star Trek movies and A Wrinkle in Time…but his performance in Hell or High Water was truly outstanding. After seeing that, I knew he would be perfect for the part of Chris…or even Andy Roark.

One of the central characters in the book is a Vietnamese refugee and restaurant owner named Nguyen. Nguyen fought in the war and escaped Vietnam with his family to make a new life in America. In my mind the actor who plays Nguyen has to be able to convey the war and the following hardships but also be able to convey being a good family man. In my mind, former child actor Jonathan Ke Quan would be perfect being able to drawn on his own experiences both as child actor and a refugee as well his maturity to portray a father trying to provide for his family.

There are several Vietnamese characters in Back Bay Blues, my dream cast would ideally feature Vietnamese actors to portray them. I strive for authenticity in my books and hope that would carry over into movies. Casting people who have experienced or have had family who have experienced some of the themes in the book would only make a better film.

I have a dream director in mind and that is Ben Affleck. While he is a blockbuster actor, an accomplished screenwriter, he shines as a director. Nowhere was this more evident than in Gone Baby Gone. He is intimately familiar with Boston and the nuances of the area but also with Gone Baby Gone he showed an ability to faithfully and deftly turn a mystery into a really good movie.
Visit Peter Colt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue