Thursday, November 5, 2020

Kristin Bair's "Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything"

Kristin Bair is the author of the novel Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything. Under the name Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, she has published two novels, The Art of Floating and Thirsty, as well as numerous essays about China, bears, adoption, off-the-plot expats, and more. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Baltimore Review, The Manifest-Station, Flying: Journal of Writing and Environment, The Christian Science Monitor, Poets & Writers Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and other publications.

Bair has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English and journalism from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything:
I’ve had an absolute blast dreamcasting Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything! Before sitting down to write this post, I hadn’t given any thought to how a movie version would work. But now that I’ve spent time putting together my perfect lineup for the big screen, I actually have an idea for how to structure the movie script. (And I just may write it.)

In the story, Agatha is a fearful author-mom who discovers her husband in flagrante delicto with their town’s most beloved dog walker. The discovery unleashes her greatest fears and sets Agatha on a journey she never anticipated. Reese Witherspoon would make a great producer for Agatha Arch. I adore the projects she chooses—Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere, The Thing About Jellyfish. And I’d love to see Olivia Wilde direct it. Her directorial debut, Booksmart, offered big laughs and lots of heart.

Here’s how I’d cast Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything:

Agatha Arch — Elizabeth Moss for the Oscar here! Agatha is a smart, furious, scared, and somewhat antagonistic author mom. On the edge, but funny. Over the top, but poignant. There’s a fine line to straddle here so Agatha doesn’t come off as campy; Elizabeth Moss could pull it off beautifully.

Members of Agatha’s Facebook mom group — I’d love to cast each member of this hilarious troop, but I’ll limit myself to the top two.
Melody Whelan, the Kumbaya Queen (best friend potential) — Melissa McCarthy

Jane Poston, the High Priestess (sharp, snooty, unrelenting) — Kristen Bell
Willow Bean (aka GDOG) — I can totally see Saoirse Ronan strolling up Agatha’s street as the sexy, peace-loving dog walker who captivates Agatha’s husband with her confidence and firm buttocks.

Kerry Sheridan — Ellie Kemper (The Office, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) will play a terrific nosy, mulch-matching neighbor.

Shrinky-Dink — Joan Cusack for the win. Her tone, measured cadence, and droll delivery will rein Agatha in at the right moments.

Dax — Seth Rogen will be the perfect regular-guy husband gone rogue.

Interloper — Ellen Page (Juno) all the way. The Interloper has few words, but her haunting and mysterious presence in town plays a critical role in Agatha’s journey.

Edward Weltz — Eddie has to be played by Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory). He comes along at a moment when Agatha desperately needs a sincere smile and welcoming heart (and good sex).

And, finally, there are two smaller roles I’d love to cast:

Blue — Soni Nicole Bringas will beautifully play the tech-savvy teenager who teaches Agatha how to fly her drone. (My daughter and I love her as Ramona on Fuller House.)

Officer Henry — Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Gilmore Girls, This Is Us) fits the bill as the steady, thoughtful, kinda smoldering police officer with a developing and, perhaps, unexpected romantic interest in Agatha.
Visit Kristin Bair's website

--Marshal Zeringue