Thursday, June 3, 2021

Caroline Lea's "The Metal Heart"

Caroline Lea was born and raised in Jersey in the United Kingdom. She lives in Warwick, England.

Here Lea dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Metal Heart, and reported the following:
I love the idea of writers imagining movie versions of their books and the gorgeous real-life inspiration and beautiful landscape behind The Metal Heart mean that it translates really easily into something richly cinematic. Set on the remote Scottish Orkney Islands during World War Two, the novel is inspired by the true story of Italian prisoners of war who were imprisoned on the islands and built the most stunning chapel out of scrap and war debris. A love story, the novel’s central female characters are twins who are outcasts from Orcadian society and find themselves entranced by the beauty and romance of the chapel that the prisoners create. I’d love the team behind The Crown to direct an adaptation – they’re so brilliant at capturing sweeping landscapes and framing beautiful shots, which would give viewers a wonderful insight into the breathtaking Orcadian landscape.

While Dorothy and Constance are physically identical, their characters are very different. I would love to see Eleanor Tomlinson bringing out Con’s impetuousness and vulnerability, while showing the compelling romance between Dot and the Italian prisoner, Cesare. Eleanor is incredibly beautiful and I loved the complexity and vulnerability she brought to the character of Demelza in Poldark.

Although he is a soldier, Cesare is also an artist caught up in the machinery of war and I think the Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy would be a brilliant choice. In Marco Polo, he effortlessly embodies a testosterone-driven hero, but I think he would be excellent at bringing strength and sensitivity to Cesare’s artistic character and romantic love story.

For Major Bates, the prison camp’s commander, who is torn between the brutal requirements of duty and his desire to be merciful, I’d choose Tobias Menzies. I love the way that he brings a sense of tightly controlled repression to so many of his roles: his portrayal of the no-nonsense yet secretly sensitive Prince Philip in The Crown would translate wonderfully into the camp commander, who is slightly uncomfortable with his public position of authority and is able to be authoritarian and also very compassionate.

David Tennant would be a dream choice for John O’Farrell, Mayor of Orkney, who approaches so many of the fraught decisions with humour, while remaining unfailingly kind to Dot and Con. He’s able to be abrasively sarcastic – and very funny – while also always seeming intensely caring.

Lastly for the role of Angus MacLeod, the controlling guard who is infatuated with Con, I’d choose Jamie Dornan. The creepy intensity which he brought to The Fall would make him the ideal candidate to portray the sinister and obsessed MacLeod. This would add the perfect momentum and tension as the stakes grow and so many of the characters risk losing everything.
Follow Caroline Lea on Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: The Glass Woman.

--Marshal Zeringue