Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Liv Constantine's "The Stranger in the Mirror"

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Together, they are the bestselling author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, The Last Mrs. Parrish, The Last Time I Saw You, The Wife Stalker, and the newly released The Stranger in the Mirror. Their critically acclaimed books have been praised by USA Today, The Sunday Times, People Magazine, and Good Morning America, among many others. The Constantine sisters are national and international bestselling authors and their books have been translated into 28 languages, are available in 33 countries, and are in development for both television and film.

Here they dreamcast an adaptation of The Stranger in the Mirror:
Our newest book, The Stranger in the Mirror, features Addison Hope, a young woman with retrograde amnesia. Addison doesn’t know her real identity and can’t recall anything of her life since before she found herself bleeding and bruised on the side of a highway. The jagged scars on her arms, proof of a failed suicide attempt, are the only clue to what may lie in her past. For the last two years she has cobbled together a new life and identity, even finding love, and is preparing to marry, but she is haunted by whom or what she left behind. Terrifying flashbacks of bloodshed and violence plague her, making her wonder if something bad was done to her or by her.

The book has a large cast of characters, and it was fun (and also challenging) to choose just the right actor, giving us much more appreciation for the job of casting director. So, let’s get started…

Because our protagonist, Addison, has no recollection of her past or who she is, her character is one who is sometimes tentative and off balance. She’s smart, doesn’t like conflict and can retreat into an interior world when she feels vulnerable. On the other hand, she can be charming and warm when she feels safe with those around her. Her passion is photography, and her work is exceptional. We’ve chosen Lily James to play lovely, raven-haired Addison, because she has the perfect combination of winsomeness, intelligence and strength. James has appeared in Downton Abbey as Rose, took over the role of Meryl Streep in the sequel to Mamma Mia! and became Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. With such a variety of past lives, she’d make a great Addison.

Julian Hunter is a highly successful Boston physician whose wife has been missing for two years, leaving him as the single parent to 7-year-old Valentina. Julian, at thirty-five, is blond and still boyishly handsome. Trim and fit, his style is controlled but casual. He’s dedicated to his work, a voracious reader and a devoted dad. We’ve chosen Simon Baker, who so brilliantly played the Mentalist, for Julian because, well, who else could fit that bill so perfectly?

Gabriel Oliver is Addison’s twenty-nine-year-old fiancé. Gabriel runs his wealthy family’s Philadelphia art gallery. Athletic and nice looking, he’s outgoing with lots of friends. He was smitten with Addison from the moment they met, and is her biggest cheerleader, proposing to her after just six months. We think Liam Hemsworth would make a good Gabriel.

Blythe Oliver, Gabriel’s mother, is an elegant and refined woman in her late fifties who descends from generations of wealth. She is a sculptor and started a Philadelphia art gallery with her husband, Ted, soon after they married. Close to her son and daughter, she’s warm and supportive of her children and a calm, steady presence in their lives. Despite the fact that Blythe is fond of Addison, she worries that her son is hurrying into this marriage and will be hurt in the end if and when Addison remembers who she is and what life she left behind. The choice here was easy. Michelle Pfeiffer is Blythe.

Darcy should have been the one about to marry Gabriel. At least that’s what both of their families, friends for years, hoped. Darcy, a violinist, is tall and lithe, blond and ethereal looking with an easy grace. She remains kind to both Gabriel and Addison, despite the pain she felt when Gabriel ended his relationship with her. Elizabeth Debicki is our choice to play Darcy. Debicki, blond, beautiful and 6’3”, is an award-winning actress of both the stage and screen, and she will portray Diana in the next season of The Crown.

Ed, a long-haul trucker, picked up injured hitchhiker Addison on a New Jersey highway two years ago. Ed took her home with him to Philadelphia where his wife Gigi, a nurse, saw to her medical needs. In his fifties, over six feet tall, and with a deep voice and a commanding air of protectiveness about him, Addison feels safe with Ed. If Sam Elliott were just a little younger, he would be our pick for Ed. In his place we’ve put Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen as Tony Lip drove Don Shirley (Ali Mahershala) on tour through hostile towns and groups in The Green Book. Who wouldn’t feel safe with him?

Lastly Gigi, Ed’s wife, is a no-nonsense, take charge woman who has a heart of gold and a mile long nurturing streak. She’s spunky, fun, generous and takes Addison into her home, giving the young woman a sense of belonging and love. We think Reba McEntire could put in all the heart and spirit needed to make red-headed Gigi come to life.

It hasn’t slipped our notice that four of our choices are foreign actors with Hemsworth, Baker and Debicki hailing from Australia and Lily James from England. But we more than make up for it with the strength of American actors Pfeiffer, Mortensen and McEntire. And isn’t it always fascinating to hear how spot on Aussies’ and Brits’ American accents are!
Visit Liv Constantine's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Valerie Constantine & Zorba.

Coffee with a Canine: Lynne Constantine & Greyson.

My Book, The Movie: The Wife Stalker.

--Marshal Zeringue