Thursday, March 23, 2023

Amulya Malladi's "A Death in Denmark"

Amulya Malladi is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Copenhagen Affair, A House for Happy Mothers, and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil.
She won a screenwriting award for her work on Ø (Island), a Danish series that aired on Amazon Prime Global and Studio Canal+. Currently living in California, she is a Danish citizen who was born and raised in India.

Here Malladi dreamcasts the lead for an adaptation of her new novel, A Death in Denmark:
In A Death in Denmark, there is a tricky element to my protagonist Gabriel Præst. He shaves his head. While I wrote the book, I didn’t have an actor in mind, I never do, my characters are their own people—but once the book is done and people say, “this will make a great movie”—as a writer, you started to go through your mental rolodex of actors to see who would fit.

So, let’s talk about Gabriel. He’s an ex-Copenhagen cop turned Private Investigator. He loves good food and wine. Dresses well. Has an excellent sense of humor. And he plays the blues and jazz. He shaves his head and loves a good fedora. Is a snappy dresser—designer all the way. Lives in the famous Kartoffelrækkerne, the historical “potato” townhouses in the center of Copenhagen—a house that he was constantly renovating. Is not an alcoholic or a drug addict or tortured soul as so many Nordic Noir male protagonists are. He is a good father and close to his daughter. He is single and has lovers. He has authentic relationships with friends. And most importantly, he knows himself.

My first choice would be Danish actor Dar Salim, who received a Bodil Award nomination in the category Best Actor for the film Go With Peace, Jamil in 2008 and you can see him in the recent Danish Netflix crime drama, Loving Adults. He’s a fantastic actor (and he makes bald look sexy).

Now, if we could look past the “bald” thing, one of my favorite Danish actors is Pilou Asbæk known for playing the troubled spin doctor Kasper Juul in the Danish television political drama Borgen and Euron Greyjoy in the television series Game of Thrones. I think he’d bring a lot of gravitas to Gabriel.

If Pilou is busy, Nikolaj Lie Kaas who plays the tortured detective Carl Mørck in the Department Q novels by Jussi Adler-Olsen would make a perfect Gabriel. I love Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, famous for playing Jaime Lannister, again from Game of Thrones—he can play any role he likes; actually, I’ll even write a new role for him if he’d ever considers being part of A Death in Denmark, if it ever hits the small or big screen.
Visit Amulya Malladi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue