Sunday, May 12, 2024

Marjorie McCown's "Star Struck"

Marjorie McCown spent 27 years in Hollywood working on the costumes for movies such as Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Her film career provides the inspiration for her Hollywood Mystery series of books that are set behind the scenes in the world of moviemaking and feature key costumer Joey Jessop as the main character. Her cozy murder mystery, Final Cut (2023) was chosen as an Amazon Editors' Pick in the best Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense category. Deadly Pleasures Magazine named Final Cut as one of the best cozy mysteries of 2023. Her new novel, Star Struck, is Book #2 in her Hollywood Mystery series. McCown is a member of Sisters-in-Crime and Mystery Authors of America.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of Star Struck.
Movie costumer Joey Jessop is working on a film with two of the biggest box office stars in the world. The leading man, Andrew DeRossi, is not only a serious actor but also a philanthropist and climate change warrior -- while his costar, Gillian Best, is an aging beauty who pours most of her time and energy into becoming the next celebrity entrepreneur with her start-up lifestyle brand.

When a fatal traffic accident happens within sight of the movie's shooting location in downtown Los Angeles, Joey realizes the car involved belongs to Gillian, and she starts to wonder if the star is hiding something. Gillian's strange behavior in the wake of the tragedy only deepens Joey's suspicions. When the authorities show no interest in further investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident, Joey is faced with a choice: she can either maintain her professional detachment from the swirling orbits of the movie stars she works with and turn a blind eye to Gillian's scheming -- or she must launch her own search for the truth.

I have lots of ideas for casting the movie version of my book! Since I spent most of my career working as a costume designer and costumer for feature films, it's almost second nature for me to think about casting the characters.

I think Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect to play Joey. She projects an understated aura of personal confidence and competence that feels authentic on screen. And she has an easy intelligence about her along with a sense of humor that she just naturally brings to all her characters.

For Gillian Best, I think Gillian Anderson would be a wonderful choice, though I didn't select my character's name with her in mind when I began to write. But Ms. Anderson is the right age and she's still a great beauty. She's also a gifted actress with a grace and elegance about her that would allow her to portray the kind of entitled hauteur that is part of Gillian Best's persona without having it come across as caricature.

For Dan Lomax, Gillian Best's shrewd, attractive, and ambitious personal manager, I'd love to cast Ben Mendelsohn, who can play anything. He's a brilliant actor whose performances are always layered and nuanced; his characters are complete people.

For Andrew DeRossi, though the part is small, it is still pivotal to the success of the story. I think Ryan Gosling would be superb. He has a mischievous charm that he brings to every role, and he's also got that "it" quality -- he looks like a movie star.
Visit Marjorie McCown's website.

Q&A with Marjorie McCown.

--Marshal Zeringue