After Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast was published, Brian told me that he would like for George Clooney to play him in the movie. He said it as casually as though he was ordering eggs with a side of bacon.
The funny thing is that Brian isn’t in the book. Still, Roger Jarrett is, and Roger is Samantha’s late husband. And yes, Roger is in fact Brian’s middle name.
Even though Roger has passed on by the time the book begins, there are plenty of opportunities for flashbacks and screen time for George. I looked him up; he was born in 1961. George is 54. The Roger character died at 48. It’s do-able. I like it.
Now. Who would I cast as Samantha? She needs to be vulnerable, young enough to tackle starting over in a fairly large way with a move and new way of life along with a new business, but at the start of the book, she’s 50. My original thought was to make Samantha 60 but the most successful novelist I know, Joyce Maynard, told me that I needed to make her 50.
That’s only a problem for the woman I see as Samantha. My choice in the role, hands down, is Sally Field. A 50-year-old Sally would be perfection in the role. But the reality is that she is 69 and 69 is not 50 no matter how you slice it.
Some actresses keep playing the same age forever. Take Meryl Streep. She’s 66. I can only wish that reality was that timeless. When we see them on TV or on screen, we tend to freeze our favorite actors at the age in which they appeared as the characters we enjoyed them portray the most.
I suppose I should adjust my preference for Sally Field as my heroine to an actor of a more appropriate age. Sandra Bullock would work pretty well. Age wise, she’s perfect at 51. She’s even appeared with George before as her leading man. OK then, done! And it's a good thing because I probably can't even name actresses a whole lot younger.
If you were casting your own script – be it pages from a book or a look at your own life – who would you select? Let’s say your choices can be any actor frozen in any time period? It doesn’t have add up right on a calendar.
I’m quite obviously not casting myself here by any means whatsoever but I do think the most beautiful that a female actor ever looked on screen was Elizabeth Taylor in the movie Giant. It was the scene where she came downstairs to breakfast in that powder-blue dress with Rock Hudson waiting in the dining room. Lovely. Not just lovely but gorgeous.
My vote for most handsome moment on screen by a leading man was when Brad Pitt was fly-fishing in the movie A River Runs Through It. You only saw him from behind and then, wham, he turned around and lit up the screen in a close-up. It was the first time I had really noticed the guy and boy, did I notice him then!
So let’s hear it. Who would play you? Who would play your leading man?
And no, Hollywood has not come calling for a screenplay. Just dreaming here. Cut!