Welcome to Casting Call! As Tee and Candice each explained last week, six of us at five blogs are going to choose one book a week to “dream cast” with actors we think best embody (at least physically) the characters we’ve grown to love. After hundreds of email exchanges, we settled on “The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson, a book we all agree is completely fabulous and for some reason not on everyone’s radar. So without further ado, here are my picks for four of the book’s main characters.
This was the hardest role to cast, because I would prefer it if pretty much every movie starred the same five young actresses. I’ve decided to branch out and give Woodley a shot, because she was so damn impressive in “The Descendants.” Any girl who can hold her own opposite George Clooney can take on a grieving Lennie struggling with her confusing feelings for Toby and her fast-and-furious first love with Joe Fontaine. Capable of conveying emotional fragility, stubbornness and a simmering sexuality, Woodley is an ideal actress to portray such a complicated, poetic character as Lennie. No offense to Selena Gomez, who holds the option, but Woodley might as well be Meryl Streep compared to the adorable Disney starlet.
He’s supposed to be a musical genius with dark curly hair, green eyes and amazing eyelashes (Bat. Bat. Bat.). I’m fairly certain at least one of my pals is picking Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and he certainly fits the bill, but there’s something about Penn Badgley that’s steamy (those bedroom eyes!) but seriously, undeniably sweet. I have to admit that I have never seen “Gossip Girl,” but I loved Badgley as Woodchuck Todd in “Easy A.” That final kiss he and Emma Stone share is swoon-worthy, and that’s exactly the kind of passionate snogs I imagined Lennie and Joe having in the bedroom forest. And although Badgley isn’t half-French like Joe, he’d look good in European-styled skinny jeans, dontcha think?
Lennie describes Toby as a dashing cowboy who swept older sister Bailey off her feet. He’s rugged and handsome and ridiculously sexy. At first Lennie doesn’t scan Toby as sexy, because she thinks of him as her beloved dead sister’s quiet love. But eventually the overwhelming grief leads to a grief-induced physical connection that quickly grows out of control. If you’ve seen “Country Strong,” you know Hedlund can do the roguish cowboy thing quite well, and well, he was in the film version of “Friday Night Lights,” so that earned him extra points. I also can’t wait to see him in the upcoming adaptation of “On the Road,” because the guy can act!
The entire time I was reading, I pictured Gram as Smith, who memorably played Sookie Stackhouse’s Gran in the first season of “True Blood.” On the HBO vamp drama, Smith depicted the kind of understanding, loving grandmother that never judged her granddaughter, even when she was up to some shady stuff with the undead. Smith would nail the role of Gram, who raised Lennie and Bailey after their mother abandoned them. She also looks the part of a progressive grandmother who would happily spend hours tending to her magical rose garden.
Honesty Clause: In our development of this feature we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays.” Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities is purely coincidental. Also, you should check out their casting because it rocks!