It’s Friday, and that means welcome to another installment of Casting Call, in which my fellow YA-lovers YA Crush, The Grown-Up YA, Gone Pecan and The Book Addict’s Guide and we at Teen Lit Rocks pick a book we think would make a fabulous film and then select our dream casts for the book’s movie adaptation. This week we’re casting “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins. I don’t think “Anna” has been optioned (it’s not listed on IMDB Pro as an optioned property), which is a shame, because it would make a perfect teen-targeted romantic comedy. Diana and I spent nearly an hour on the phone together consulting about which actors fit which roles. It was fun but a bit exhausting (not to mention exasperating to our husbands, but this is important!).
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?
We love Anna. She’s the daughter of a Nicholas Sparks-like romance novelist who hits it big and decides his daughter should spend her final year at a posh international boarding school. Meanwhile, Anna is a down-to-earth, Target-shopping cineaste with dreams of becoming a movie critic (a girl after my own heart). She’s pretty but not so gorgeous she knows she’s hot, and she’s a little bit shy at first about joining a school of worldly rich kids as a senior. After much deliberation, we figured (the new girl on “Glee”) would make a good Anna.
This was a tough pick, but Diana re-read the first moment Anna encounters St. Clair, and she goes on and on about his rock-star hair, how beautiful it is — “I-pretend-I -don’t-care-but-I-really-do-hair.” Having witnessed Jones’ performance as the lovely knight of flowers in “Game of Thrones,” I knew he was “beautiful boy” enough, as Anna calls St. Clair. But he can also do angst (poor Loras, losing his beloved on GOT) and steamy kisses as well. Plus, he’s got a dreamy English accent.
Jake Abel as Josh
We’ve only seen Jake Abel once, in “Percy Jackson,” but he’s tall and a bit cocky and could definitely pass as a good-looking artist who’s smart and easy on the eyes.
Afshan Azad as Rashmi
Sadly, there aren’t too many South Asian teen actresses working in Hollywood, so Diana suggested “the actress who played one of the Patil twins.” That narrowed down our choices to two, and we liked Afshan’s glam red-carpet photos, and figured — hey she’s already played a student at a boarding school, so playing the wealthy and snarky Rashmi should be a walk in the park.
Lindsay Shaw as Meredith
Lindsay isn’t blond and doesn’t have curly hair, but she does have the athletic build of a soccer-player and the tall-best-friend-next-door look that Meredith needs. Diana remembered her from her time on “Ned Declassified,” and after looking through all of her photos, we thought she was the closest were going to get.
Stay tuned next week when we cast “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo. Check out our full schedule!
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!