Darling Dilemma

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One of my allllllllll-time favourite book series is the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. I read 'Sloppy Firsts' and 'Second Helpings' back in my angsty teenage days and was so moved by them, I emailed Megan to thank her for writihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifng the books, and actually received a really lovely reply that I've buried in my emaihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifl account to this day.

One of the questions I asked in that email was why the book hadn't been made into a movie or TV series. Oh naive me. Looking back, and thinking about how Hollywood has a tendency to BUTCHER book adaptations (at least 50% of the time), do I really want them to make a movie? Urgh, well in light of the terrible potential Sex and the City prequel casting, I'm a little apprehensive about seeing Notso and friends appear on screen.

Megan, for her part, has been spreading the word by asking fans to vote for who they'd like to see in the semi-iconic roles of Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie. The thing is, these books have been released over the last decade, so many of the actors and actresses that I (and fellow readers) have maybe once considered are probably wayyy too old now.

I went to a movie camp one summer, and this guy there was a dead ringer for Marcus in my head. He had red hair, just not in dreadlocks, and he was good-looking in that ruffian, artistic kind of way. Seeing as how he is not an actor (that I know of) and I have no clue what his name is, or for that matter, the fact this happened nearly a decade ago and therefore he is ALSO too old, it's time to move onto other prospects.

I gave a haphazard answer on the Megan-post on Facebook about who I'd cast in the Sloppy Firsts movie, but now I'm trying to think a little harder. My main criteria for each character:

- Needs to LOOK young. None of this twenty-five-year-old playing a seventeen-year-old business (ahem, guess that counts me out).
- Needs to embody the 'everywoman' in terms of facial beauty. This is why I'd love to cast someone from Degrassi - the people on there just look normal. I don't want goddam Emma Roberts invading my screen for this.
- Ideally lanky in frame, although petite would work also. Va-va-va-voom curves are out.
- Needs to be able to carry off the whip-smart personality of our girl Jessica. No cutesy pandering to cameras, a la most Hollywood starlets.

- Needs to be interesting looking, the type of guy that not all girls will immediately admit they're attracted to
- Again, ideally lanky in frame - not a muscular guy
- Slightly more okay with him looking mature (based on his reputation of being a dropout of sorts) - although depends on the actress he's paired with.
- Needs to have a very expressive face. Marcus is such a complex character - you always get the sense there is WAY more going on behind his eyes, just by the way Jessica describes his mannerisms, and the actor that takes on the role needs to be able to capture someone who is smart yet also a tad emotionally unavailable / chameleon-like.

Now. Ideally I think this film would cast some unknowns because what I've just described there doesn't describe very many people...at all...in Hollywood. But I'm going to try.

Saoirse Ronan
This photo of Saoirse makes me think she'd be an amazing Jessica Darling. She has an everygirl beauty about her, but her eyes really make her pop and stand out a little - much as I pictured Jessica. She's definitely got the long, lanky frame, and as an actress, from what I've seen her in, I think she can tackle Jessica's mix of self-assuredness yet also pull off her reactions when she gets hurt / has a wake-up call. She did a solid job at being an American in 'The Lovely Bones' so I think she could do this.

Ashley Rickards
A lot of people on Megan's Facebook discussion topic picked out Ashley Rickards, who I first encountered on One Tree Hill. I think she's definitely got the right personality - snarktastic to the nth degree - and her everygirl looks are pretty dead on. I'm a little worried this role might be too close to what she's currently doing on 'Awkward' - an outsider that has a surprisingly good grasp on navigating the social sharks of high school. Maybe that's not a bad thing? I wouldn't be disappointed if she got the role really.

Hailee Steinfeld
I just considered Hailee as of this morning. It's a really tough call for me though, because she's only been in True Grit, and really...that's not much of an audition for the role of Jessica Darling, other than the fact she held her own on screen with a very experienced, male-dominated cast. I'm not sure how she'd handle the petulant teenage role. And she's a touch young...but if the movie weren't being made for a year or two? I feel like she's got a sweet kind of pretty and as of right now, the right body type...hm.

Jamie Bell
THIS is what I'm talking about when I say Marcus should have an interesting, good-looking quality to him. Jamie Bell (of Billy Elliot, once upon a time) is not a ripped Prince Charming type. He has an impish quality that I always associated with Marcus. Now obviously, he would not be a good fit for someone like Hailee. He'd need an actress that's a little closer to his own age. But I think he's a solid contender.

Aaron Johnson
He came off a little weasely-voiced (given he's a Briton) in Kick Ass, but from a looks standpoint alone I think AJ here would be a fantasmic choice for Marcus. He is riveting to watch on-screen, has that charming smirk down pat, and is able to embody the nuances of a character incredibly well (see: his portrayal of a young, complicated John Lennon in 'Nowhere Boy').

Tyler Blackburn
The numero uno pick for Marcus that I saw on MM's Facebook wall. As someone that watches Pretty Little Liars, I don't disagree - his role as Caleb, the burnout cell phone hacker with abandonment issues works as a great audition tape for Marcus. He's a little too pretty and a little too wooden as an actor to fully make him my dream choice, but again, wouldn't be disappointed / surprised if he got the part. He can work a smoldering bad boy eye.

Munro Chambers
It's incredibly difficult for me to picture Degrassi's Munro Chambers without his trademark dark emo-cut and guy-liner, but from an acting standpoint alone, he would be a phenomenal choice. He is easily one of the most winsome young male actors I've seen on the screen in forever, and his role as Eli - manipulative, hot & cold, passionate, independent - is a fantastic foundation for playing Marcus. However, Munro is known to be a short guy, and Jessica is known to be a tall character...can it work? Hm.

Paul Dano
Believe it or not, Paul Dano is actually 26 already, which makes him probably too old to play Marcus, although I think he has an interesting look that would work for the part. I've only seen him in Little Miss Sunshine where he played a mostly mute role, but his ability to win you over in that film with little more than facial expressions proves he's still a potential dreamcast member

Hmmm...I need to think more. Hollywood is rife with young starlets, but few that I'd even remotely consider for the part. That being said, the b-cast members, man the possibilities are endless!

- Britt's On


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