Before anyone gets too excited, perhaps I should take a moment to clarify . . . there are no offers on the table . . . no options are currently being discussed . . . and no directors or movie mogul types are currently leaving voice mail messages on my phone. I'm simply dreaming aloud . . . fantasizing, as we creative types are apt to do (smile).
Yes, like a lot of writers, I'd love to see my novel land on the big screen. But in my on-going discussions with folks who've read After The Dance, I've discovered that the actors and actresses I envision playing Carl, Faye, Nora, Scoobie, Cousin Squirrel and the crew, don't always line up with the ones selected by the novel's readers.
For instance, yesterday, during my teleconference with some of the good folks at the Raleigh Branch of the Memphis Public Library, it was suggested that Don Cheadle might make a great Carl. I was like, "Huh! Don Cheadle?! He's way too skinny and too, ahem, mature-looking to play Carl. LOL. My reaction was very similiar, several months ago, when a friend suggested Carl Lumbly for the role of Carl. Nuh-Uh!
Okay y'all, as much as I admire the talents of both Mr. Cheadle and Mr. Lumbly, neither one of them would really fit the role of Faye's charming next door neighbor. I think folks are paying way too much attention to the characters depicted on the cover of the book and not enough on how those same characters are actually described in the book. In After The Dance, Carl is described as a man in his early 40's, tall, dark, bearded and with a former athlete's build.
The guy who fits my mental image of Carl is someone a number of you may have never even heard of . . . G. Garvin, the good-looking Black chef who has written a number of cookbooks and whose show "Turn Up The Heat" airs on TVOne. Yes, I know he's not a trained actor, but Mr. Garvin not only has the right look, he has more than enough of the Southern, down-home charm needed to properly pull off a Carl.A couple of folks have suggested Jennifer Hudson might make a good Faye. While that's not a bad choice, even though she seems kind of young for the part. Were I given a real say in the casting of After The Dance, my first choice for the role of Faye would be Jill Scott. Yep, I think Jilly from Philly could more than handle the role of Faye and she definitely has the look.
A friend who lives in the Cleveland area suggested Jill Marie Jones (who played Toni on Girlfriends) as Nora and I actually think that's an excellent choice. This same friend ( I think she must have led a past life as a casting director) suggested Mel Jackson (who played in Soul Food, the movie, starred in the last season of Living Single and in one of my favorite movies, Uninvited Guest)as Scoobie aka Chef Venard Payne) and I absolutely adore that selection.
When one of the fellas from the Renaissance Men's Book Club at the North Branch of the Memphis Public Library suggested Flava Flav as Carl's Cousin Squirrel, I nearly croaked! LOL. No, I'm guessing Chris Rock's little brother, Tony Rock (from All of Us) would make the perfect Cousin Squirrel.
Well, those would be my picks, but what about you? If you've read After The Dance and you feel like sharing, tell me which actors and actresses you'd like to see playing some of these characters. Also, if you know how I might get in touch with the agents or managers of any of my selections, hook a sister up with the info so I can send them a book! Okay, a girl can dream, can't she? LOL