I’ve been planning the movie of The Dream Peddler for a long, long time. I believe I’ve even mentioned Bradley Cooper a couple of times on this very blog. So I have a pretty good idea of which actors I would ideally cast for each role. The best part about this week’s blog is that I have full control. Every actor I’ve ever loved is not only available to me but thrilled to be working on my movie, no matter how small the role. So let’s get to casting!
I fell in love with Bradley (yes, I call him Bradley) when I saw him in The Words. (If you have not seen this movie about a writer who steals someone else’s long-lost book, I urge you to stop reading this and go do that now! I’ll wait.) Seeing the trailer, I couldn’t imagine how the makers of this movie were going to convince me that a man who really wanted to be a writer, not just famous or rich, would ever want to take credit for someone else’s words. But with the circumstances they created, I was convinced, and I was really moved by Bradley’s performance. He has the penetrating blue eyes of my dream peddler, and let’s face it, he does sad really, really well. So he’s perfect. As a bonus, he now also directs, and I think he did a pretty bang-up job with A Star is Born, so he could take that over for me, too!
As a second choice, I also think Chris Pine has a great look for this role. And there’s no reason why Nilash Patel or Gary Dourdan couldn’t do a bang-up job. (It’s all in the eyes.)
My female protagonist, Evie Dawson, is married with one son, a young boy of nine who disappears as the book opens. As you might imagine, the actress who plays Evie also has to be good at “sad,” and I’ve described her in the book as having gray eyes and dark, curly hair. My first choice actress for her would be Eve Hewson, hands down. Her look is perfect, and her performance as a drug-addicted nurse on The Nick tells me she could handle this role with her hands tied behind her back. She has a dreamy, almost sleepy look to her that I love. Plus, don’t forget her dad just happens to be Bono, so maybe we could get him working on a soundtrack.
Evie’s husband George is a simple guy. Good-looking but not terribly sophisticated. He and Evie have a happy marriage until their son goes missing and the dream peddler appears on the scene. I picture someone like Jared Padelecki, maybe because he did such a good job playing Rory’s long-suffering boyfriend Dean on Gilmore Girls. Dean was also sweet and simple, so I’m feeling a connection there.
Evie’s parents, Rose and Sam, are easy. Sam is the town doctor, a well-meaning, sometimes interfering sort of father, and I want Russell Crowe to play him even though he would never accept less than the lead in my film. In this world, he jumps at the chance. And Evie’s mother is beautiful and eccentric, generally regarded as something of a town witch, so who better than Helena Bonham Carter? Although we might have to age her just a tad. Alternatively, Elizabeth McGovern would also be perfect.
Then we have the young people.
Cora Jenkins, regarded as the town beauty and notorious flirt, is a brown-eyed redhead whose family owns the general store. In my mind she looks just like Erin Chambers.
Cora’s brother Toby, the dream peddler’s first customer, makes up for his lack of smarts with his innate sweetness. Someone like Rupert Grint could play him.
Cora’s best friend, Christina, longs to find love and get married even more than she longs for her friend’s confidence and charm. I think Saorse Ronan.
And I can’t think of anyone better than Ansel Elgort to play Christina’s crush, the gregarious Jackson Banks.
I could go on and on, but I’ll just do one more really quick. When the dream peddler first arrives in town, he needs a place to stay, and finds a room with spinster Violet Burnley. If Cynthia Nixon isn’t too busy with her political career, maybe she could play her.
Thanks for coming to my casting session, it’s been a blast! (At least, for me.)
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