The end of the year, in the United States at least, is tomorrow, and all over the world the year is beginning to come to an end. Speaking about bright places and hopes for next year seems like a great way to end 2014, so I’m so glad that I was able to read, review and celebrate a book that focuses on fears, dreams, problems and everyday life in a way that is both hopeful and heartbreaking. About a week ago, I reviewed ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven and gave someone the chance to win a copy of it. The winner was Stephanie Mooney! Please direct message me your mailing address (link can be found in my sidebar) or email me at email@example.com.
Below you can see Jennifer Niven’s awesome dream cast and why she cast them that way. I loved ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, out January 6th, 2015!, and this dream cast almost perfectly fit my images of every single character. I can definitely see each of these people as the characters Jennifer has created.
All the Bright Places – My Dream Cast
Like most writers, I always “cast” my stories. I only have one rule: whatever photo I end up using as inspiration can’t be too staged or glossy. I want the characters to look like real people. Because of this, I often cast actors I’ve never heard of or even regular, everyday people so that they can become the character to me. Sometimes the casting can take a little time, but in the case of All the Bright Places, I knew from the start who would play my two main characters if the screen rights were ever sold….
And now a movie is being made!
And the person I imagined as Violet is attached to play her on screen, which means I’m going to have the rare experience of seeing my character come to life exactly as I imagined her! If only my Finch were still age-appropriate…
Violet is popular, a cheerleader, a musician, a writer. She tries hard to be perfect. She even has the perfect boyfriend. Well, had. That fell apart in the wake of her sister’s death. See, she and Eleanor were in a car accident nine months ago—Eleanor was killed, Violet survived. And stopped living. No more cheering, no more boyfriend, no more writing. The words have dried up. When we meet Violet, she’s standing on the ledge of her high school bell tower, thinking of jumping. I wanted Violet to be pretty and deep and real, and Elle Fanning was the first girl I thought of.
Also on that bell tower ledge is death-obsessed Theodore Finch, better known as Theodore “Freak.” He’s weird and brilliant and funny and violent and beautiful, but his classmates, teachers, and family aren’t sure what to make of him. He’s battling demons no one understands, not even himself, but when he meets Violet on the ledge of the tower, his only thought is to try to save her. My dream Finch is the Nicholas Hoult of two years ago. He’s wonderfully unique looking—sometimes odd, sometimes handsome, not at all conventional. And, even more important, he’s a charismatic actor who can play both volatile and sensitive.
If there’s a Mean Girl in this book, it’s Amanda. She and Violet used to be friends, but lately Violet has pulled away. Amanda is catty and gossipy, and she doesn’t always treat others with kindness. She’s a cheerleader, dating one of the most popular guys in school, but she’s also hiding a big, dark secret of her own. I can’t even remember how I came across this picture of actress Madison Perry, but I knew when I saw her that I’d found my Amanda.
Gabe Romero (“Roamer”)
Amanda’s boyfriend, Roamer, has a reputation as being one of the meanest, toughest guys in school. He likes hanging with his buddies, drinking on weekends, and playing baseball, which he excels at. He also enjoys bullying Finch, which he excels at as well. Tyler Posey is probably lovely in person, but I think he could do a great job as Roamer.
Ryan Cross is the guy every girl wants to date and every guy wants to be. He’s not only an A student, a super jock, and vice-president of the senior class, he’s a genuinely nice person. As Finch says, he’s hard to hate even though you want to. I originally spotted Colton Haynes on Teen Wolf and then on Arrow, and even though he wasn’t the first person I pictured as Ryan, he really stuck with me.
Kate is Finch’s older sister, and the person in his family he’s closest to. She delayed college for a year in order to look after their absent mother, who is still wounded and reeling in the aftermath of her divorce. Like her mom, Kate means well but struggles with her own self-worth. Beneath her tough exterior, she’s so wrapped up in her own troubles, it’s hard for her to see the danger signs in her brother’s behavior. Adrianne Palicki with black hair would be a wonderful Kate.
Charlie is Finch’s closest friend, even though they don’t have much in common. Charlie’s main interests are sex and girls. And infuriating the high school athletic staff by not playing sports—even though he’s a gifted athlete—because he refuses to be “a black stereotype.” Instead, his extracurriculars are chess, yearbook, and euchre club. To me, Sinqua Walls (especially in this photo) is Charlie Donahue.
Finch’s other good friend is cynical, grounded Brenda. She’s good-hearted, if a little prickly, and hates the popular crowd, particularly Amanda Monk. In the book, her hair is dyed electric pink because she definitely doesn’t mind standing apart from the crowd. From the start, I saw Kelly Osborne (as she looked a few years ago) as Brenda.
Finch’s dad is a former hockey star—nicknamed “The Slammer”— who divorced his wife and left his kids behind because he didn’t want a family. And then turned around and married a younger woman with a young son. Ted Finch Sr. thinks of himself as the nicest guy in the world, and he’s on his best behavior with his new family. But Finch and his sisters know firsthand his unpredictable moods and volatility. Jon Hamm is picture perfect for the role.
Violet’s late sister was artistic, opinionated, and free-spirited. She enjoyed bossing her younger sister around, but she was also protective and loyal. She loved the color yellow. She dated Ryan’s older brother, Eli. She made things fun. She was Violet’s best friend. Who better to imagine as Violet’s sister than Dakota Fanning?
Who would you cast for these roles, and what do you think of her casting? I’ve had a great year, and RealityLapse as well. Happy New Year to all and happy reading! See all my favorite books of this year.
Connect with Jennifer:
Find ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES: