Friday, August 20, 2010

Casting Call Friday - The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Sorry this CCF is so late. Let's just say I'm really glad it's finally the weekend.

This week I decided to cast one of the top YA books I've read this year (heck, it's one of the best book of any genre I've read this year).  All the characters really came alive for me in The Sky Is Everywhere so it was both easy and incredibly difficult to cast if that makes any sense.  First a quick summary via Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding. 

Joe Fontaine (Ethan Peck) 

It's not hard to see why Joe Fontaine is the first person that shakes Lennie out of her mourning.  He's described as having miles of legs and an endless torso with messy, curly brown hair and a jack o' lantern smile.  He's Lennie's first love, an amazing musician, and both as the exuberance of a puppy and the soul of a poet.

Ethan Peck might not have the "Joe Fontaine smile," which, I admit, is pretty crucial, but I had him in mind the entire time I was reading this book.  He was pretty awesome in the TV version of 10 Things I Hate About You (thanks a lot for that cancellation, ABC Family) and he's sure to be around for some time, given his lineage (Gregory Peck is his grandfather!)

Sarah (Brittany Snow)

Sarah is a cynical goth/emo stuck in a cheerleader's body.  As Lennie's best friend she's peppy and loyal but reads a lot of Sartre and drives a car named "Ennui."  She's dyed her surfer girl locks to a dark black to complete her image.

Brittany Snow is another one that completely IS this character to me.  With those big blue eyes she looks like a cheerleader incognito with that dark hair.  And, if you've seen her in The Vicious Kind you know this girl's got range.

Uncle Big (Jeffery Dean Morgan)

Uncle Big lives up to his name in every way.  A large, "mountainous" man with a giant mustache and a "god-like voice", Uncle Big is the local arborist, pothead, and town Lothario.  Uncle Big is a man that falls in love easily and marries even quicker than he falls in love.

I debated on this choice.  It would be easy to cast Robbie Coltrane as Uncle Big, since comparisons to Hagrid aren't that far off, but I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be interesting in this role.  He's not a huge guy, but he's big and with the right facial hair and those eyes I think he would make a great Uncle Big (also, I just love him and would put him in anything).

Gram (Vanessa Redgrave)

Gram isn't described physically as much as the other characters are, but she's a painter and the town's "Garden Guru."  Her roses are legendary aphrodisiacs and she's been the girls' guardian since their mother took off when they were little.  Lennie's more like Gram that I think she realizes.

I envisioned Gram as a willowy elegant woman with kindly eyes and a softer voice to compensate for Uncle Big's, well, bigness.  I think Vanessa Redgrave might be a bit old, but she has the right graceful, calm air about her to be Gram.

Toby (Alex Pettyfer)

Toby is Bailey's heartbroken boyfriend, you can almost understand how Lennie looses herself in their shared grief when she's around him.  He's described as "part cowboy, part skater rat" with a surfer flop of hair.  Toby and Lennie both are forced to reevaluate their identity when Bailey dies because each seemed to exist in relation to her.

I will admit I haven't seen Alex Pettyfer in anything (I'm debating on going to see Beastly, loved the book, but can't stand Vanessa Hudgens), but he's got the perfect look for Toby.  He has that classic look and you could see him on a skateboard or a horse.  Plus, he's got that soulful mooning for the camera thing down.

And finally, the hardest to cast...

Lennie (Emma Roberts)

Lennie is lost without her sister until Joe Fontaine arrives.  Lennie's torn between remembering the sister who was everything to her and moving on, falling in love, and saying goodbye to who she was.  Lennie describes herself as "a companion pony," she preferred to let Bailey shine while and shied away from the spotlight even though she's a fantastic musician.

I couldn't find much physical description of Lennie, but in her mind she's rather plain.  She never got a whole lot of attention from boys until Bailey died, believing Bailey to be "the pretty one."  There's something understated about Emma Roberts that I think would work for Lennie.  I had a whole list of candidates for Lennie, from Amanda Seyfried to Nina Dobrev, but I think Emma Roberts has the right sweetness and vulnerability to play Lennie.

Well, what do you think?  Yay/nay on my picks?  Who would you pick?  And, most importantly, did you love The Sky is Everywhere as much as I did?

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