The cover is out! DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW: A novel of Marie Antoinette
The cover is finally out for the second novel in my Marie Antoinette historical fiction trilogy, DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW, which will be published on May 15, 2012, the day before the 242nd wedding anniversary of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.
As I write the final novel in the trilogy, THE LAST OCTOBER SKY, I've been indulging in the writer's fantasy of "If a movie or miniseries were made from your book, who would be your dream cast?" Of course, with a trilogy that spans the years 1766 to 1793, we'd have a cast of thousands.
The role of Marie Antoinette's mother, the formidable Empress of Austria Maria Theresa would go to the woman who can play anyone, the incomparable Meryl Streep.
Louis XV has to still be the handsomest man in the realm although he's in his late 50s. Tall, dark, a slighly swarthy complexion. No need to audition, gentlemen. Just send the contract over to Colin Firth.
Coming from a theatre background, and having run my own nonprofit professional classical theatre company in NYC for several years, I'm always casting in my head. And I see actors in some roles who may seem like unlikely candidates for other roles, but what I see in them, in addition to their talent is the appropriate physical appearance and an essence or aura, that is right for the role I have in mind for them.
Watching Jonah Hill in, of all things, Moneyball, where he plays a geeky baseball statistician, made me jump off the couch and shout "There's my Louis XVI!" Not only does he resemble the heavyset blue-eyed monarch well enough, but there is such a sweet, gentle vulnerability and intelligence that comes off him in waves in this performance that he gave me all I'd need to know to believe him as the beleagured Louis. And then, when I heard Mr. Hill give an interview about why he was drawn to the role in Moneyball, saying "I just wanted to play a guy who was stumbling through responsibility for the first time," I knew I had my man, if only in my fantasy casting.
And my Marie Antoinette, at least for the time being, is another American, Rachel McAdams. She always appears lit from within onscreen. her eyes shine and her smile could melt anyone. In the films I've seen her in, whenever she is onscreen you can't watch anyone else. She's just that charming. That's the essence Marie Antoinette must convey. Ms. McAdams also has the rounded, soft facial features that are right enough to make me believe she could be Marie Antoinette. She's not angular (like the chisel-jawed Diane Kruger who physically doesn't resemble Marie Antoinette at all in the upcoming Les Adieux à la Reine. )
Play the game with me. Who would you suggest for Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and some of the other characters?
And ... who have you always envisioned as the leads in cinematic adaptations of your own novels?