As I was getting ready for work this morning, I had Good Morning America on in the background. I was bummed about missing The Facts of Life reunion by mere minutes because I took extra time shaving my legs in the shower. Since I usually watch The Today Show, I went to change the channel but stopped in my tracks when I heard the “Cotton Song.” You know the song, right? ‘the touch. the feel. of cotton. The fabric of our lives’. Catchy jingle. But it wasn’t the song that detained me from switching channels; it was who was singing it – Zooey Deschenal.
I always stop when I see Zooey. I don’t have a girl crush on her (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but Zooey Deschenal is who I cast as Stephanie Cohen in Just Friends With Benefits when it ultimately gets made into a movie. Or a television show. I would actually prefer a television show because I would enjoy seeing Stephanie and her group of friends on a weekly sitcom. And although Stephanie was the “star” of the book, the television show would be an ensemble cast with Stephanie, Paul, Jess, Hope, Eric and Hille having equal footing. What fun! I have spent many a session on the treadmill dreaming up different episodes. There is even a musical episode but it would be WAY better than Grey’s Anatomy. Not sure I could top Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the help of Josh Whedon and maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar. (SMG was on the short list for the Stephanie role but I ultimately chose Zooey.) Anyhow, ever since I designated Zooey to play Stephanie, even if she’s playing April in 500 Days of April or Allison in Yes, Man, I automatically associate her with Stephanie and feel somehow connected.
You might wonder what it was about Zooey that made me choose her for the role of Stephanie. There are several reasons. For one thing, she’s in the right age bracket, maybe a few years younger. Also, she’s pretty without being drop-dead-gorgeous or intimidating. Although she’s more ‘waif-like’ than Stephanie (who was not overweight), let’s face it, most actresses are smaller than “real” people! Zooey is quirky and fun to watch and I think Stephanie was quirky and fun to read. And I like that Zooey is famous but not “star of every romcom, cover of every magazine famous” yet. Maybe Just Friends With Benefits can be her break-out role!! Of the other actresses I considered, including the aforementioned Sarah Michelle Gellar (too sophisticated), Ellen Page (too young) and Anne Hathaway (too obvious), I thought Zooey was the best fit.
If you’re still reading this, you might think I banged my head against the wall one too many times or that one of my older sisters dropped me on the cold tile kitchen floor when I was a baby. As if Zoooey Deschenal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the chick from The Princess Diaries would ever even audition for a role in Just Friends With Benefits. As if Just Friends With Benefits will ever be made into a television show! Or a movie. Trust me, I’m not banking on it. I still get excited when a new review is posted from a total stranger on Amazon or when someone adds the book as a “to-read” on Goodreads! I’m not getting ahead of myself. But it’s fun to dream. I started casting the show before I even finished writing the book, certainly before it was published. And the members of my family all have different ideas as to who would play the roles. I’m pretty positive that even the most grounded of first-time authors has dreamed about her book being made into a movie even though it doesn’t happen for most of us. And I’m sure Emily Giffin had her own ideas as to who would play Rachel and Darcy in Something Borrowed and had no idea that someday (next month!) the book would be made into a movie and that Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin would be cast in the starring roles. For every book that has ever been written, there is probably a writer who dared to dream it would someday be made into a movie. And now I have joined the ranks with my future Emmy winning cast: Zooey Deschenal (Stephanie), Oliver Hudson (Hille – he’ll have to quit Rules of Engagement), Rachelle Lefevre (Jess – the redhead girl from Off the Map – it will be cancelled by then anyway) and James Marsden (Ryan – maybe…). The rest of the book remains uncast. For now.
If you’ve written a book and dared to dream about the actors/actresses who would bring the story to life (or even just wondered who would play ‘you’ in the movie of your life), leave a comment and let me know. I know I’m not alone out there!