Today I'm kicking off the blog tour for Cynthia Hand's Hallowed today with a very fun Dream Movie Cast guest post from the author herself. If you ever wanted to find out who Cynthia would pick to play Clara, Christian, Tucker and your other favourite characters from the books, now's your chance to find out!
I have to say that Rachel Hurd-Wood is exactly how I picture Clara! Zac Efron is pretty much a no-brainer as Christian, although saying that, I also picture Chace Crawford in the role. I've always pictured (Mean Girls era) Lizzie Caplan in the Angela role, although now I think Vanessa Hudgens is an even better choice!
What do you think?
Unearthly is currently in development at the CW to be made into a television series, so I’ve actually given quite a lot of thought to how Unearthly might work on the big (and little) screen. I should be hearing pretty soon whether it’s been greenlighted to shoot a pilot, which is so exciting and surreal that I can hardly believe it. So, like I said, I’ve given a lot of thought to the kind of actors that I’d want to play my characters. Here are my top choices. (Please keep in mind that this is my dream/fantasy cast for a feature film, not what I think would be a realistic cast for my CW show. . .)
#1 Anna Sophia Robb
There’s a real celestial quality to this actress, a sweet (and dare I say unearthly?) beauty to her, but also a feistiness and a sense of goofiness, which I think is key for Clara. My Clara has to be able to laugh at herself, and has to be strong, in both body and spirit, and has to have a soulful quality, in her eyes especially, and I think Miss Robb could pull that off. I have to giggle at choosing ASR though, because if you look up the dream cast of any author where her main character is a blond, she will inevitably pick Anna Sophia Robb, too. I bet that girl doesn’t have any trouble finding a job. So I guess it makes me feels less unique to pick her, but I truly think she would be a great cast for Clara.
#2. Rachel Hurd-Wood
It was the fans who turned me on to this fine actress as a potential Clara. All these Unearthly dream-cast videos kept popping up on the internet, and 90% of them suggested Miss Hurd-Wood for Clara. I had only seen her in Peter Pan, which is a big favorite of my son’s right now (he’s going through a serious pirate phase), but she was pretty young in that film. And British. :) But I can totally understand what the fans see in her. There’s a certain brightness to her, and she seems like a lovely combination of smart and beautiful and slightly awkward that I think fits Clara perfectly. And I love her voice, although I am not certain she’s quite sarcastic enough for Clara, but then I’ve never see her in a role where she played a sarcastic character. I am charmed by her, anyway, and would love to see her as Clara, although I think she’s 21 or 22 now, which I think makes her a bit too old. I’d like the actress who plays Clara to really be 16 or 17 years old.
#3 Elle Fanning
#4 Saoirse Ronan
Talk about soulful-eyed! You can’t get more expressive eyes than this girl, which is why I thought she was a perfect choice for the forthcoming movie adaptation of The Host. And I also think she’d be a fine Clara, especially after I saw her kick-buttingness in Hanna. I’m not sure about goofiness, though. . .
Now on to what you’re really waiting for, the boys.
Sigh. I wish I knew the names of more teenage boy actors. None of the ones I’ve stumbled over come close to either what Tucker or Christian look like in my head. But I will give it my best try.
Christian #1 Zac Efron
Christian #2—Cameron Bright
Again with the slightly wavy hair, the strong eyebrows, the green eyes. Plus there’s kind of a mystery to him which I think suits Christian very well. The look of Cameron Bright is pretty darn close to the Christian in my head, and I think he’s around the right age. However, I haven’t seen this guy act since he was a child actor, and I don’t know what his more grown up voice sounds like, or if he could pull off Christian’s many layers.
Okay, okay, calm down. Here comes my Tucker picks, which were even harder!
Tucker #1—Kellan Lutz
Whew! This guy is hot! And brawny and tawny and blue-eyed AND dimpled. Here’s something I’ve never told anybody before, but back when I was selling the film rights to Unearthly, a company wanted to buy them, and tried to get Mr. Lutz to read the manuscript (this was before there was even an ARC!) of Unearthly and sign on to play Tucker. And when they told me this, I had no idea who Kellan Lutz even was. So I Googled, And I watched Twilight, in which they dye his hair and cover him in white face paint, so I just wasn’t seeing it. But then I came across this picture, and I was like, okay. I can see that. And I like that Kellan is mischievous, which is one of Tucker’s key personality traits. But let’s face it, he’s too old. I really think movies should cast 17 year olds as 17 year olds, and Mr. Lutz in mid-twenties and definitely looks it. Now if he had a younger brother. . .
(Part of me still can’t believe that this guy might have read Unearthly. This thing I made up. Sprung from my brain cells. And he read it. Maybe. It kills me.)
Which brings me to my next too-old Tucker pick: Tucker #2 Liam Hemsworth
Again, he’s too old! But he’s got the farm-boy vibe and the stormy blue eyes, so he’s my next best choice. Seriously, though. I don’t know of an actor who would make a perfect Tucker. I just have to have faith that he’s out there, in all his blue-eyed, dimpled glory.
For Angela I would choose someone dark-haired and sassy, Maybe Vanessa Hudgens or Vanessa Morano (she could get the know-it-all-edness of Angela down perfectly, I think), Lucy Hale would be a good pick, or maybe even Selena Gomez.
For Wendy I’d choose someone wholesome and down-to-earth, with dimples like Tucker, if possible. Like Emma Roberts, see above, or Brigit Mendler.
Okay, I have some possibilities for Maggie. She is a hugely important character in my mind, and I modeled her a bit after Lorelei from The Gilmore Girls, but I don’t really see Lauren Graham in this role. Not that I don’t heart Lauren Graham; she rocks.
But I have 2 other choices here.
#1 Charlize Theron
Okay, can’t pass up the pic of CT with Anna Sophia Robb. Now picture CT with long auburn hair and give both of them blue eyes. They’d make a pretty fine Maggie and Clara. Plus Charlene is sarcastic as all get-out, from what I gather, which would be great for Maggie.
Nicole Kidman is actually perfect for Maggie. She’s got the right coloring, red hair, blue eyes, and she’s funny and gorgeous. And she apparently loves butterflies. . .
I also like Naomi Watts or Elizabeth Banks or Gwyneth Paltrow, as they all have equal parts beauty and sass.
But here’s the thing:
Nobody is a perfect fit. All of my characters were very distinctive in my mind, and none of them were based on specific actors. And part of the fun and magic of seeing your work move from the page to the screen is being surprised and delighted by the new ways your characters are interpreted. If (fingers crossed) Unearthly does become a series on the CW, I hope that the actors can ACT, that’s the main thing. I don’t care whether they have the exact look that was in my mind when I was writing so much as I care about how they embody the spirit of that character.
Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand is out now from Egmont, £6.99.