Casting call: Who we’d cast as our leads

Attention, Hollywood agents: you may not have gotten the memo, but we’ve pre-cast some of your best clients to star in the as-yet-unsigned movie versions of our books. They’ve already begun doing staged readings in our heads, and sometimes they even help inspire us. Get those contracts ready, and see you at the wrap party.

  Marla Cooper

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My top casting choice would probably get outvoted by the directors because she’s slightly more “mature” than the role calls for, but Susan Sullivan (AKA Castle‘s spitfire of a mom) would be the perfect choice to play the Mother of the Bride in Terror in Taffeta. I had so much fun writing the demanding Mrs. Abernathy, and I can perfectly picture Susan Sullivan delivering lines like, “Put your shoes on, girls. This is a wedding, not a hoedown!” As for the lead, I’ve gone back and forth about who I would cast, but right now Cristin Milioti is my top pick. (I’m sure she’d be thrilled to know that she’s even being considered for the part.) Her deadpan delivery and comic timing won my heart as the Mother in How I Met Your Mother, and I really, really want her to have a role where she gets to live.

Lisa Q. Mathews

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I have to admit, I’ve always thought The Ladies Smythe & Westin would make a kick-butt TV series. Sort of Murder She Wrote  (helloooo, CBS, you remember that one, right?) with a sunny Miami Vice (just the Florida part, forget Crockett and Tubbs)-meets-Charlie’s Angels (for humor) opening montage.

When I wrote Episode (I mean, Book) One, I had Angela Lansbury and Cameron Diaz clearly in mind to play my December-May co-sleuths. Because Angela already had the sharp, elegant, and feisty senior sleuth deal down, you see, and Cameron, the perfect Cali girl, nails both athletic and clutzy humor in the flash of a dimple. Plus, she already has the perfect model’s wardrobe. And yeah, I know Angie and Cam are a tad older than my sleuths as written, but hey, no Hollywood age discrimination here. The roles are all yours, ladies!

Kellye Garrett


I actually “cast” all my main characters before I even started writing Hollywood Homicide, and I always envisioned Dayna being a dead ringer for singer/actress Letoya Luckett. I’m not sure if Day would agree with me that they look alike. Here’s how she describes herself: But this was Los Angeles. Everyone was so pretty—the men even more so than the women—you had to resort to a sliding scale, on which I was closer to cute than beautiful.

My skin was what Maybelline dubbed Cocoa, L’Oreal deemed Nut Brown, and MAC had bypassed all food groups to call NC50. I had straightened black hair that was just long enough to get caught in stuff. My nose had been on the receiving end of many a nose job recommendation. But I’d gotten my boobs done first and the pain was so bad I swore off any further surgery. When I was little, I was as bug-eyed as a Bratz doll. But now that I was grown and the rest of me had a chance to catch up, my eyes were my pièce de résistance. I didn’t even own a pair of sunglasses.

Ellen Byron


Get Anne Hathaway’s agent on the phone, have I got a role for her. She’d be the perfect choice to play Maggie Crozat, the thirty-two-year-old protagonist of my mystery, Plantation Shudders. Maggie is an artist who was born and raised in Louisiana, but moved to New York at eighteen to attend Cooper Union art school and lived in the city for over ten years. Maggie is funny and self-deprecating, but has an edge–just like Anne. My dream casting for Grandmere is Blythe Danner, who’d probably kill me for envisioning her as an octogenarian. But she’d be soooo perfect. There’s one more character to dream-cast, and here’s where I need your help. Bo Durand is Maggie’s love interest. He’s in his late thirties, tall and lean, with black hair and eyes, pale skin, and high cheekbones. Personality-wise, he leans toward Tommy Lee Jones. But for the life of me, I can’t think of a current actor who I’d cast. I feel like he’s out there–I just can’t land on him. Readers, if you have any ideas, let me know, because right now Bo is perilously close to looking like one of those fatuous guys on a romance novel cover in my head. (Umm… maybe a hot Brit?)

Have a casting suggestion? Drop us a note in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “Casting call: Who we’d cast as our leads

    1. Oooh, all great ideas. Cillian Murphy is actually exactly the right age – mid-thirties, I think. And he’s the perfect look. Michael Fassbender has the gravitas, though. Franco’s a little light, but Chris Pine is another good idea. Thanks!

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