Actress, Casting, Featured, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary Steenburgen

Casting My Novel

June 6, 2016

We all dream about hitting the big time when a studio buys our novel for a movie or television series. Admit it. You’d like to see your name in lights, or at least in the screen credits. I admit it.

When I began writing the Mad Max series, I kept various actresses in mind for my major and minor characters. Not that I would ever dream of casting one of them, but I loved some of the roles they played. I blatantly stole traits.

For example, when I began working with Mad Max herself, or more rightly, when she began working with me, I saw bits of Meryl Streep in her toughness, her spunk, even her snarkiness. (Think The Devil Wears Prada).  Katharine Hepburn stood out as Max’s mentor and alpha Great Dame, Eleanor. The more I wrote about Max, the more the actress who should play her changed.

I went through Angelica Huston. Gorgeous, the right age. Strong. Gorgeous. Courageous in her roles. I thought Gillian Anderson, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett. The list goes on and on.

Finally, two actress ascended to the top:  Mary Steenburgen and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Steenburgen can be elegant, sassy and smart. She’s beautiful. She has dark hair, but that could be bleached for Max. I don’t think she’d mind. I see her walking into a restaurant and tossing a mink trench coat on a chair, just like Max does on the first page of MAD MAX UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. I can also see her living in a luxury RV in UNCHARTED TERRITORY, raising grandkids the wasteland of post-Katrina Mississippi.

And then there is Jamie Lee Curtis. My favorite choice. The role she played in NCIS, Dr. Samatha Ryan, was Max. A perfect Max. Again, smart and sassy. Most of all, she is sexy. True, she was a scream queen, but as she’s matured she’s become sexy and confident in her skin. At least that’s the way she portrays herself on camera. Okay, she’s tall and has dark hair, where Max is tiny and blond. But, hey, if Tom Cruise can play a 6’5″ Jack Reacher…

I can dream, can’t I? Who would you cast as Mad Max?


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, now available at Amazon and Barnes and NobleI’m really excited that the trade paper edition of Uncharted Territory was released in late May. Please follow me on my website, on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads

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