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Tawna Fenske | Casting MAKING WAVES


I have a confession.

OK, I probably have a lot of them. For the sake of this blog post though, we're focusing on the fact that I'm an utter moron when it comes to movies and television. I lack the attention span for either one, so when I'm asked the inevitable, "which actors and actresses do you imagine playing your characters in the movie version of your book?" I freeze.

I was asked to blog about this a few weeks ago at The Debutante Ball, and spent hours browsing online so I wouldn't look like a complete idiot. I eventually came up with a photo of a younger, curly-haired Meg Ryan and another shot of Pierce Brosnan. It was as close as I could come to my mental picture of my heroine and hero from MAKING WAVES.

Meg Ryan

Pierce Brosnan

A friend emailed right away to remark on my choices. "Um, have you actually seen any movies in the last ten years?"

Define "seen." Does falling asleep halfway through count?

So my friend helped me assemble a cast list I must grudgingly admit is much better than mine. Here are the ideas...

Juli, my plucky, spunky, smart-as-a-whip heroine:

Kate Hudson.

Kate Hudson

This actually makes sense to me, and I support the choice. Alternatives include Uma Thurman, Isla Fisher, Anna Faris, Katherine Heigl, Elizabeth Banks. I'll admit I don't know who half those actresses are, but I'm assuming they share Juli's quirky nature and humorous approach to pretty much everything.

Alex, my brooding, seafaring, dark-haired hero:

George Clooney

My friend suggested Luke Wilson, but I'm not so sure about that. The second choice was George Clooney, which is such a ridiculously great idea I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. I swear that's not just because I'm madly in love with George. Rob Lowe was another runner-up, as were Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler. Like Juli, Alex has a great sense of humor and an offbeat approach to life. He's also a little older, so he needs to be someone with a little life experience and some pleasant crow's feet around his eyes.

Cody/Cookie, a former NFL tight end turned cross-dressing gourmet chef who's part of Alex's dysfunctional pirate crew in MAKING WAVES:

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. My friend was so adamant on this one, it seems there's no need for an alternative. Cookie is dopey and sensitive, but the most kind, loyal person you'd ever hope to meet. Plus his crème brûlée is outstanding.

Jake, the doughy, balding, slightly crabby accounting supervisor who worked with Alex for nearly 20 years before joining him on a revenge fueled diamond heist:

Paul Giamatti Jason Alexander Oliver Platt

This one was a three-way tie between Paul Giamatti, Jason Alexander, and Oliver Platt. Any of these guys could surely capture Jake's grumbly yet charming personality.

Phyllis, the socially awkward, fifty-something former steeplechase Olympian who has the hots for Jake:

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch. Hands down. There were no alternatives. Jane captures the steely, socially awkward personality I tried to create for Phyllis, plus the actress is a spitting image of my mental picture for the character.

So there you have it -- I can't take credit for most of them, but I have to agree it's a much better cast than I could have come up with on my own.

Have you read MAKING WAVES? If so, how do you think that casting list stacks up? If not, I'm eager to hear how those ideas for actors and actresses shape your perception of the book. Please share!


She always wanted to belong... Just not to a dysfunctional pirate crew...

Juli has trouble fitting in, though she'd prefer to keep the reasons to herself. But when she mistakenly stows away on a ship of misfit corporate castoffs, her own secrets become the least of her concerns...

He knows plotting a diamond heist may be considered unusual behavior...

But Alex isn't feeling very normal when his unscrupulous boss kicks him to the curb. Meeting Juli doesn't do much to restore normalcy to Alex's life either, but it sure is exhilarating!

As Alex and Juli bare their secrets--and a whole lot more--they find that while normal is nice, weird can be wonderful...


Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek. An avid globetrotter with a fondness for the sea, she shares her heroine's violent allergy to seasickness medication (though, sadly, has never stowed away on a pirate ship).Tawna is the author of the popular daily blog "Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing" and lives in Central Oregon, where she is working on her next novel, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, in stores March 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.tawnafenske.com/ or follow her on Twitter @tawnafenske

What do you think of Tawna's casting choices? Two commenters will win copies of MAKING WAVES




39 comments posted.

Re: Tawna Fenske | Casting MAKING WAVES

I love the people you chose to inspire you on your characters. This sounds like an interesting read.
(Cindy Olp 5:36am August 8, 2011)

Great choices! I'd be hard pressed to come up with current actors too. Meg was a cutie in her heyday but Kate Hudson is a good choice now.
(Karen Gervasi 6:26am August 8, 2011)

For someone that doesn't know actors, you picked some great ones.
Picking the ones you did certainly makes the characters come alive
before I even read your book. They sound amazing, fun, quirky, and sexy.
(Carla Carlson 7:45am August 8, 2011)

love your casting choices, couldn't have picked better myself. Can't wait to read, they sound like fun and very interesting to me.
(Frances Namuth 8:36am August 8, 2011)


your book sounds like an interesting story and you chose a great cast. Can't wait to read the book
(Danny Brüggemann 9:04am August 8, 2011)

You've chosen quite the variety of actors to portray your story. I can't wait to experience this!!
(Stephanie Strausberger 9:44am August 8, 2011)

Definately interesting choices!! Thanks for sharing!!
(Dawn Staniszeski 9:49am August 8, 2011)

What a unique concept for a book. Your casting choices sound fine to me, but I'm afraid that--like you--I'm not the best resource for current actors/actresses.
(G S Moch 9:53am August 8, 2011)

I'd go with Kate Hudson any day, she would be sure to make the movie a hit.
(Mary Shaw 11:15am August 8, 2011)

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments! It's always funny how different people perceive the characters in the book. In my second romantic comedy (due out from Sourcebooks in March 2012) I make several references to the hero resembling John Cusack. My agent doesn't happen to be a John Cusack fan, and chooses to completely ignore that detail. To her, he looks like someone totally different!

(Tawna Fenske 11:40am August 8, 2011)

Well, count me in with your casting picks for your characters!! The book would make a great movie!!
(Cate Sparks 12:08pm August 8, 2011)

The cast you chose for the book are good, I'd choose Gerald
Butler instead of George Clooney though, He's so charismatic
and ruggedly handsome with a great sense of humor :)I like the
idea of Kate Hudson and I'd also would think Deborah Messing
could fit Juli well, She's smart, funny and has a quick wit :)
(Bex Challoner 12:26pm August 8, 2011)

Great choice of people for your book. Your book sound fabulous would love to read it.
(Gail Hurt 1:59pm August 8, 2011)

I hope someone makes a movie of your book. It sounds interesting. You could also cast Reese Witherspoon as Juli.
(Beverly Beltz 2:04pm August 8, 2011)

What an interesting and sizzling mix of characters ...
wouldn't it be cool if they made a movie of your book and they
ALL played in it? :-D
(Birgit Lehner 4:05pm August 8, 2011)

Who hasn't wanted to be a stowaway? This sounds like a really fun book!
(Sandy Fielder 5:05pm August 8, 2011)

Your book sounds great, I am definitely going to read it. I love your casting choices! George Cloony and Gerard Butler are two of my favorite actors. It would be an interesting movie!
(Cheryl Lynne 5:29pm August 8, 2011)

sounds like a great read and love the cast!!!
(Jennifer Beck 5:33pm August 8, 2011)

You have an interesting selection of people selected, but I thought I'd throw a name into the mix. I thought that Robert Downey, Jr would be great alongside Kate Hudson. He can do serious roles as well as any type of humor, and is easy on the eyes as well. If I sat here and thought long enough, I might come up with a couple other changes, but I thought he'd look great alongside Kate Hudson. It's just a suggestion. I haven't read the book, but am going by what you wrote today. I'm very anxious to get my hands on your book.
(Peggy Roberson 5:47pm August 8, 2011)

Book sounds great, don't go to the movies enough to know if your choices were good.
(Sheila True 6:05pm August 8, 2011)

Blake Lively from Gossip Girl would be fine in movies. Fun cast and dreaming of characters. Enjoyed reading your blog.
(Alyson Widen 9:40pm August 8, 2011)

I haven't read it unfortunately but your actors and actresses gave me a good idea of what your characters may be like...
(May Pau 10:31pm August 8, 2011)

Emma Stone seems to be the latest quirky character.....and how about Richard Gere instead of George Clooney....we haven't seen him in a long time! The perfect gentleman!
(Susan Coster 11:58pm August 8, 2011)

You certainly got me thinking hard & long about actors fitting characters.
(Mary Preston 12:53pm August 9, 2011)

I'd pick Katherine Heigl, George, Jason, the Rock, Jayne. I love comedy in my romance.
(Lisa Kendall 1:02am August 9, 2011)

I don't know all the current A list people either, but think you did a good job. I will have to try that with the next book I read.
(Barbara Studer 1:14am August 9, 2011)

Anything with The Rock and possibly Gerard Butler in it is
going to get my attention!!!
(Michele Powell 1:16am August 9, 2011)

Gerard Butler, Paul Giamatti and Kate Hudson definitely get my vote. Jane Lynch
too! Wow! It would be great BUT I think I would prefer to read a story and
picture all the characters with my imagination instead. A book is always better
than a movie
(Sandra Spilecki 6:55am August 9, 2011)

I spend more time reading books than watching movies so I am not knowledgeable at all about actors and actresses. Also, when I do watch a movie I am more interested in the story than the names of the actors.
(Maureen Emmons 7:09am August 9, 2011)

Love Gerard Butler! Gerard is gorgeous and funny and sensitive. If I had to choose a current actor that I would most like to meet it would be him. I can understand why you picked Pierce though, he is definitely a brooding type. Meg Ryan was always one of my favorites-cute, bubbly and fun. But I agree with Kate Hudson for your character as she has all those characteristics too. Definitely Dwayne, Jane and Jason as the crew-OMG, that would be such an awesome movie! I rarely watch an entire movie though and never without multi-tasking at the same time-just not enough hours in the day. However, I do read at least a few chapters of a book every day and many times an entire book (there are always a few free minutes here and there to spare for reading!). Your story sounds so fun!
(Jody Hollenbeck 7:28am August 9, 2011)

I think Kate Hudson would be great and I'd choose Hugh Jackman - he seems to be able to turn himself into any character - very versatile. And the Rock would be great too. As much as I love the movies, I enjoy the book more. I make up imaginery people according to the author's description.
(Jeanne Sheats 12:21pm August 9, 2011)

Of the three-way tie between Paul Giamatti, Jason Alexander, and Oliver Platt. I would go with Paul Giamatti, as he nails the grumbly yet charming personality all the time.
(Barbara Ryan 1:02pm August 9, 2011)

Gerard Butler, yum, yum!!! Books sounds like a good read!!! Kate Blanchard is great also.............Good luck!!!
(Joanne Bozik 2:22pm August 9, 2011)

You had me at George Clooney, even though I haven't read the book! And I would pick Jason Alexander for the role of Jake. Not only does he fit the description, he can sing, too! (Not that that seems to be called for in the description, but I thought I'd just mention it.)


(Lynn Rettig 2:54pm August 9, 2011)

Great choices. Sounds like a fun read.
(Roseann Moss 8:48pm August 9, 2011)

Well I'm probably as bad as you since I don't know half the names mentioned either! (I read too much to watch movies!)I'll take whomever you choose!!
(Paula Carlson 8:51pm August 9, 2011)

super choices
(Julie Barett 12:55pm August 10, 2011)

George Clooney could star in anything and I'd watch it--great choice.
(Sue Farrell 3:10pm August 10, 2011)

I love George Clooney in anything or nothing! LOL I can't believe you don't watch movies. Your book sounds like a fun read!
(Brenda Rupp 9:04pm August 28, 2011)

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