Today’s inspiration: Cynthia Dale. After reading about her departure from Stratford I find myself wondering if she’s ever considered directing.
My first exposure to Dale was years ago, when she was on Street Legal, as the article above says playing a “bitchy, sexy witch named Olivia Novak.” But something I’ve found true of many Canadian actresses is a keen eye and ability behind the camera, as well as in front of it. Sarah Polley is an obvious example with her directorial debut showing a keen mind capable of achieving great things both sides of the camera.
Add in another Canadian talent I’m a fan of: Neve Campbell. Neve (it’s pronounced like Bev, one syllable, btw) has already added writing and producing credits to her name.
When I was asked last year to consider “My book, the movie” and answer the questions for Suspicious Circumstances, I found it challenging. I never thought about actors when creating my characters. I know some do, some use storyboards and pictures, but not me. In some respects, I almost prefer a hazy description, because whenever a movie is made people undoubtedly say, “That’s not how I pictured so-and-so.”
But honestly? I look at Neve Campbell and think she could be Ashlyn Hart. Well, Sarah could play her too, with dark hair. What I love about both of them is that they bring an intelligence and thoughtfulness to their work. Some actors are only skin deep, just something to look at. These actors have substance. Brains. And that’s critical with Ashlyn. In fact, in many respects, she’s the most level of my three protagonists, balancing off two guys with issues. In What Burns Within you hardly get to know anything about Tain’s personal life, but things explode for all three of them in The Frailty of Flesh, which has been scheduled for a November 2008 release, just six months after WBW comes out. Not a long wait, which is nice.
Intelligence is what I would want from someone involved in converting my work to screen, more than anything else. It’s funny, now that I think about Cynthia Dale, I think she could fit the role of Alison Daly. Alison isn’t in WBW much, but she has more face time in the second book.
I know other people might consider it an oddity, but I’d be just as thrilled to see my book converted to a Canadian TV series as anything else. I was a fan of Cold Squad and Da Vinci’s Inquest has even done well south of the border. Hmmm. Maybe someone should send copies of the books to Chris Haddock. However, despite the old jokes about Canada, no I don’t know him.
Getting back to the point, reading about Cynthia’s departure from Stratford made me think about transitions, change, and how tough they can be. If you’d asked me three months ago I would have maintained I’d never get divorced, happily married. Well, now I’m getting divorced.
Such is life.
Change can be scary, but sometimes it can be good. In my case, the jury is still out. Somehow, though, what I sense in Cynthia Dale is the kind of tenacity and drive that tells me she might be off stage for now, but not for long.