As with any book, there are changes when the book is adapted into a script. Do you think that fans will be okay with the changes?
A novel and a screenplay are two very different things, and what works beautifully in a novel doesn’t always translate on the screen. Things have to be cut or changed, and I’m actually glad. The book is the book, and the movie is an interpretation of the book. It’s another way to enjoy the book if you’ve read it, or discover it if you haven’t. Every reader imagines the world on the page differently; it’s the nature of reading. The Ethan in my head isn’t the one in yours, and our Ethans could never be the same because when people read, we create our own movies in our minds. The film is the movie Richard’s imagination created as he read Beautiful Creatures, and I can’t wait until he shares it with you!
You wrote the character of Macon based off Jeremy Irons. What was it like when you found out the Jeremy had been cast?
We discussed the characters at in great detail—everything from the way they looked and spoke to their favorite foods and worst fears. But we never compared them to real people, with the exception of a few of the Mortal supporting characters like Carlton Eaton (based on Margie’s grandfather) and the Sisters (based on my great aunts). When I write, I actually watch the story unfold in my mind visually like a film, and from the moment I started writing, Jeremy Irons was Macon Ravenwood for me. I became a huge fan after “Reversal or Fortune” and slightly obsessed after “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (ah…another perfect accent). So when the producers told us he was cast as Macon, I thought they were playing a joke on me with Margie. I never imagined that the Macon Ravenwood facing off against Sarafine in my mind would be the very actor [Jeremy Irons] facing off against Emma Thompson in the film adaptation.
What was it like to visit the set of ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and see your characters brought to life?
It was unreal, and literally took my breath away. When I walked in, Jeremy Irons was in the middle of a scene inside Ravenwood and everything from his accent and the way he delivered each line to the details of the room itself was like watching a scene right out of my head. Then I saw Alice and Alden on the monitor, and they were Lena and Ethan — these two people I know as well as my best friends — saying the things I listened to them say in my head a million times. Nothing can prepare you for that, especially if Richard LaGravenese is your director. Richard’s eye for detail did not stop at assembling a cast of some of the most well respected actors in the industry and talented up-and-comers. He chose the best costume designer, director of photography, set designer, effects supervisors, and art director. From Genevieve’s locket to the books on Ethan’s bookshelves, no detail was too significant to ignore. The cast and crew of the Beautiful Creatures film created a world from words and imagination, sweat and nails, long days and lots of Styrofoam. But more importantly, they did it by taking risks. And those risks paid off, because I they made me believe.
Were you able to give any advice to Alice and Alden on bringing Ethan and Lena to life? Did they ask you for any?
Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert, who play Ethan and Lena, are both incredibly talented. Alden is humble and introspective, thoughtful with both his words and actions. Alice has a quiet grace and creative spirit, and she is a gifted musician like Lena. I spent time with them both, and was impressed by their questions and insights regarding their characters. But I was shocked when the cameras started rolling. Alden and Alice are arresting on screen — becoming more than themselves and the characters they play — and held their own in scenes with powerhouses like Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, and Jeremy Irons. I had lunch with Jeremy on set one day, and was rendered speechless for minutes at a time in his presence (another reason to be thankful I’m not in the film).
What are you most excited to see in the film?
Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis and Emma Thompson. The chemistry between Alden and Alice, and the fireworks between Emmy and Thomas. Every broken stair and twisted vine on the exterior of Ravenwood Manor. The unbelievably detailed sets that blew me away when I visited the production on location—Ethan’s bedrooms, the Caster library, and every room inside Ravenwood. The costumes designed by Jeffrey Kurland that are so intricately detailed that they should be behind glass in a museum (or in my closet…). The world that existed in my mind for so long until our brilliant producers and director, Richard LaGravenese, brought it to life. I am truly excited about every flower in every yard and every button on every sleeve.
You can keep up with Kami on her website: www.kamigarcia.com.