Casting Couch: Which Actors Would You Cast in These Contemporary Novels?

by  | September 19

For our Casting Couch feature, we’ll pick a book list according to genre, such as YA, classic, graphic novel, etc., and imagine adaptations for the screen, small or silver, with a star-studded, hypothetical cast.

It was recently announced that Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life will be developed into a TV show, and of course the litosphere went abuzz with casting choices. Personally, I’m a big fan of the list GQ put together (Ben Whishaw as Jude is the correct answer, though maybe Riz Ahmed would be an acceptable alternate).

This announcement inspired us to take a stab at casting some of the best contemporary buzz books. These are the kinds of books that, though they haven’t been adapted to film or TV yet, are so rich in imagery that you can’t help but see them projected on your mind’s movie screen. Take to social media with your ideas, whether you agree or have something better up your sleeve, and tag us @glommable!


Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Ben Stiller has the rights to make a show for Showtime. I wonder if any of these actors are contenders for the project?

  • Lenny Abramov: Is it because Joaquin Phoenix has already acted the role of computer creep in “Her” that I want to see him navigate Shteyngart’s faux Facebook, GlobalTeens?
  • Eunice Park: Greta Lee could easily nail this lovable yet manipulative character.
  • Joshie Goldman: With some help from prosthetics, Sacha Baron Cohen could portray the vainglorious Joshie Goldman, our protagonist’s boss, who is a 70-year-old man but maintains the appearance of someone decades younger.

Get your copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Mischling by Affinity Konar

  • Pearl/Stasha: Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things.” The range of emotions she can express through her face alone is a thing of majesty, and just what a movie adaptation of this novel could use to bring the book’s twin protagonists to life.
  • Bruna: This witchy, bossy Albina is only 17, though she operates the internal circle of Mengele’s zoo with the shrewdness and authority of someone three times her age. Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones could totally pull it off.
  • Dr. Miri: Emily Blunt is no stranger to movie adaptations  recently (Girl On A Train, anyone?), plus she can convey the unfeeling side of this complicated character, as well as her devastation in the novel’s second half.
  • Dr. Josef Mengele: James Cromwell. It’s probably because he played a character based off of Josef “Angel of Death” Mengele in American Horror Story: Asylum, but I couldn’t get his icy delivery out of my head whenever Mengele appeared, avuncular and alien all at once.

Get your copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

  • Tess: Is it crazy that I want Jennifer Lawrence in this role to see her actually play someone her own age-ish? I see you, David O. Russell.
  • Jake: Michael Pitt‘s pouty moue would suit Jake’s innate fuckboiness.
  • Simone: While reading Sweetbitter, I was also doing a deep dive into The Real Housewives of Melbourne, so naturally my dreams were a treat, and I kept imagining Jackie as Simone. But sticking to Hollywood, I bet Eva Green could play the haughty waitress who is simultaneously maternal and ice queen af.

Get your copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

  • A: The Oscar bait? Emma Watson. The indie darling? Tracee Chimo.
  • B: Special effects? Keira Knightley. 35mm? Jenny Slate
  • C: AMC? Any Hemsworth, pick a Hemsworth. The Angelika? James Franco. Have I made it clear enough that C is not my favorite?

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt

  • Richard Papen: Kieran Culkin could portray our keenly observational narrator.
  • Judy Poovey: Judy Poovey is the Kimmy Gibbler of the fiction world, if Kimmy Gibbler hadn’t been overused. She’s delivered to us readers in perfect comedic doses, and Aidy Bryant could light up every scene she’s in with denim cutoffs for days. #PooveyRules.
  • Charles and Camilla Macaulay: Paul Dano and Kate Mara could play these twins who, at times, seem somewhat more than just brother and sister.
  • Bunny Corcoran: Ezra Miller would infuse this idiosyncratic and infuriating character  with some real heart and pathos.

Get your copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Remember to head to @glommable on any of your favoritest platforms to comment, respectfully disagree, or drag me to filth.