Character Study: How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square

October 18, 2016

The expatriate characters living in Hong Kong in Rea Tarvydas’ short story collection  How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square (Thistledown Press) find themselves in that in-between place of belonging and outsider-dom. They struggle with their lives in humankind’s “most thrilling city” as home – wherever it is – continuously makes its pull felt.

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Our new and improved Character Study column takes the CanLit books you love and re-imagines them as Hollywood movies: who would play your favourite bookish characters and why.

The expatriate characters living in Hong Kong in Rea Tarvydas’ short story collection How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square (Thistledown Press) find themselves in that in-between place of belonging and outsider-dom. They struggle with their lives in humankind’s “most thrilling city” as home – wherever it is – continuously makes its pull felt.

See who would play some key characters in this collection below.

 

Fast Eddy, played by a tired, rumpled Chris Pine

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A hardworking investment banker from the States and the movie’s protagonist. His downfall at Goldman Sachs echoes his descent into drug and alcohol addiction. A charismatic man who alternates between crass opportunism and loyalty, Fast Eddy possesses an uncanny ability to see people for who they truly are, including, eventually, his own self.

 

Hong Kong, played by Hong Kong: uniformly black and white and grey during the daytime; a kaleidoscopic explosion of colour during the nighttime 

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“The most thrilling city in the world” and the major antagonist in the movie.  A hardworking capitalist throughout the long workdays, Hong Kong never rests, compulsively performing a fantastic light show each and every night. This complex city-state constantly reinvents itself but there are secrets buried in alleyways. Do you ever really know Hong Kong?

 

 

 

 

 

Load Toad, played by Rhys Ifans who is wearing glasses like Elvis Costello would wear

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A funny, hard drinking small businessman, originally from England, and foil to Fast Eddy. Load Toad is basically a decent guy who is the centre of life at The Globe, the pub, but he’s under a lot of financial pressure. Load Toad knows everything and nothing.

 

Sarah, played by a quirky version of Lizzie Caplan

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An acrophobic professional woman, from Canada, on temporary assignment to the Hong Kong office and Fast Eddy’s love interest. Sarah literally falls for Fast Eddy in a flooded street in SoHo. As a woman engaged to be married to David, Sarah’s proficient exterior hides an all-consuming question: does she really want to do what is traditionally expected of her?

 

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Thanks to Rea for playing casting director of her book for this edition of Character Study, and to Stephanie at Thistledown Press for making the connection! For more in-depth examinations of your favourite protagonists, click here


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