Character Study: The Most Heartless Town in Canada

July 28, 2016

The Most Heartless Town in Canada by Elaine McCluskey (Anvil Press) looks at media agendas, amateur sport, family dynamics, and the divide between rural and urban Canada. The story starts with a newspaper photo taken in the obscure town of Myrtle, Nova Scotia, after the murder of eight bald eagles. The Photo wins a contest and, over time, the unidentified girl in the foreground, Rita Van Loon, becomes infamous. After seven painful years, Rita decides to explain herself and the events surrounding the murders. Below is our imagined cast for the movie version of The Most Hearless Town in Canada.

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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 Most Heartless Town in Canada by Elaine McCluskey (Anvil Press) looks at media agendas, amateur sport, family dynamics, and the divide between rural and urban Canada. The story starts with a newspaper photo taken in the obscure town of Myrtle, Nova Scotia, after the murder of eight bald eagles. The Photo wins a contest and, over time, the unidentified girl in the foreground, Rita Van Loon, becomes infamous. After seven painful years, Rita decides to explain herself and the events surrounding the murders.

Below is our imagined cast for the movie version of The Most Hearless Town in Canada.

 

Bel Powley as Rita Van Loon

Bel-Rita

Think Bel Powley, presenting the same frankness and thoughtfulness as Minnie in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Rita is a plump, anxious, and socially awkward teenager with black glasses and a pouty mouth. She’s reserved and smart, and sometimes appears as though she has “too many thoughts bubbling up.” Bel Powley can be bizarre, serious, and funny at the same time, not unlike Rita’s life in Myrtle.

 

 

Logan Lerman as Hubert Hansen

Logan-Hubert

Here Logan Lerman plays a vulnerable, introverted, empathetic type (like Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Hubert is a poor, fatherless teenager, who is bad at math yet able to “quote Zola at will.” He’s got a slight build and “disarmingly sweet face,” and Logan Lerman is just the young man to capture Hubert’s gentle appearance, benevolent manner, and quiet intelligence.

 

Jonah Hill as Drew Brinkerhoff

Jonah-Drew

Maybe not Jonah Hill today, but the Jonah Hill of Cyrus: odd, immature, and quite unlikable. Drew Brinkerhoff has the imperious air of an only child. A sturdy fifteen-year-old of ample size, he’s a terrible swimmer whose known to flaunt his girth. Jonah Hill is skilled at playing spoiled, eccentric types like Drew, whose mother buys him anything “including a crossbow, which he used to terrorize chipmunks.” 

 

Glenn Close as Maggie Delaney

Glenn-Maggie

Glenn Close has a knack for playing a villain (Cruella de Vil comes to mind). Cast as Maggie Delaney—the newspaper reporter responsible for humiliating the town of Myrtle—Glenn Close will play evil with a lot more subtlety than Cruella. She’ll mask her malicious intent, like Maggie, behind a benign appearance as an “aging old dear with a leprechaun nose”.

 

Amy Schumer as Coach Pammy

Amy-Pammy

Pammy is the overzealous local swimming coach who curses a lot. She’s afraid to fail and is “possessed by a need to prove herself.” She has a button nose “too small for her round face” and always has a can of Coke in her hand. Amy Schumer will play Coach Pammy with the perfect combination of intensity, energy, hilarity, and foul-mouthed-ness.

 

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Thank you to Anvil Press, especially Anastasia Scherders, for playing along with us! Read the book and then share with us your opinion on who you imagined playing these characters.


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