Character Study: Lost Dogs

The darkly funny, character-driven debut novel Lost Dogs (Cormorant Books) would totally work as a feature film – and we’re glad its author, Lucie Pagé, agrees! Lucie donned our casting director’s cap to choose actors for characters Becca, Caroline, Katherine, and others, plus a director who could definitely bring their various stories home.


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The Cast of Lost Dogs, as picked by Lucie Pagé

Elsie Fisher as Becca Chalmers

Becca is lonely, depressed and desperate to feel like she belongs. Anywhere. She has the body of an adult and the social aptitude of a tween and the mixed messages she’s been receiving from the world are seriously making her think crazy things. Becca is a character Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) could believably play. Elsie would bring the right mix of false confidence and naïveté to the performance.

Kristen Bell as Caroline Le Fever, Becca’s mom

Marketing expert Caroline Le Fever is beautiful, sharp, trim, competitive and confident. Unfortunately, because she’s overly self-involved, Caroline is utterly failing to notice that Becca is having a different experience of adolescence than she did. Kristen Bell’s dexterity with dialogue could nail this MIA parent role with sharp maternal edges.

Anna Kendrick as Katherine Radcliffe

Anna Kendrick is fabulous at exploring the duality in characters and stage manager Katherine Radcliffe is worthy of her talents. Katherine is smart, sexy, and efficient but she is an enigma. Unless you ask her precisely the right question about herself, you’ll never know who she is or was, where she’s been and what she’s done. She can be rational one moment and rationalizing irrational behaviour, the next. Though she has a long list of likes and dislikes, she has yet to determine what she wants.

Nicholas Braun as Brent Dunn

Brent is a tall, dark, handsome Associate Professor of English who aspires to publish his fiction. He feels like a fraud. He dresses the part of a professor to sell his legitimacy to students and relies on his charming helplessness to make people like him. His conflict aversion endears him to difficult women. Now his dog is missing and he faces his toughest audience yet: animal lovers. Nicholas Braun would be perfect in this role. His ability to curry favour was proven in his performances on Succession.

Corey Stoll or Aziz Ansari as Karl Reynolds

A once-rising star programmer cut down to size for his arrogance, Karl Reynolds now works the Client Service Rep (CSR) grind for a telco/internet company. Only when his masturbation addiction threatens to becomes public, does he decide to address his issues but karma is not done with him. Two potential actors spring to mind for the role of Karl: Corey Stoll who makes character tension a thing of beauty and Aziz Ansari, whose smiling wince relates all.

Director: Greta Gerwig

Aside from having a terrific visual story-telling style, Gerwig is one the sharpest directors of character-based comedy. She has a feel for the nuances in performance which bring characters to life and deepen audience enjoyment. I’m confident she’d be able to bring out the best in my (or any) cast.

The Poster

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Lucie Pagé is a French-Canadian writer and screenwriter (Another Life, Slasher, Les Champs de Boue) whose fiction has been published in Carte Blanche, Robot Butt, and This Magazine. She’s received several awards for her original screenplays, won the Great Canadian Literary Hunt for fiction, and the O’Neill-Karsh award for her first full-length play. Lucie divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver Island.

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Disclaimer: While we’d be first in line to see this movie if it existed, Character Study is just for fun.

Lost Dogs or at your fave indie bookstore, and click here for more Character Study.