your skills are requested

When It Happens is going to be a movie.

Let me clarify.

I don’t have a movie deal yet. I’ve just always had a Knowing that this book was meant to be a movie. My agent is working on things now and she wants to know who should play Sara and Tobey. While I was writing When It Happens, I pictured each scene like a scene from a movie, complete with soundtrack. Which I think filtered into the writing because I’ve gotten lots of emails from readers saying that the book totally felt like a movie when they read it. Sweet! The thing is, the actors I originally wanted for the movie are now too old. And I’m not really sure who to suggest.

That’s where you come in.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Some of you have emailed me casting suggestions over the past couple of years, but now I need to get everyone’s ideas together. So! Please share your sharp movie casting skills and tell me…

Who should play Sara?

Who should play Tobey?

64 thoughts on “your skills are requested

  1. Ooh, I’d love to see it made into a movie. (Assuming Hollywood gets it right. Sometimes I wonder if they even read the books.)
    What’s bad is, thanks to my little cousins, the only young stars I know are all Disney stars. And I can’t say I’d want any of them to play Sara or Tobey (although Selena Gomez is wonderful).
    I always pictured Tony Lucca as Tobey when I read the book, but he’s too old to play the part and is (sadly) unknown and under-appreciated.

    • I have to admit that I don’t know who Tony Lucca is, but I just Googled him and I see what you mean. It’s cool if we suggest actors who aren’t as well-known…I think the book has an indie feel to it πŸ™‚

  2. it would help me if you tell me who you did have in mind then πŸ™‚
    i remember picturing sara and tobey with actors’s faces, but right now i don’t remember who 😦

  3. YAY!!!!
    AHHH!!! I am majorly excited.
    I really really really think that people who are unknown would make this the best thing ever. You could get some crappy sing-along song kids and then make this WONDERFUL book into a terror movie.
    So I’d say PLEASE choose cute, down to earth indie heartwarming characters!
    This book made me see that love stories don’t have to be lame and that (one of) the reason why I like you as a writer so much is because you create this AWESOME characters who are totally amazing! πŸ™‚
    I really hope this works out!

      • Re: YAY!!!!
        I’d second Ellen Page, too. She was who came to my mind when I first read this. But then I felt she was little old (Insane, I know. And that’s probably because I just watched Inception where she’s in college).
        Anyway, then I had an even better idea. Juno Temple! She’s a rising star, an incredibly good and versatile actress, with that indie vibe and was adorable, brunette and American in Mr. Nobody.
        Going more mainstream, the sisters Kay and Danielle Panabaker are cool, too.
        Searching for ideas for Tobey, now.

        • Re: YAY!!!!
          I just can’t picture Tobey as a blonde or an extremely hot (hunky) guy. That’s Dave to me. Tobey was always more boyish in my head, cute in an unassuming way. Please don’t let them take away his gorgeous baby blues!
          OK, that said, I second Aaron Johnson and Anton Yelchin.
          I also suggest for Tobey:
          Chris Massoglia – Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
          Travis Caldwell – The Gates (TV series)
          Toby Regbo – Who was also brunette and American in Mr. Nobody, along with Juno Temple.
          Gaspard Ulliel – He’s French, though. And might be a little too old, but Hollywood magic can take the years away! ;-] I think he screams β€œslacker rock-star wannabe” and sweetness.
          As for Sara, Emma Roberts is always a good choice and I love Alexis Bledel, but she seems to be playing older parts now.
          And one more suggestion for Sara: Olivia Thirlby – Juno, The Wackness, New York, I Love You. Another up-and-coming actress straight from the indie world.

          • Re: YAY!!!!
            I’m liking Travis the best out of your Tobey suggestions. You’re so good at identifying boys who all have the same look! And I love Olivia Thirlby – excellent.
            Thanks so much for all of your ideas. I really appreciate your thoughtful choices ❀

            • Re: YAY!!!!
              I write as a hobby and my husband’s a graphic and game designer who draws as well, so he and I save a LOT of pictures of various biotypes for reference and inspiration. (Maybe I’m using the wrong word here. I think ‘biotype’ means something slightly different in Portuguese.)
              So I had a folder full of white, dark-haired and blue-eyed males at the ready for a quick search. ;-]
              I’m glad you appreciate my suggestions.

          • Re: YAY!!!!
            You’re welcome!
            I’ve been keeping an eye on her since Empire Falls. She’s a good actress, with that nice, girl next-door look. But now she’s been doing horror flicks and I think it’s such a waste. I’d like to see her in something other than that.

  4. I heart Ellen Page and second that motion. I also have to agree with other commenters, though. I loved this book so much. Seriously. It spoke to my soul (is that over stating?). And I would hate for it to become a crappy movie. Did you see “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”? Did you read it? See what I mean. Book = awesome. Movie = immature fodder for an unthinking crowd.

    • I’d be worried that the wrong people would ruin the movie. If the tone of the book didn’t translate onto the screen, that would be tragic. That’s why this process of selling the movie rights takes so long…finding my people isn’t easy. Of course, I have my dream director and screenwriter in mind, but there are lots of super talented geniuses out there. Let’s hope the Universe has my back on this one πŸ™‚
      Love that it spoke to your soul. That’s what I always hope for.

  5. Umm… what would be Sara’s hair color. I read this book back in 6th grade, so I can’t remember a lot of the little details, and so much can depend on HAIR COLOR! It is kind of ridiculous. Anyway, this would be really exciting if this became real. For the most part, all I read is Science Fiction, and you’re one of the only few authors who I read that isn’t. Sorry, that was a long comment… now I feel awkward.

    • Sara has brown hair, but the actress who’s ultimately selected will just dye her hair brown if it’s not already. So we can think outside the box on that one πŸ™‚
      P.S. Longer comments give me even more to love.

  6. *SCREAMS*
    I thought that Tobey Maguire would be perfect as Tobey too! But he’s kinda too old for him now. Sucks. I don’t have anyone in mind right now but I will definitely think about this. All I know is that the Sara and Tobey on the cover of the book would be PERFECT for the movie. I wish they’re like actors or something but I doubt it. Darn.
    So um you just basically made my already almost perfect day. πŸ™‚ What a great way to end it though by reading this! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Man, I just can’t stop smiling! I don’t think I’d be able to sleep now. I’d probably end up lying in bed, daydreaming about this. (Which is kind of weird because it’s the night and I’ll be daydreaming.)

    • Re: *SCREAMS*
      You’re so sweet! I wish we were farther along in the process so I’d have something definite to announce, but putting this out there will hopefully get the wheels turning faster.
      Yeah, those are models on the cover. Thanks for thinking about this – please let me know who you come up with.

  7. When i read this i was SO EXCITED. When i read all your books, i picture a movie going on in my head because your stories are that realistic and true to life. I think to find the perfect actors- you definitely shouldn’t be limited to just popular, famous, or known ones. I know there is the perfect tobey and sara out there- and i have faith that you will find them!
    ❀ Mia
    PS-It would be awesome if you had an opening casting call-ive always felt so connected to your girl characters and if i got the chance to just audition for one of them- my life would be made forever!!!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Mia πŸ˜€
      I wish authors had more control over casting. We can make suggestions, but that’s about it. But who knows what the casting procedure will be like…hopefully it won’t be crazy long until we find out!

  8. BrainStorm!
    As far as Sara goes, I’m totally ready to play her. Sara is me, only fictional. Seeing as how this most likely won’t happen, I think Chord Overstreet or Matt Barr would make a good Toby. If you even need me to read, give me a call πŸ™‚

  9. I second Shailene Woodley for Sara. I think she’d have to change some of her look/style up but would ultimately be awesome.

  10. Hmm… after seeing “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” I really like Emma Roberts. She has a wide range of emotion and I think that she could pull off playing Sara.

  11. Hmmm, this is kind of hard!
    For some reason, when ever I think of Tobey, I think of Logan Lerman. I think he is everything Tobey is. Dark hair, gorgeous blue eyes, and he can definitely pull of the battle of the bands look. Here’s a pic:
    And then there’s always Cory Monteith who plays Finn on Glee.
    For me, it’s harder to pick someone to play Sara. I always have trouble picturing the right person for the girl lead! I came up with Daveigh Chase. She’s very similar to what I picture when I think of Sara. Here’s a pic:
    I know she played Samara in The Ring, but she’s so pretty now it doesn’t even look like her!
    Think either of these are good choices?

  12. so excited for When It Happens to be a movie! Some really good ideas for Sara were already given but for Tobey i think Cody Linley would be PERFECT. he played the teen heart throb in Hannah Montana and he has this really cute and shy look about him that would be sooo beyond perfect for Tobey! he should definitely be considered!

    I absolutely LOOOVVVEE this book! this is my all time favorite book and to see it be a movie I can not be happier!! πŸ˜€ I went over the top and picked like the whole cast yeah I’m that excited!
    Tobey: Chris Massoglia or Logan Lerman
    Sara: Janee Renee Smith
    Laila: Alexis Bledel (laila and her character rory from Gilmore girls are sooo alike)
    Maggie: Hayden Panettiere or Chelsea Staub
    Mike: Drew Roy (scared he looks a lot like a bad boy but i guess he could pass as mike :))
    Josh:Nicolas Braun
    Dave: Zac Efron (he is gorge! and could pass for a jerk)
    Cynthia: Ashley Benson
    Caitlin:Leighton Meester
    Mr. Hornby: Matthew Moorison (It feels so right lol)
    Mr.Slater: Eric Lange
    and last but not least Ms.Everman:Susan Colasanti (sound familiar? lol Stephanie Meyer did it with Twilight, S.E Hinton with the Outsiders why not you?!)
    Hope you like! πŸ˜€

    • Re: THIS IS SOOO COOL! πŸ˜€
      Dude, this is AMAZING! You = incredible.
      Zac Efron would be the perfect Dave. And several people have suggested Logan Lerman. Love your other suggestions, too – Leighton! Hayden! Even Matthew is an excellent choice. Too bad movies usually don’t have that many celebs because it would rule. I couldn’t find any images for Janee, though – what was she in?
      I loved how S.E. Hinton played that nurse in The Outsiders. I’m more than ready for my own cameo πŸ˜‰

  14. Can’t Wait!
    This would be so awesome! For Tobey i picture maybe Munro Chambers. He plays Eli on Degrassi but he’s a very talented actor and i can see him playing Tobey. For Sara i think either Annasophia Robb or Dakota Fanning. They’re both awesome and can play the high school girl well.

  15. For Sara, I have pictured someone like Kelsey Sanders – she looks exactly like what I pictured Sara to be to me or maybe Samantha Cope or possibly Katharine McPhee and Steven R. McQueen for Toby.

  16. I’m a little late…
    Okay this was forever ago, but I’m just now finding all this movie stuff out! I’M STOKED! I so hope this movie gets made! I’m an actress so I get how sometimes things with film just don’t work out, but good stories get made. That’s all there is to it. Anyway I have no clue about Sara. Just preferably someone talented. Too many actresses that are working these days just aren’t, which is really upsetting. But for Tobey, I always saw a specific guy in my head when I was reading the book, but I had never seen him in real life, but then one day I was flipping through channels and Degrassi was on and boom, I saw him. His name is Landon Liboiron, and I just know that he has been on Degrassi, but I don’t watch it so I don’t know who he plays. But good lord, those eyes…
    Anyway, sorry for this short story/comment I have just written like 5 months late. I just had to voice my opinion. πŸ™‚ Good luck with the movie stuff and I really do hope this gets made!


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