It’s time to meet the characters! As well as explaining who they are, I’m giving pictures of actors who could play them.
A caveat: this is a little different from my other book fancastings for The Next Together and The Last Beginning, because I tried really hard not describe Romy’s appearance in any real detail in the book. I thought that looks would be almost entirely irrelevant to a girl living alone, away from society – and I wanted to allow the reader to feel as much like they were Romy themselves without excluding anyone by describing her in a specific way.
Because of that, this is less how I personally picture her and the other characters, and more an example of how I’d like a future film to potentially be cast. But please imagine the characters in any way you wish while reading the book – in this case, it really is up to you.
Commander Romy Silvers – Alia Shawkat
Romy has a lot of pressure placed on her to complete her mission, and even though she sometimes struggles with the responsibility, ultimately, she always does what is right. She has to be played by someone who can express a lot of subtle nuance in their expressions, and look very vulnerable.
Commander J Shoreditch – ?
Romy and J communicate via email, so she doesn’t know what he looks like, and neither does the reader – so I don’t think it’s fair to cast him just yet.
Dr Molly Simmons – Hattie Morahan
Molly is Romy’s therapist, and sends her voice messages guiding her through calming exercises from Earth. I loved Hattie in Sense & Sensibility and I think she would portray a very reassuring Molly. (Also, I’ve just realised she looks very like my agent Claire, who is a calming, reassuring voice on the phone in my own life. This is probably not a coincidence.)
Dr Talia Silvers – Lesley Sharp
Romy’s mum is a complicated, intelligent character, and I think Lesley could really pull her off. I love the episode of Doctor Who she was in, Midnight.
Romy’s Dad – Ricky Whittle
I recently watched (and adored) American Gods, and as soon as I saw Shadow I was like “that’s him! that’s Romy’s dad!”. He’s a soft, gentle giant, who makes Romy feel safe and protected. He has a sweet tooth and loves arts and crafts. Ricky is still a little young, but in a few years he’ll be exactly the right age, I think. Pay attention, Hollywood. 😉
Jayden Ness – Alfie Enoch
Not technically a character, but Jayden Ness, a selkie in Romy’s favourite TV show, is such a big part of the book that I had to cast him! He’s also how Romy pictures J for a lot of the time while they’re talking, so even though I’m not going to cast J, this helps picture him a little.
Lyra Loch – Georgia King
Jayden’s love interest is a feisty feminist banshee called Lyra.
There’s a few other characters in the book, but I don’t want to spoil them by introducing them just yet! I don’t have actors cast for any of them except one, who I picture as Chris Pine. In a few months I might do a more complete list of all the characters.
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
Their only communication is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…
“Gripping psychological thriller with a very relatable heroine” ~ The Bookseller
“Black Mirror-esque. A fantastic slow-build drama.” ~ SFX
The Loneliest Girl In The Universe is the third novel by Lauren James. It is a psychological thriller set in space and will be published by Walker Books in the UK and Australia on 7th September 2017, and Harperteen in July 2018. You can add it on Goodreads or subscribe to my mailing list for updates.
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