Sunday, December 28, 2014

John Oller's "American Queen," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague--Civil War "Belle of the North" and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal by John Oller.

The entry begins:
Kate Chase, the beautiful, charismatic daughter of Abraham Lincoln’s treasury secretary, Salmon P. Chase, was the undisputed “Belle of Washington” during the Civil War. A brilliant conversationalist, shrewd political strategist, and “People Magazine” personality a century before People was first published, her goal was to make her widowed father president of the United States and herself his first lady. To that end she set up a rival salon “court” against Mary Lincoln and married one of the richest men in America, the “boy governor” of Rhode Island, in the social event of the Civil War. A fashion plate eagerly followed by readers of the society pages, she adorned herself in the most regal Parisian gowns. But when William Sprague turned out to be less of a prince as a husband, and an economic depression ended his fortune, she found comfort in the arms of a powerful married senator, New York’s Roscoe Conkling. The ensuing sex scandal ended her virtual royalty; she became a social outcast and died in poverty, yet in her final years found both greater authenticity and an inner peace that had always eluded her.

My biography, American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague—Civil War ‘Belle of the North’ and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal, may be riper for a television mini-series (shades of Downton Abbey) than a feature length film. Either way, here are my casting choices for the four main, real-life characters, and some other ideas:

Kate Chase -- The most obvious candidates here would be Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale or Keira Knightley. And I would be thrilled with any of them. But for the “Scarlett O’Hara of the North,” I would do what David O. Selznick did in casting the lead in Gone with the Wind:--go for someone relatively unknown. And so my vote here goes to...[read on]
Visit John Oller's website.

My Book, The Movie: American Queen.

--Marshal Zeringue