"In My Father's House" ~ Dream Cast

What-ho, all!  So, as those of you who follow me on Goodreads may be aware, I recently re-read In My Father's House (my Goodreads review is here), a historical novel by Ann Rinaldi which I discovered about a year ago.

Well, fam, that novel is within an inch of perfection, and I am just a little bit passionate about it.  (LIKE FOR REALS IT'S SO GOOD.)  Aaaaand, as I mentioned back in this post, I can envision bits and pieces of an amaaaaaaazing movie adaptation and it makes me sad that it will probably never be. :(

(Side note:  Do y'all ever feel like there are so many different things you could/should possibly do with your life?  Like, there's the whole pursuing an English degree thing but then there's also music and then of course film-making because there are so many worthy books that will probably never see the light of the silver screen if you/I don't make it happen?)

*clears throat*  Anyway . . .

So yes, I have a bit of a dream movie/cast thing in the brain.  And I've decided to share it with you.  Because that is, after all, what one does on one's story-themed blog.  Obviously. :-P  I'll also intersperse some favorite quotes from the book relating to each character.

Here we go!  I'm most interested to hear what y'all will think of my casting choices, especially those of you who have read the book, BUT, let me first say this:  I know that some of them might not be super accurate to the book, and I'm not rock-solid-certain on all of them.  So, y'know, bear that in mind when judging. ;D  And I don't have the whole book cast, just most of the main characters.

Also, I made the above collage quite a while ago, and here recently I've been unable to find the exact pictures I used for some of the actresses on the Internet.  This vexes me greatly, but I found some others of those particular actresses that are perfectly acceptable, too.  So, that's why some of the pictures will be different. :-P

(Apologies about any weird spacing issues.  You know how it is.)

Will McLean
Chris Evans

"'Does a person have to show you their scars before you decide not to inflict your own?'  he asked.  'What kind of  a person are you, anyway?'"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"Will McLean didn't say anything.  Just put his arm around me and let me sob it out against his waistcoat."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"His father knelt down in front of Willie.  'It'll be all right, son.  We'll be one country again.  You don't remember how it was when we were one country, Willie, but it was a good thing.  It was a fine thing.'"

I have a feeling my choices for Will and Oscie will be the most "controversial," given how central they are and what strong characters they are. :D  But I really do picture Chris Evans as Will McLean.  The only problem is, I can only imagine C.E. as McLean with a beard, like he has in the above picture (except a little fuller), and I think the book indicates that McLean is clean-shaven unless he's distraught?  But perhaps such a minor thing could be overlooked for the adaptation. ;-P

"But I know what I think.  [ . . . ]  I think Will McLean went walking in town that day to meet somebody, yes.  But it wasn't Marshall.  It was the Will McLean he wanted to be."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"'You're wrong about him, you know.'


'No.  Mister Will.  He likes you. [ . . . ]  He'd be proud to have you love him, but he won't ask it of you.'"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"He was baiting me and enjoying it.  He knew I was up to it.  And, though he wouldn't tolerate sass, he expected me to give as well as I was getting.  But something else was happening here, also.  I was asking him to let me go.  The way a girl asks her father.  And he was getting ready to release me.  The way a father does, when he knows a girl's grown.  But it wasn't any easier for him than I suspect it would have been for my own daddy.  Part of being grown up, I knew, meant I had to leave him with something.  It wasn't anything he hadn't earned.  And he was waiting for it."

Oscie Mason
Hailee Steinfeld

"'I was supposed to know better, Mary Ann.  But we started out wrong.  When you came to Yorkshire, I had so many fears.  I was still missing my daddy.  And Will McLean came along.  I didn't want him around.  But I couldn't do anything about that, so I took everything out on you.'"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"I watched him take his leave of the room, knowing he took that young girl I was back at Manassas with him."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"'I think you like him, but you won't admit it.  And I hope when you are ready to admit it, it isn't too late.'"

I cast Hailee Steinfeld mainly because I know she has the acting chops for Oscie and could really capture Oscie's grit (ha, get it?) and no-nonsense attitude, while still bringing out the "vulnerable" side to her. (Speaking of which, that's one of the things I like about Oscie: she can be hard as a rock but she's not afraid to let herself be human, to let herself be a young woman. Did anyone else get that vibe?) Then, too, Hailee does look reasonably like I imagine Oscie -- especially in the above picture (minus the heavy smoky eye makeup).

"'Sometimes I am afraid of everything, it seems.'"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"'I don't blame Button,' I said.  'Or you.'

He looked at me quickly.  And before he turned away, there was a moment of something unspoken in his eyes.  Like a question, drawing an answer from mine.  And I felt the warmth that sometimes comes between kindred spirits.  But only for a moment.  Surely not enough to make up for anything.  Yet it was enough for now."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"We stood for a while watching the flaring of the cartridges.  Then he patted my shoulder.  'You'll be right fine, Oscie.  Whatever happens with Thomas.  You've got good makings.'"

Virginia Mason McLean
Keri Russell

"I may have hated McLean on sight, but I knew he was decent and self-respecting because Mama was nobody's fool and she sure loved him."

Okay, so I know Keri Russell is a bit older than Chris Evans, but I really think she could rock the role of Virginia.  (Especially that picture up there.  Seems very like her, to me.)  She has so much poise as an actress (judging by the three or four roles in which I've seen her), and I think she'd really bring Virginia's dignity and elegance to life.  And actually, I almost don't mind the idea of Virginia being just the teensiest bit older than McLean in a movie version?  (And I practically always mind that sort of thing.)  Plus, with hair and makeup and the other Magic Touches of the film process, I'm sure any visible age gap could be easily bridged.  

"She was beautiful, my mama.  She was only thirty-four then, and she was slim as a young girl.  Her face was so fine that I felt sore in my heart every time I looked on it, a kind of bittersweet pain.  Her dark hair was lustrous, her eyes huge and luminous. [ . . . ] I wanted nothing more than to be like her."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"She held both my hands in hers and smiled wanly at me.  'My Will is capable of so much, Oscie,' she said.  'He's lost sight of what he is.  I want him to find it again.'"

Maria Mason
Chloe Grace Moretz

"'Maria is stronger than any of us realize.'"

I've only ever seen trailers of things in which Chloe Grace Moretz acts, so I don't really know much of anything about her acting abilities.  But that picture up there is exactly as I picture Maria.  Other pictures I've seen of Chloe don't look very much like Maria to me, so I'm not sure whether this would be a good choice or not.  But I feel like if the makers could capture the look of this photo for an adaptation of IMFH, she could do well as Maria.  

"And so it was that the next day Maria found something worthwhile to do.

She fell in love with a Yankee."

Edward Porter Alexander ("Alex")
Tom Hiddleston

"'I hold you in high esteem, Oscie Mason,' he said.  'And I want you to meet some nice young man in Charlottesville and forget about me.'

'I shall never forget you, Edward Porter Alexander.'

He looked quite miserable.

'I have a right to remember my first love all my life.'

'I should be shot.'"

I've pictured Alex as Tom Hiddleston for quite a while now. Perhaps it's because he seems to be such a gentleman, and gentility is such a central characteristic of Alex? Or perhaps it's because he's such a good actor in general, and he can convey inner conflict behind a reserved, collected demeanor so competently? Probably both. :-P Anyway, during this reread, I could especially envision him as Alex in the scene when Oscie and Alex meet again after the war. And I think it'd be very interesting to see him as a Confederate officer and see how he could pull off a cultured Southern drawl. :-P

Oh! And this line: "How could anyone be concerned with such ordinary pursuits as eating when someone who filled all the requirements of a god sat so nearby?" << Get it?! 'Cause Tom Hiddleston played Loki?!

. . . *ahem* Anyway.

"But I could not do that to Alex.  Because all the twaddle he stood for, which I could see so plainly now for what it was, had made me love him."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"He looked down at my hand which he still held in his own.  'You're betrothed to a soldier,' he said.  'I told you not to give your heart to a soldier, Oscie.'

'They keep hearts best,' I said.  'Or so I've found.'

He was struck speechless then."

Michah Stevens
Sam Reid

"This was not just an ordinary Yankee, I conjectured.  Yankees were ill-mannered and coarse factory boys.  Or backwoods people without any refinements.  Surely they did not have blue eyes that laughed at you and grew soft when you spoke.  Or such fine chestnut curls, or white teeth.  God had not made Yankees with no-nonsense jaws and fine straight noses and dimples in their chins.  Surely someone would have told us, if He had."

John Davinier as Michah FOR THE WIN! ;)  Sam Reid seems like the perfect fit for Michah Stevens, to me.  I think he could capture Michah's boyishness and charm (*ahem*) while also bringing out his serious side (*ahem* again).  And again, the above picture really looks like Michah to me.  (Y'all getting tired of hearing about how much I think these pictures look like these characters yet? :-P

"Willie peeked around the door frame.  'Tell me.  Our soldiers are good, aren't they?'

'I'll tell you all the stories you want, Willie, soon's your big sister stops shoving soup into my mouth.  Yes, your soldiers are good.  We have a lot of respect for them.'  He sighed.  'I think that by now,' he said wearily, 'we have a lot of respect for each other.'"

Mary Ann
Zoe Saldana

"'We've both seen a lot,' she said.  'I 'spect we're gonna see lots more.  Better if'n we're friends.  Kin help each other.'"

One of those that I'm not totally sure on -- just an idea. I think she'd do Mary Ann well, but I've only seen her in one role, so I may not be qualified to say that. :-P

"'You kin trust me.  'Bout time you learned it.'"

Miss Elvira Buttonworth ("Button")
Natalie Press

"'How long are you going to be with us?'

'Some days it will seem like forever,' she told me.  'And then one day you'll wake up and our time together will be finished.  And we'll both cry.  So, I don't know about you, but I'd like to make the best of this arrangement.  What do you say?'"

I recently saw Natalie Press in Suffragette -- very good movie, by the way -- and I feel like I've seen her somewhere else, too, but regardless, I think she'd make a good Button.  She looks like Button to me, and from what I saw of her in Suffragette, I think she'd also do well acting-wise.  

" . . . There was something regal about her.  She carried herself like she was wearing pink moire.  And that powderless complexion glowed.  Watching her, it came to me that she must have some Yankee strength that didn't need frippery."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"Button didn't hold much with politics.  She did hold with greatness."

Thomas Tibbs
Sam Claflin

"There was the difference between him and Alex.  Tom knew we were lost, too, but he was taking part for the honest adventure of it.  I'd just as lief be around that kind of person when the losing came, as anybody.  Because, like Will McLean, he had no illusions about the South.  He'd be able to face whatever came next.  And as for giving the Yankees something to remember, why something told me that Thomas Tibbs could give as good as he could get."

Not sold on this casting; it's just one that comes to mind. I've only seen Sam Claflin in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean (and I LOVE him in that, but that's mainly because I love the character and the romance <3). I think he could make a very nice Thomas, but I'd be open to other suggestions, as well. :)

"He had to put down the sacks of sugar and coffee then.  Because, though he could hold off a mob at the depot with no trouble, even he couldn't kiss a girl with his arms full of contraband."

Whew!  I think that's it!  (I saw "Whew" because this took me a completely unreasonable amount of time to finish.)  Let the comment wars discussions begin. ;)

So now you tell me!  
What do you think of my choices?
Have you read In My Father's House?
Who would you cast?


  1. Oi! Girl you are amazing! Chris Evans? Hailee Steinfield? Keri Russell? Chloe Grace Moretz? TOM HIDDLESTON!!!! ZOE SALDENA!?!?!?! Sam Reid and Sam Claflin. Not so sure about Sam Claflin, I think of someone more like, ummmm, well looks wise, like Max Irons. Oh man, now I really want to see this!! Yes, this is one of my favorite books. I adore it!

    "A sense of humor is the only thing that keeps and intelligent man from hanging himself."
    "We're allowed to make brassbound jackasses of ourselves at least three times in our lives. It's written in that Constitution we're trying to overthrow." (Might not be word for word accurate) Those are two of my favorite quotes.

    1. Awwww! Thanks so much, Bailey! Yeah, I'm not too sure about Sam Claflin either. Oh, Max Irons could work! He doesn't quiiiiite look like Thomas to me, but that's just me. Maybe Henry Cavill could work . . . hmm . . . Aaaaahhh, same!!!

      I love that "brassbound jack---" quote, too! I can imagine it really well in my mental trailer idea. :) But since I'm kind of like "ehhh no" about the word itself, I decided not to include it in this post, heh. :-P

  2. Hailee Steinfeld as Oscie Mason?

    *slams fist on desk*

    SIGN. ME. UP.

    She'd be absolutely perfect!!!! You're right, Oscie's a really complex personality--fierce and soft by turns--but Hailee could handle it all with style. I'd love to see her dish out Smoldering Looks and Withering Sarcasm and Emotional Speeches . . . ahhhh, this is going to be so much fun :D

    Chris Evans as Will McLean? *frowns thoughtfully* Huh. I didn't exactly see Will McLean with those specific LOOKS when I read the book, but Chris Evans is a major, major favorite of mine and I think he'd do an excellent job capturing Will's personality. They'd have to give him darker hair, though; but I think with that, it could definitely work.

    Chloe Grace Moretz. YAS.

    Tom Hiddleston is perfect for Alex. The end.

    I really love the actress you picked for Button!!! I've never seen her in anything but she looks just right.

    Also, Zoe Saldana. Winning.


    1. WOULD SHE NOT?! "Smoldering Looks and Withering Sarcasm and Emotional Speeches" << GAHH, YES. "I'm grievous hurt that you think such things of me, Mister Will." (I mean, technically that'd be younger-Oscie, but still.)

      Cool! Yeah, I was afraid Chris Evans mightn't be well-received, heehee, so I'm glad you think he could possibly do it!

      He really is, though! Like, the more you think about it, the more you realize how much Tom could ROCK so many of Alex's character traits!

      Aaahhh, I think you'd really love her. (And I feel like you might like "Suffragette", too? I could be wrong, but it's one to think about. :))

      DAWW STOP IT. (But yes.)

  3. I haven't read the book, but it seems like a great cast! :)

    1. Aww, thanks, Evangeline! I 'preciate it. :)

  4. I own that book and as with ALL my books I hope to read it soon! #goals
    I have seen Tom H and Keri Russell recently in two movies and loved them. Keri Russell is in my current fav movie The Magic of Ordinary Days. Love that movie sooo much. Have you seen it? You should!

    1. "I own that book and as with ALL my books I hope to read it soon! #goals" << Haha, me. xD

      Ahhhh, I love The Magic of Ordinary Days! It's fantastic! Isn't Ray the sweetest thing? <3

  5. Ohh, I really want to read the book now!!! :D It's on my TBR list!!!

    And this cast looks stellar, whatever it's for, haha. *heart-eye emojii*

    1. Gabby, IT'S SO GOOD. Thee must read it. :)

      Aww, thanks <3

  6. I haven't read the book either, but your casting makes me REALLY want to read the book and then watch this awesome should-be movie!

    1. D'awww, thank you, Lissa! You should definitely read it; it's wonderful! :)

  7. Okay if you decide to go into the film making business CAN WE BE PARTNERS BECAUSE I KNOW OF LIKE 5 MILLION BOOKS THAT NEED A DECENT MOVIE.

    Ahem. No, it's not that big of a deal to me, why do you ask? ;P

    Okay. It's been awhile since I read this book, so my opinions on your cast COULD be subject to change on a re-read. ;) Just thought I should mention that. Onward.




    Sorry. *cringes*

    I pictured Will with darker hair and with a mustache....that's all I can remember, though. :/

    I like the looks of Hailee Steinfeld, and if she can act the way you say, then I'm sure she'd be great as Oscie. I can't quite recall how I pictured her when I read the book, though. I think with lighter brown hair and blue eyes? Maybe? *scratches head*

    Keri Russell would be great. Plus, I really don't thinks she looks her age, at least not in that picture. She could definitely pull off playing a younger woman.

    Hmmmm. Tom Hiddleston as Alex would be....well, I'd be willing to think about it. :D

    *gasp* That's John Davinier???? *squints* I didn't recognize him at all till you said that.

    Even though I don't exactly love ALL your choices, this is still a GREAT cast list. Get busy producing this movie, because I'll be one of the first to buy a ticket. :D

    1. YES NATALIE I FEEL YOU LET'S DO IT. Seriously, why can't movie producers know about those hidden gems of books that need to be made into movies? Like Elizabeth George Speare books, for example? *ahem*

      Haha, okay, I'm prepared. ;)

      Heehee, that's okay! I'm sure we all have different impressions of McLean. :D

      Yeah, Hailee Steinfeld doesn't look IDENTICAL to my (rather) fuzzy mental book-image of Oscie, but she's pretty darn close, and I just know she'd pull off the acting SO well. So. :)

      I know, right? She somehow really doesn't look her age?? Like, how?!

      Hehe. ;D

      Yes! I know, he looks so different out of period costume. :-P

      Awwwww, THANKS, GIRL. *hugs*

  8. Aghhhhhh, you are so good at this sort of thing, Olivia!!!!


    I have NOT read this book, BUT!!! Solely based on your casting... I think it must bed REALLY good!!! I'm trying to conceptualize the relationships based on what you said. And I was REALLY shipping Chris Evans and Hailee Steinfield buuuuttt... you bursted that happy little bubble. :((


    I love the aesthetic of this whole post/cast, though??? All the skin tones and lovely pictures and backgrounds and now I just have a really pretty mental picture of this book???


    PS - Is it anything like Gone With The Wind??? I'm getting that sort of vibe...

    1. AWWW STOP IT, YOU. *blushes profusely*

      Haha, awwww, yeah, sorry to burst that bubble. :-P

      Heehee <3

      Dawwww, thanks! I'm so glad!


      P.S. Hmm, a little! It's a similar setting and has SOME similar themes (I think). But the characters aren't all terrible, narcissistic people, so . . . there's that. :-P

    2. It was a very cute bubble. *cries*

      I don't usually read nonfiction but... I need this story now. :)))

      PS - Good!! But I'm thinking it's set in the South during/right after the Civil War??? Kind of from the Rebels/slaveowners/plantation people's perspective, right??

    3. I sowwy. :( *hands you tissues*

      Oh, it's fiction, never fear! Just historical fiction, that's all. :)

      P.S. Haha, yep, that's right! Before and during and after. And yep -- some of the main characters are slaveowners/plantation people, and some of them are low-key (or not so low-key) abolitionists/Northerners. But yeah, in terms of setting, it does have sort of a GWTW vibe, you're right. :)


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