Fall­ing for an­gels

> Author Lau­ren Kate shares her joy at be­ing able to have a hand in bring­ing her pop­u­lar novel Fallen to the big screen


AUTHOR Lau­ren Kate’s young adult para­nor­mal fan­tasy ro­mance Fallen had been adapted into a film, which is now show­ing in cine­mas.

Hav­ing sold close to 10 mil­lion copies world­wide in over 30 coun­tries and trans­lated into more than 30 lan­guages, Fallen, re­leased in 2009, also made it to the New York best­seller list, with more than 80 cover edi­tions.

It be­came the first in a se­ries of four nov­els. Its se­quels – Tor­ment, Pas­sion and Rap­ture – helped to seal Kate’s rep­u­ta­tion as an author to watch.

The film adap­ta­tion is di­rected by Scott Hicks, and stars Ad­di­son Tim­lin as Lucinda Price, a girl with a dark past; Jeremy Irvine as Daniel Grig­ori, a fallen an­gel who refuses to side with ei­ther Heaven or Hell; and Har­ri­son Gil­bert­son as Cameron Briel, a fallen an­gel who sided with Lu­cifer.

While some au­thors would promptly re­ject book-to-film adap­ta­tions for fear that the film would not re­main faith­ful to their orig­i­nal idea, Kate was par­tic­u­larly ec­static and open to the of­fer.

Dur­ing a re­cent phone in­ter­view, Kate ( above) said: “The most con­vinc­ing as­pect of the movie is that Scott un­der­stood the essence of the story from the very be­gin­ning …

“He wrote up a long doc­u­ment with all of his ideas for the en­tire se­ries, and it matches so com­pletely with my vi­sion of the se­ries … it was like con­nect­ing with some­body who un­der­stood in­stantly how to bring this to life in a new way.”

The 35-year-old author also had a hand in the film, as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer – which in a way, as­sures her fans that the film adap­ta­tion will not dis­ap­point.

“I was able to bring a lot of feed­back di­rectly from my read­ers to the movie and say: ‘This is what peo­ple are con­nect­ing [with]’, ‘this is what peo­ple are hop­ing to see’, ‘these are im­por­tant scenes’, ‘these are es­sen­tial char­ac­ters’, and I think we re­ally got the script into a good shape be­cause of that,” she said.

Al­though the plot of the film closely fol­lows the orig­i­nal sto­ry­line, Kate said a few changes were made to cer­tain scenes, but this does not per­turb her be­cause she feels the “essence of the book is in­cor­po­rated in the film”.

She also as­sured that “peo­ple who en­joyed the books [will] find ev­ery­thing [they] want in the movie”.

“There are scenes here and there that [have been] changed, added or taken away, and that has never re­ally both­ered me, even as a movie goer.

“In this case, as the author of the se­ries, I think there is a com­mit­ment to char­ac­ter dy­nam­ics, and the chem­istry be­tween them is the most im­por­tant to me, [and] I think all of that is there.”

De­spite spec­u­la­tion that Fallen may soon turn into the next Twi­light Saga, Kate be­lieves that the movie is able to stand out on its own “with a dif­fer­ent de­gree of au­then­tic­ity”, be­cause of her in­depth re­search on an­gelol­ogy and the­ol­ogy which forms a strong foun­da­tion for the story.

In fact, Kate said that reli­gion and mythol­ogy plays a large role in her life, and her books are just “ex­cit­ing means” for her to ex­plore her in­ter­est.

She said that al­though she feels her char­ac­ters are com­pelling on their own, she wouldn’t have “spent six books writ­ing about them if the story didn’t have a larger kind of cos­mic struc­ture be­hind it”.

When it comes to the cast for the film, Kate said she is ex­tremely im­pressed with Tim­lin in the role of Lucinda, a char­ac­ter that she had strug­gled to write for the se­ries.

“Lucinda was the hard­est char­ac­ter I ever wrote [and] I think it means the char­ac­ter is real and alive.

“And I’m very proud of the cast, par­tic­u­larly [Tim­lin], she re­ally grasped the strength and vul­ner­a­bil­ity that are al­ways at war within Lucinda’s char­ac­ter, and she por­trays that so pow­er­fully.”

The chem­istry be­tween the cast mem­bers was also im­por­tant to her.

She said: “Lucinda [is] a very dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter with Daniel than she does with Cam, and to be able to por­tray two dif­fer­ent kinds of ro­man­tic ten­sion that are re­ally spe­cific [which] I was very wor­ried about how it would show up on screen … and I think all three cast mem­bers did a great job high­light­ing that.”

Now that Fallen is on the big screen, things do not end there, at least not for Kate.

She re­vealed that she is cur­rently work­ing on a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel that caters to an older au­di­ence than her usual young read­ers, as well as on an up­com­ing tele­vi­sion show based on her other book se­ries, Teardrop.

Bring­ing the pop­u­lar Fallen novel to life are (far left) Ad­di­son, with Gil­bert­son (left); and Irvine (right).

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