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).