WEIRDLAND: Rachel Cohn on "Nick and Norah"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rachel Cohn on "Nick and Norah"

Rachel Cohn on Nick and Norah: The following are questions answered in her myspace blog:

Q: How did you feel when you were told that they were turning N&N into a movie?Is the plot changing a lot? Who the hell is Lethario on IMDB? Can we know some of the songs on the soundtrack? I know Bishop Allen and Project Jenny/Project Jan.
A: ECSTATIC! But I didn't really believe it, until the first day we visited a shoot on Ludlow Street (see: David's awesome "On Ludlow" lyrics on pg. 113 of N&N) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and we saw all the trucks, trailers, seemingly gazillion production crew running around coordinating Yugos and vans and taxis and actors, and freaking lights being brought down from a CRANE. Then, I started to go, WHOA, this is actually happening!
Also, meeting supernice Superbad star Michael Cera, and seeing him in the "Salvatore" jacket, in a Yugo, also made clear this dream was real!

The plot is essentially the same as the book (two broken-hearted, straight edge bridge-and-tunnel teens meet at a punk show in Manhattan, and fall in and out of love throughout that same night wandering the city), but the main difference is probably that Nick and Norah's friends have bigger, broader and very, very funny stories in the movie, and the places Nick & Norah go change somewhat (although they did film a scene at the restaurant Veselka – same as the book! – and guess who got two extras sitting at a table behind Michael Cera and Kat Dennings? David and me!)
"Lethario" is not someone from the book. He's in the music club scene that opens the movie, and he becomes part of the group's adventures throughout the night. He's played by the very cool Jonathan B. Wright, one of the stars of one of my personal favorite shows on Broadway, Spring Awakening. (insert fangirl *squee*) I don't know about the soundtrack! I do know it's something all the filmmakers care very much about, so I'm betting it's going to be just as good as all the amazing people working on it.

Q: What will the Nick & Norah movie be rated? Do we know?
A: They're aiming for PG-13. Which seems hard to believe if you remember the language (and certain, ahem, scenes in the book), but I do think the filmmakers have very creatively and subversively figured out how to get that rating without sacrificing the spirit of the book. And I say this as the person who maybe most wanted all those F-bombs to stay in the movie. But they've made it work! No f*!$ing kidding!

Q: Why Kat Dennings?
A: Having met her and watched her film scenes as Norah, I can only answer back with another
Q: How could Norah be played by anyone but Kat Dennings?
I seriously, honestly, truly couldn't be happier that she was cast as Norah. If anything, her only "flaw" is that she's too beautiful! I imagined the Norah in the book to be not so glamorous looking, but hey, this is the movie version we're talking about. And the coolest thing about Kat is that even if she doesn't look exactly the way we imagined Norah in the book, I am telling you for sure for sure that in personality, she is PERFECT. She's got exactly the right attitude, humor and vulnerability. I couldn't love her more as movie Norah. And I feel that way about all the cast; while not all of them looked the way I pictured them in the book, in personality, they were all so well-chosen, but also, each actor made the characters their own. The movie is the movie and the book is the book...and I think each character/actor does and should stand independently on their own in each separate version.

Songs Mentioned in "Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist"

Q: Are you planning on using all or most of the music from Nick and Norah's Playlist in the movie?
A: I'm pretty sure some of David's great Nick song lyrics make it into the movie. And just a reminder that I have playlists for Nick & Norah and Naomi & Ely posted on iTunes. To find them, go to the iTunes Music Store, choose the Music section, then go to the "iMix" link on the side, and type in my name, David's name, or either of the books' titles to find the playlists. Hope you enjoy them!

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