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Casting Call: Suite Fran├žaise

Madeleine, a young woman living in the countryside, wants to become a nun. This ambition changes when she meets and nurses Jean-Michel back to health. We think Imogen Poots could hold her own as Madeleine alongside Michelle Williams's Lucile.

Photo by Craig McDean, Interview, June 2011.

The first family we meet in Némirovsky's novel is the bourgeois Péricand family, who decide to leave Paris for their country house in Nîmes. Philippe Péricand, the eldest son, does not come with his mother and younger siblings. A Catholic priest, Philippe stays behind and agrees to help accompany the orphan boys of the Penitent Children of the 16th Arrondissement to the countryside. Things do not go as planned. We think Brit Tom Mison would make a great Philippe Péricand.

Photo by Rich Hardcastle.

Why so many Game of Thrones actors? A fair question, and one we can only answer with: "But look how cute they all are!" Alfie Allen, with his boyish charm and oddly sympathetic demeanor, would make a great Benoît—another soldier who (semi-spoiler) becomes Madeleine's husband.

Photo courtesy of
The Times UK.

Jean-Michel Michaud, a French soldier wounded in the war, finds sanctuary in a small French hamlet. We thought about casting Christopher Abbott as our JM, but if we've learned anything from Hollywood, it is that all characters in English-language movies set in France (or Russia) have British accents. Our solution? Cast Christopher Abbott lookalike, the equally dreamy Kit Harington (aka Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) instead.

We've focused on casting the younger generation of Suite Française, but "Storm in June" begins with two families and two middle-aged men, one of whom is a famous writer with distinctive eyebrows and a mistress named Florence. We nominate British Poirot actor David Suchet to play Gabriel Corte, the pompous writer whose fame means nothing once the Germans close in on Paris.

The second child of the Péricands, Hubert, becomes one of Suite Française's major characters. Determined to fight for his country until the end, 17-year-old Hubert runs away from his family to join the failing French army. We suggest the youthful Toby Regbo for the part of Hubert.

Photo by Anthony Maule, Interview, November 2010.