Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Between the Lines: Michael Zadoorian's Movie

by Zinta Aistars

for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Michael Zadoorian

Michael Zadoorian

Detroit native Michael Zadoorian says earning his living as a copywriter sharpened his editorial skills and thickened his skin as a creative writer. He's the author of two novels: Second Hand and The Leisure Seeker, along with the short story collection, The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit. But did that prepare him for the phone call he got from a renowned Italian film producer?

“The Italian filmmaker Paulo Virzi is going to make his first English-language film based on my novel, The Leisure Seeker,” Zadoorian says. “And it will be starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.”

Film rights to the novel, published by William Morrow in 2009, had already been bid on several times. But Zadoorian says he learned to take it all with a grain of salt. Sparks of interest faded to nothing. This time, though, the deal was solid. Filming will begin later this year.
“It's essentially the story of an older couple in their 80's,” Zadoorian says. “They decide to escape all their doctors and their adult children, all the people who seem to be running their lives. They decide to kind of kidnap themselves and go on a last vacation together. The 'Leisure Seeker' is the name of their RV.”
Against the wishes of their frantic children, Ella (played by Mirren), who has terminal cancer, and her husband, John (Sutherland), who has Alzheimer’s disease, take off on their final cross-country journey on Route 66, heading west to California. The novel follows their adventures and misadventures. There are touching moments when the shadow of ...

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