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Author says actresses are a perfect fit



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Many writers might feel stressed about letting Hollywood get its mangling mitts on one of their best sellers and turn it into a movie.

But not author Jennifer Weiner, 35, one of the most popular purveyors of the genre known as chick lit whose latest release is a mystery, Goodnight Nobody. She knew that In Her Shoes would be in good hands.

"I trusted the producers and, God knows, I trusted Curtis Hanson," she says.

"I tried not to be one of those neurotic novelists who can't let go."

When it came to casting her trio of main characters -- two polar-opposite sisters and the Florida-based grandmother they think is dead -- Weiner says she is "beyond happy."

"Cameron Diaz is a great choice for Maggie. She's a smart, sexy, kooky, mixed-up girl who has this sweetness about her."

As for Rose, the overweight lawyer who lives life under the glare of fluorescent office lights, "I loved Toni Collette ever since Muriel's Wedding," Weiner says. "She is a great actress and has great heart."

Weiner figured that the casting of retirement community dweller Ella would prove to be most troublesome. Turns out, it was a breeze.

Hiring Shirley MacLaine "was a dream come true," she says.

"Most excited was my Nanna, who turns 90 in November and was an extra in the senior dance scene. She doesn't know from Cameron Diaz. She kept calling her Carmen. And she thought Toni Collette was a man. But when she saw Shirley, she was over the moon. She kept saying, 'Oh, those legs!'"

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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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