It seems certain that everyone’s favourite odd-couple, Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman, are set to get a silver screen outing. In case you didn’t know The Rosie Project by Australian writer Graeme Simsion, the story of a genetics professor named Don who uses his scientific expertise to attempt to find a wife, has been one of the most talked about and read books of 2014 and 2015. The book has become so popular that it’s created a sequel, The Rosie Effect, a twitter account for Don, and now also a film is in the works. It’s hardly surprising considering, in infancy, The Rosie Project was a screenplay that Graeme Simsion wrote.
I’m pleased that Graeme Simsion might finally get to see his creation in the way he’d originally intended it. Hopefully, the story in its intended format will avoid some of the deficiencies that the novel form has created for it. For my part, there’s one sure-fire way to improve the chances of a wonderful film and that is: cast Jennifer Lawrence as Don.
In July 2015 it was announced that Jennifer Lawrence had signed on to the Rosie film and the announcement sent the Internet worldwide into a frenzy. I got into a frenzy too because, honestly, it’s Jennifer Lawrence and who wouldn’t? However, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that Jennifer would play Rosie. Not that Jennifer wouldn’t do it wonderfully but just because, well, I could come up with some better reasons for her to play Don, that’s all. And so, without further ado, here are my ten reasons why Don Tillman should be played by Ms Jennifer Lawrence.
Reason Number One. She’s quirky.
The obvious one. The quirk factor. In the novel Don is a little on the quirky side of things. He has a Standardised Meal System with “eight major advantages”, is never early or late but exactly on time because “Habitual earliness is cumulatively a major waste of time” and Don has an amazing capacity for logic and knowledge which, whilst not a quirky attribute in and of itself, leads to quirky happenstance.
Jennifer Lawrence is the epitome of celebrity quirk. She’s the only woman in the Hollywood limelight that admits it’s hard to walk in heels and a long dress. She trips and laughs it off. She ghosts celebrities and has stalked John Stamos. It’s a quirky thing.
Reason Number Two. The Rosie Project is predictable, let’s shake it up.
This one will cause some mouth-foaming. It has to be said. The Rosie Project is a little predictable. The story is a love story and it’s got Rosie’s name in the title and is narrated by Don. Anyone reading, no matter with how much suspension of disbelief, has got to pick that Rosie and Don end up together. If you didn’t pick that then, congratulations, you get to experience the unrivalled miracle of the sun coming up each morning.
Let’s swap things up. Let’s shake the predictability. Let’s make Jennifer Lawrence play Don.
Reason Number Three. Jennifer wanted to be a doctor.
Here’s a fun fact, Jennifer Lawrence wanted to be a doctor when she was a child. And, she had the grades to do it. Jennifer was a straight A student in high-school (and didn’t attend drama classes, in case you might be wondering). She had a Grade Point Average of 3.9. That’s out of 4.0. Yes. That’s 97.5 percent perfect which is almost exactly like the 100 percent perfect she is now.
Jennifer Lawrence would have made a great doctor or professor. Wouldn’t you like to peek into that alternate reality? Let’s start by letting her be Professor Don Tillman.
Reason Number Four. Let’s have a woman as the academic.
In the book, Rosie is studying a science degree but it’s never really expounded on. (You need to read The Rosie Effect if you want that.) However, Don approaches every aspect of his life from a critical, science-based viewpoint. After the Tim Hunt debacle about “girl” scientists making trouble in labs, and the general unease around Richard Dawkins these days, let’s have more female representation in the sciences. And let’s start with Jennifer Lawrence playing Professor Don Tillman. Let’s have a woman as the academic.
Reason Number Five. Jennifer has mad combat skills.
In The Rosie Project Don gets to let loose with some mighty cool aikido skills to subdue a few ruffians. Well guess what? Jennifer’s already worked on several films that involve athletic prowess. The big ones are The Hunger Games franchise but we also have X-Men and Jennifer has been known to study up the physical side of her acting game. It’s kind of gross but she once learned how to skin a squirrel for The Winter Bone.
Who wouldn’t want to see Jennifer Lawrence kicking ass and taking names? Although, in actual fact, aikido is a martial art form designed exclusively for defence. How thoughtful of Don.
Reason Number Six. Australia is… where?
Australia, the Great Down Under. Our beautiful nation, which some people choose to believe is actually at the top of the world, is admittedly a heck of a long way from places. Especially Santa Monica where Jennifer currently lives (you really don’t need to labour how I know this, okay? Thanks!) It’s a sixteen hour flight from California to Melbourne and are we really going to make Jennifer come all this way to play second fiddle? Let me explain. It’s called The Rosie Project but it really should be called The Don Tillman Project because it’s told entirely from Don’s point of view and he gets to do the cool aikido (See reason number five) as well as the cocktail making and the bicycling and the general clumsiness of being highly intelligent but socially ambivalent. It’s Don’s story, and quite rightly, so any film is going to be Don’s film. And whomsoever plays Rosie will also be playing second fiddle. Do we really want Jennifer Lawrence to come all this way to be second? No. Didn’t think so.
Reason Number Seven. Bradley Cooper could co-star.
Okay, I know Bradley Cooper could co-star anyway but, really, let’s think about this. Bradley and Jennifer have worked together in three films already – Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Serena – and they’ve quickly become one of Hollywood’s dynamic duos onscreen. So if we can imagine Jennifer as Don Tillman then who else could we get to play Gene, the womanising throwback to 1970’s sexism? The answer: Bradley Cooper.
Reason Number Eight. To play an iconoclast we need, you got it, another iconoclast.
Don isn’t your typical rom-com male. He’s no Mr Darcy. In fact we could argue that there hasn’t really been a romantic hero like Don ever. He’s an iconoclast in the world of romantic comedy fiction just as Jennifer Lawrence is an iconoclast in our Western conception of Hollywood celebrity. Don creates a questionnaire to screen for a wife, Jennifer does shots before awards ceremonies. See? It’s a natural fit.
Reason Number Nine. The Rosie Effect.
If Jennifer Lawrence played Rosie then she’d probably have to play Rosie in the sequel to The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect. Imagine it now. Jennifer Lawrence spending an entire film getting bigger round the middle while her part gets smaller and smaller. If The Rosie Project should be called The Don Tillman Project, then the sequel should be called The Don Tillman And Friends Effect. If you haven’t read it, well, Rosie doesn’t really come off looking too great.
Reason Number Ten. Watch and see.
Lastly, and maybe least-ly as well, this. If any other reasons on this list didn’t captivate you and didn’t make you say, “I wonder how Jennifer Lawrence would have played Don” then this last reason should convince you. Because, honest to God, this is the woman that I am talking about. This is who we’re dealing with. This amazing actor and wonderful woman gave the world this. The least we can do in return is give her the part of Professor Don Tillman.
(That burn mark in the kitchen… Thank God for Jennifer Lawrence.)