After learning that Lifetime was planning on adapting V.C. Andrews' book Flowers in the Attic, we were left to wonder who would play the lead roles of Chris and Cathy, the two older siblings among a foursome of kids locked away in the attic of a mansion while their mother attempts to regain her inheritance. Today comes word that Kiernan Shipka, better known to Mad Men fans as Sally Draper, has nabbed the role of Cathy, while Mason Dye will play older brother (and potential love interest?) Chris.
Deadline reported the casting news today, and while the site doesn't specify the characters by name, they do say the two actors will play the oldest boy and girl among the four children sent to live in the attic, so we're jumping to the natural conclusion, assuming the characters' names aren't changed. Shipka and Dye join previously cast Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn. Graham will play Corrine, mother to Cathy and Chris, as well as the twins Cory and Carrie. Burstyn will play Corrine's mother and the kids' judgmental grandmother, Olivia a.k.a. The Grandmother.
As mentioned, Flowers in the Attic centers on four kids who have to live in the attic (and upstairs bedroom) of a huge old mansion while their recently widowed mother attempts to get back into her wealthy, dying father's good graces, in the hopes of regaining her inheritance. He can't know she has kids, which is why they're hidden away upstairs. What should only take a couple of days at most, ends up spanning more than three years as the kids wait impatiently for their mother to let them out. Beyond the abuse of depriving four growing kids of sunlight and social lives, the kids are physically and emotionally abused. And as Chris and Cathy are trudging through adolescence, while serving as stand-in parents to the twins, their sibling relationship gets a bit murky as the two eventually develop the wrong kinds of feelings for each other.
Looking at the two faces in the photos above, I'm feeling more optimistic than ever that this adaptation could work - at least, hopefully better than the 80s movie did. Going on literal face-value alone, I can picture these two as Chris and Cathy. Mason Dye (Secret Diary of an American Cheerleader) has those bright eyes and smile that make it easy to see him as the optimistic Chris, who believes his mother will eventually deliver on her promise to let them out. In the book, Chris' dream is to become a doctor, and he's set up as a nearly perfect character, patient and kind. Cathy, on the other hand, is no marysue. As the protagonist and narrator of Andrews' novel, she becomes doubtful of her mother much earlier on in the story than her brother and often wears her emotions on her sleeve. In a nutshell, she's the one with the attitude, and with that in mind, I have no trouble picturing Shipka tackling that side of the character. As for the dancer side - Cathy dreams of being a ballerina, and spends hours each day dancing in the attic - we'll have to wait and see, assuming that aspect of Cathy's character remains intact for the adaptation.
In terms of main characters, that just leaves Cory and Carrie, unless they're planning on building up any of the other characters (or adding any). And I wouldn't be surprised if the younger siblings were cast by lesser known young actors.
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Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.