Author-based theme parks were the talk of the night as the cast and filmmakers celebrated the premiere of Sony Classics’ “Austenland” on Aug. 8 at the Hemingway Lounge in Hollywood after the film unspooled at the ArcLight.
Producer Stephenie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” series, has a few favorite writers in mind. “It probably would be Austenland, but if I’d already visited I would want to go to Anne McCaffreyland,” she said. “I would want to go to Pern with the dragon books, I loved that when I was a kid.”
Director Jerusha Hess said she wasn’t sure if she’d go to a Jane Austen-themed park, “I might’ve when I was in college, but after seeing it I don’t think I would go,” Hess said. “Agatha Christieland, I might go.”
Stars Jane Seymour and Jennifer Coolidge weren’t sure they’d visit Austenland either. “In our profession I wear costumes all the time, I feel like I’m in an Austenland every time I go to work,” Seymour said. “But I can imagine for someone that doesn’t have the privilege of dressing up and going to this environment it would be a magical experience.”
“I wouldn’t want anyone to know I paid for it,” Coolidge said. “I would like for it to happen, but I would like someone else to pay for it.”
While Seymour thought Austenland would be the most romantic (“What else would be more romantic? Danielle Steel?”), Coolidge preferred a more realistic option. “Disneyland nights where the whole theme park is yours for the evening, where you can invite your friends, your charity, whatever. Where you don’t have to wait in a line (for the rides).”
As for the male stars J.J.Feild and Ricky Whittle were enthusiastic about going to such a place. “Why not, why not? As long as there are fun characters there, why not?,” Feild said.
Feild has some Austen experience having been in a “Northanger Abbey” telepic, but Whittle said, “To be honest I’ve never read one Jane Austen book. I’ve watched the films.”