In Like Mandarin, 14-year-old Grace Carpenter would give anything to be like Mandarin Ramey. Mandarin is seventeen, self-assured, irreverent and mysterious; the notorious wild girl of their small Wyoming town.
Sure, maybe most of the attention Mandarin got was negative. But it wasn't the kind of disdainful brainfreak attention I got, when I got any at all. Hers was lust. And jealousy. Because even as they condemned her, every single girl wanted to be her.
But nobody more than me.
I want to be beautiful like you, I thought, as if Mandarin were listening.
I want apricot skin and Pocahontas hair and eyes the color of tea. I want to be confident and detached and effortlessly sensual, and if promiscuity is part of the package, I will gladly follow your lead. All I know is I'm so tired of being inside my body.
I would give anything to be like Mandarin.
Grace's fascination with Mandarin borders on obsession. When they're paired together for a project, their explosive friendship rocks Grace's world – which makes Mandarin's betrayal even more devastating.
When Kirsten asked us to consider who our Mandarins were growing up, it didn't take long to come up with an answer. In fact, I'm sure most all of you could guess mine as well.
Laura Roecker's Mandarin Ramey = Lisa Roecker
Shocking, right? Let me explain...
Lisa exuded confidence. Even from an early age. I mean, look how she rocked those overalls. No one can rock overalls. Easter hat? Yes, please. We even had the same haircut and played with the same toys. Granted, I'm sure our parents thought it was cute, but I was a pretty happy camper.