In the late-1930s, American readers had clamored for Clark Gable to play “Rhett Butler.” Decidedly more recently, we are told Downton Abbey creator/ writer Julian Fellowes has said he had Hugh Bonneville in mind when creating “the Earl of Grantham.” There are numerous other examples out there, of course.
It’s a perpetual game, because it’s always fun to play it. While reading a book, so often we say to ourselves, “[ACTOR ‘fill in the blank‘] would be absolutely perfect to play [CHARACTER ‘fill in the blank‘] in the movie!”
A couple of my proofreaders remarked to me, half-jokingly, that they couldn’t wait to see the eventual film adaptation of my novel(s). After the laughter died down between us, they also said they thought the tale does have actual screen appeal. Anything could happen someday, right?
So in preparation, I ask this: if you find yourself in that lucky position as a writer, and you are given input into casting choices, hypothetically which would you prefer? Would you want “lesser-knowns” who came the closest (in your opinion) to capturing the essence of your characters? Or would you desire to have “established stars” fill the roles, even if those “stars” were markedly different from the characters in your book?
Probably you would gratefully settle for whichever route paid you the most money! 😉 Yet, seriously, I might be amenable to “lesser-knowns.” We all have to start somewhere, don’t we? And imagine how good it must feel looking back from years later and realizing that that now “big star” had gotten his/her “break” thanks to having appeared in the screen version of your book?
What do I think about my situation? My use of a “stock” silhouette image as a stand-in for “Valerie” in the previous post is indicative of where I am right now. As I noted last month also, I did not even want models on the cover. The “model templates” I had seen were (in my opinion), frankly, awful; and I did not want my readers associating tacky “stock photography” images with the characters I had worked so hard to bring to life on these pages. That is why I opted in the end for the “person-less” double-flag photo.
Let me state here, for the internet record, that I honestly have no idea who might best (again, in my opinion) portray any of my characters on film. It is not that I had not thought about the issue during, say, those chats with my proofreaders. Nor is it that my mind is not thinking reflexively a bit about that question right now thanks to this post. Rather it is that I had not created any of my characters with specific actors in mind….
….not even, urr, Tom Cruise. 🙂