Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Fantasy Movie Casting Game

I love this game. I can while away hour after hour giving imaginary interviews to camera about how wonderful it is to have the perfect cast for the movie of my book. Don't pretend you don't do it too.

A fan emailed me the other day about my Sophie Green books and mentioned that her perfect Luke would be Alex Pettyfer. I looked at him and thought: she's right, except for one detail: Pettyfer is 20 years old, and Luke has at least a dozen years on that (I never quite specified either his or Sophie's ages, but he's in his early thirties).
Alex Pettyfer
So I tried to reply with my ideal casting for Luke. And I still haven't come up with him yet. The best I've got is the guy from the Dunhill Pursuit magazine ad (I tore this out of the magazine and stuck it up by my computer. For, you know, inspiration). I especially love the way this guy looks as if he was immaculate about ten hours ago, but he's had rather a lot of adventures since then and could do with a shave and maybe a fresh (handmade) shirt. That's Luke all over.

Except Luke probably wouldn't wander about with a damn orange bottle in front of his face.
I've also considered Rupert Penry-Jones and Paul Bettany for the role, but I feel both of them ought to attend personal castings with me first.
Rupert Penry-Jones
Sophie? Well, I've never quite cast her either. She has a girl-next-door quality, and needs to be played by someone like Kate Winslet or Sophia Myles. I'd be heartbroken if a flat-chested girl played my Sophie. She needs those curves.

Sophia Myles
Then there are other books. Much has been mentioned by me of my enormous crush on Richard Armitage. He first came to my attention in Robin Hood as the deliciously evil but heartbreakingly vulnerable Guy of Gisborne. It didn't hurt that he strode around in black leather, scowling at people, desperately in need of a shave and a haircut. Swap the leather for a WWII army uniform and you've got Harker from the Untied Kingdom (only less inclined to brutalise innocents, of course).

Like I needed an excuse to post another Richard Armitage picture
 His heroine, Eve, is harder to pin down. I visualise her as a teenage popstar gone to seed a bit. Maybe if you took Hannah from S Club 7, added a few pounds and let her pixie crop grow out, you might be on the right track. I also thought of Miranda Raison while she was in Spooks (her earlier episodes, before she got too hard), but I've still never cast her definitively.
Miranda Raison

As for my Cat Marsters books, leaving aside the interesting question of what sort of movie would be made from an erotic romance, I have some easy casting and some impossible. Aidan from Hardest of Hearts was even named after my fantasy casting: Aidan Turner, best known for Being Human. Dark from Almost Human is Hugh Jackman, preferably in his growly X-Men guise. Bael from Mad, Bad & Dangerous started out as Colin Farrell, but God only knows who he ended up as. But as for the heroines belonging (hah!) to those heroes? I have no idea who could play Emma, Chance or Kett.
Aidan Turner. Again: as if I needed an excuse!
Weirdly, it's often the secondary characters who are very clear to me. Kett's stepmother Nuala is and always will be Reese Witherspoon. Sophie's CIA agent friend Harvey is Marc Blucas. Harker's medical officer and engineer, Daz, is Burn Gorman.

What about you? Do you play this game? Do you have any suggestions for my characters? I'll totally credit you when Hollywood comes calling.


  1. Emma Haran6:02 pm

    What about Daniel Craig as Luke? That's who I had in my mind for him when I was reading 'I, Spy?'. Just enough beef, and sarcasm, with a puppy dog eye look when needed... Oh sorry where was I? I kinda saw Angelina in a wig for Sophie but now I realise she's more Kate Winslet but younger.

  2. Ooh, Daniel Craig! Nice one. We already know he can play a suave spy...

  3. I know he's too old for you but Robert Redford in his early days would be just gorgeous as Luke.

    Sophie is quite clearly you.

    My hero Owen from Stage by Stage is Viggo. The one and only. Oh God, I'm off again...

  4. Robert Redford. Oh good lord, he was beautiful! Maybe we could do some sort of composite of The Sting, Barefoot in the Park, Butch Cassidy... oh, now I'm off...

    And I can TOTALLY see Viggo as Owen! (was just rereading the other day)

    And I'd be Sophie if my Luke was right...

  5. Wasn't he just. All TheSting-rumpled and tough and just a tiny bit vulnerable.

    Glad you like thought of Viggo-Owen as well. (I'm Beth, btw)

  6. Honestly I don't think I've ever done this! But thank you - now I have a whole new way to procrastinate!

  7. You haven't, Talli? Clearly you don't have enough free time!

    And Jan, I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes in for that kind of wish-fulfilment.

  8. Anonymous9:02 pm

    I have done this and anyone who read my blog recently would know that Gerard Butler is my James. My Sophie, would probably be someone like Anne Hathaway...

    I am liking your Harker though :)

  9. Who's David Tennant, then??

  10. David Tennant has been Finn in Duty & the Beast, and Jack in City of Lust, actually!

    And I confess Matt Smith is the hero of my next novella, being all brilliant and geeky and adorable. Bless him.

  11. Emma said exactly what was on my mind - Daniel Craig. That's exactly how I pictured Luke when I was reading.

    As for Dark - I always pictured him as a buffer, grizzlier Rob Lowe. Wow, was I off the mark. Hugh Jackman. MMmmMM. Maybe I'll blog a Hugh Jackman post, with random pictures of Hayden Christiansen, young Rob Lowe and some Eric from True Blood.

    I'm drooling. Sorry, keyboard.

  12. Who's too young, Jan? Matt Smith? Hey, he's only (counts on fingers) seven months younger than me. So he left school a year later. I can deal.

    Bethany, a younger, gruffer Rob Lowe isn't a million miles wide of the mark. I guess I just usually associate Rob Lowe with being a bit smoother; not quite feral enough for Dark. He's sophisticated like a cat is sophisticated: beautiful and elegant, but a killer nonetheless.

  13. Have you seen the trailer to 'I am number 4'? Check it @IAMROGUE.

  14. You know...I tend to play this game when trying to get started with the story. I always need a picture of my characters to write to. Right now, I have Victoria Pratt and Alcide (from True Blood)

  15. Thought you ought to know: we made a website just for this fantasy casting activity - it's called - and we've just put all 5 of your current works on it. So, go cast, and send the fans. GREAT time-waster for the book-to-movie thinkers out there. :)

  16. Bit young for me, then. And definitely too young for Dr Who.

  17. Stacia, I've got to catch up on True Blood! I watched S1 and then totally zoned on S2!

    Jeff, I'll check out your site right away!

    And Jan, I said when they cast Matt Smith that you know you're getting old when the Doctors start looking too young...

  18. Too young? There's no such thing... And I'm with Tallie, I never cast my leading men. I'd be too worried about picking one man, writing him in detail and then seeing him two weeks later sporting a full beard and a mohican - it would put me right off my storylining!

    As for my heroines - they're all me. Younger, thinner, prettier, more capable and with better hair, but otherwise identical.

  19. Hi Cat/Kate
    Hi Cat/Kate
    I've only just realised you and I both live in the UK - in fact we're probably practically neighbours!

    Sorry though, you can't have Richard Armitage - I've already signed him up for my latest WIP! *Grin* If it's a consolation though, you can be the heroine, if you don't mind dying your hair auburn! :)