First things first: paperbacks for Rich Man’s War and Natural Consequences are now available through Amazon! I apologize for the wait on NatCon — to be completely honest, I got very focused on putting RMW together and so that project languished despite my having a printed proof to work with for a good long while. At any rate, if anyone’s looking for, oh, holiday gifts or whatnot, I’ve got four books to offer… 🙂
On to sillier business!
I wanted to let the “casting call” question hang for a bit to see if I’d get any bites on it, and I got a few. I’ll confess that I did this in part because I wanted to hear some ideas, and I found a few in the comments that I found intriguing.
This question kicked my ass for two reasons: First, I just plain don’t watch all that much television or film. I’m very often That Guy Who Hasn’t Seen That Thing (OMG!), and often I’m still not interested no matter how many people tell me I totally have to watch/see/read this. If the dust jacket or the preview or the Netflix descriptor doesn’t interest me, I can be very hard to motivate. The second, perhaps more interesting reason that this question was tough for me is that a great many of my characters are drawn from people I know. Rachel and Wade from Good Intentions, Gunny Janeka, Cpl. Brent Collins and a great many others from Poor Man’s Fight–these are all based heavily on people I know or have known in the past, and that’s part of how I bring them to life.
But I’m gonna go ahead and try to come up with more recognizable options for this.
Also, for what it’s worth, we have to remember that actors get older, but we don’t necessarily remember that because we think of work they did ten or twenty years ago. A lot of the characters in both my series are pretty young people, making them tough to cast. Hell, it’s even tougher when you consider the longevity treatments that keep people younger longer in PMF/RMW; remember, Andrea is supposed to be in her early sixties, but she only looks twenty-five or so.
So here goes:
Poor Man’s Fight / Rich Man’s War
Tanner Malone — Argh. That’s a problem right out of the gate for me. My gut answer is “go for an unknown, maybe Latino, maybe Caucasian.” The role would require a serious tan; Tanner is literally tanner than most of the people around him. But my first choice would be a young Shane Taylor, who played Eugene “Doc” Roe in Band of Brothers. Beat up, demoralized, almost empty inside but still moving and still feeling…if I can get that performance into my books at any point, I’ll have won at writing.
Someone suggested Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the new Star Trek films) for Jason from Good Intentions, and I honestly think it might be interesting to get him a good tan, buzz down that hair and see how he’d do.
He’s not named for the tan, btw; that’s just a happy accident. Tanner is named for a Harry Chapin song I heard years ago called Mr. Tanner. It’s about a man whose talents don’t match his passions. And I can more or less promise you that I’ll never write anything as sad as a Harry Chapin song, but the name stuck with me!
Casey — Wow, so the James Spader suggestions really surprised me. I haven’t seen his more recent stuff, though. It’s certainly an interesting thought. From the beginning, though, I always envisioned Casey as a blend of Ian McShane as Al Swearengen (NSFW!!) from Deadwood and Michael Wincott’s Top Dollar in The Crow. (Also NSFW, really) Either one would make me really happy.
Lauren Williams — Uma Thurman. Versatile actress who can convey confident experience and is clearly comfortable with a stabby role.
Also, at least one of the pirate ensemble would have to be played by Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. Because why wouldn’t he? Hell, he could just be there as himself. He’s Lemmy. Needs no other explanation.
Darren Mills — James Franco. Heh.
Gunny Janeka — My first thought is Angela Bassett, because her performance as Tina Turner really blew me away. However, the suggestion of Jada Pinkett Smith also works pretty solidly for me.
Chief Everett — A somewhat younger Bruce Greenwood (Capt. Pike in the new Star Trek films) would kick ass in this role, but to be honest, he’s one of the best parts of those films. He may just kick ass at everything.
Admiral Yeoh — She’s straight-up named for Michelle Yeoh. That one was set in stone in my head the moment I started writing her.
Allison — Eliza Dushku, maybe? This one’s still somewhat open for me because I see someone I knew years ago.
Andrea Bennett — Eva Green. Done.
President Aguirre — Mark Consuelos, maybe aged up a bit. (btw, if you have Amazon Prime and you’re not watching Alpha House, you’re missing out. It’s amazingly funny.)
Vanessa Rios — Rosario Dawson or Michelle Rodriguez.
Einstein — Um. Honestly, I’m at a loss on this one. Damn.
Alicia Wong — I wince while I write this, but I really think of Rinko Kikuchi. That bothers me a little bit because Rinko is Japanese, while “Wong” is a pretty clearly Chinese name, and I don’t want to sound like I don’t know the difference…but if you saw Pacific Rim and didn’t absolutely fall in love with Rinko, I feel you may need to take your soul in for a diagnostic. Hell, maybe Alicia has some blended Chinese & Japanese ancestry. Who knows? It’s never been spelled out… 🙂
Sanjay — Inspired by Sanjay Seran, vocalist for Delhi 2 Dublin — an amazing band to see live. I kinda doubt the guy does any acting, but that’s who I see in my head.
Booker — Oh, man, can we get Anthony Mackie? I thought everyone in Captain America 2 was amazeballs, but Mackie just stole scene after scene that I thought had already been stolen by somebody else.
Lt. Kelly — Here’s where my West Wing fanboy comes out (you’ll see plenty of it). I’d want Allison Smith in her earliest days as Mallory (Leo McGarry’s daughter). I haven’t seen any of True Blood, but I liked the suggestion of Deborah Ann Woll, too. She’s definitely got the look.
Harris — Brian Bloom (Pike from the ridiculously fun A-Team film)
Jesse (Jessica) Baldwin — I like the Ellen Page suggestion, but I also think of Kat Dennings.
Good Intentions / Natural Consequences
Again, we run into the youth thing here. Also, this is a much racier story. I have no clue if any of these actors & actresses would want in on such roles. But, to my thinking, It’s Not Porn. It’s HBO. (NSFW language and goddamn hilarious.)
Alex Carlisle — As with Tanner, I’d be happy to go with a young unknown. Otherwise…if we could get a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I think we’d be set.
Lorelei — Changed in my head so many times while writing those books I can’t even articulate it. One minute she was Sophia Loren, the next minute she was Morena Baccarin. But in the end, the voice that came through strongest for me and kept selling it over and over again was Claudia Black. I also think that Polly Walker (Atia from HBO’s Rome) would knock this out of the park.
Rachel — Another one that is basically someone I know. However…Emily Procter, who played Ainsley Hayes on the West Wing could totally have fit this role. My other thought would be: get Taylor Swift and have her do her Kesha impression. Done.
Drew Jones — Dulé Hill. Done. (My West Wing fanboyness coming out again.)
Wade Reinhardt — Again, I already know him, but you don’t. My girlfriend recently got watching Supernatural, which I’d (amazingly) never watched despite the things I write. Having seen some of that over her shoulder, I think Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) would be great in that role if we could, y’know, roll back the clock about fifteen years on him.
Jason Cohen — I’m kinda back to the Anton Yelchin suggestion here.
Taylor — Summer Glau.
Onyx — Kat Dennings.
Molly — Natalie Dormer (as suggested). I don’t watch GoT, but I’ve seen the pics, and I remember her brief moment in Captain America. She’d be great.
Vincent — Kevin McKidd (If I’m not mistaken, he’s already played one angel…)
I think that’s all I can handle of this for now. At any rate, Book Three for Tanner’s story is in the works! I’m only recently through with the prologue & pushing on through Chapter One, but I wanted people to know that I’m not wasting a whole lot of time there.
Talk to you again soon!