When I write characters (main characters at least), I like to visualize their appearance in my head. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to imagine an actor that looks like them. And then you just write for them. Not for them as in, “Tom Cruise would probably want to say or do this or that,” but use the image of them in your head to describe their look or mannerisms.
Unlike some novels, I have quite a few characters in my book. I have five major characters and a rather large contingent of supporting characters. Here are the ones I put up on my storyboard when I was writing PROVECTUS: Survival of the Fittest.
David Mariani – Our Hero
David is a mild-mannered pediatrician who is handsome, but doesn’t know it. When I first started thinking about my main character, I was infatuated with the TV show Grimm. Immediately, David Giuntoli, the actor who plays the main character Nick Burkhardt just rang true for me as my own David. He’s so handsome, but seems so unassuming. I mean, just look at that face! Those eyes? What’s not to love? But he can also be intimidating when he has to be.
Image from https://www.imdb.com
Randall Thomas Stainer – The Villain
Randall Thomas Stainer is a “crusader” bad guy. The scariest thing about him is that he really believes what he’s doing is right. When I first imagined him, the image of Max Zorin from the Bond movie “View to a Kill” came to mind. Seriously creepy-looking bad guy, right?
Of course Christopher Walken (much as I love him) isn’t the right age for this role anymore.
In the absence of a working time machine, two of my favorite “bad guy” actors would do quite fabulously, I think. Let me know in the comments which one you’d choose and I’ll let them know they’ve got the job. (Ha ha! Wouldn’t that be fun?)
Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch? (Images from https://www.imdb.com)
Kate Evans – More Than Just a Love Interest
Kate Evans is a very special woman. Not only is she David’s love interest, she’s something even more important to the story. But you’ll just have to read the book to find out just how important she is. The woman I had in mind from the very start is one of my favorite actresses from Smallville and Beauty and the Beast, Kristin Kreuk.
What a gorgeous woman. Who wouldn’t fall in love with her? Especially when you find out that she’s . . . well, again, you’ll just have to read the book.
Jemimah Jackson – Kick-Ass Leading Lady
Once again, the person who inspired this character is not quite the right age to play the character, but I’ll bet she could pull it off anyway. This is Bonang Matheba.
They broke the mold when they made this beauty.
Marcus Greene – Best Friend
Marcus is another key player in this story. He is the best friend. The comedy relief. The man who steals Jem’s heart. Which is no small task, let me tell you. She fights the attraction as long as she can.
Marcus exudes confidence, charisma and sex appeal. His personality is larger than life. To me, THIS man is Marcus.
This is Michael B. Jordan.
Molly Evans – Kate’s 10-Year-Old Daughter
Molly is Kate’s 10-year old daughter. Mackenzie Foy is all grown up now, but her eyes are what really captured me. She exudes “old soul.”
In this photo, she’s actually a bit younger than 10, but I still saw it in her.
Image from https://www.imdb.com
Vukas/Damir – The Muscle
Vukas and Damir are twins from Croatia. They’re dangerous men with dangerous jobs.
For this role, I pictured Goran Visnjic as Vukas. He could, of course, play both rolls, but it would be more fun to have some other actor to play off of. They have some pretty heart-wrenching scenes together. Might be weird if Goran is playing both parts.
Liana – Also the Muscle! (But with Girl Parts)
Oh boy did I have fun writing Liana!
Maybe Gina Carano isn’t Italian, but she looks it and more importantly, she could kick your ass in a dark alley if you cross her.
Image from totaldamage.blog.hu
Garret – The Brains
Garret is a smart, sweet man. And they couldn’t pull off the mission without him. He’s also British.
At least David Oyelowo really is British and he gets to play one in the movie too. (Unlike my two villain choices who would be playing an American).
Benjamin – The Guardian
I never found a good actor to imagine when writing this important character. But Dennis Haysbert conveys the general idea. Intelligent, kind, strong.
I’d just need him to be a bit more “confident military man” and less, “Mr. Nice Guy.”
This picture makes him look like he has half of a Mickey Mouse ears on, but it’s the closest I could find to my character’s look.
Julian – The “Professor”
You may not even remember this character. He has a relatively small part in my novel. You’ll find him for the first time on page 206 (don’t jump ahead though!).
I know it’s odd to have a face in mind for such a minor character, but Patrick Bauchau really was the inspiration for this guy, ever since I saw him in The Pretender. He even has the right the soft-spoken accent.
Interestingly, he was in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill with my original villain choice, Zorin!
So there you have it. Read the book, then let me know who you’d pick for these characters.