I often think of who I would cast in my novel world if there were an unlimited budget. It is a delicious concept and provides for endless fun. Imagine your protagonist, antagonist and all the characters in between as current A-list actors in the movie version of your book!
Fun and fantasy in imaginary casting
For my husband and I, one of our favorite pastimes is casting. We start with looks, age, mannerisms, stature and the roles we’ve seen them play.
I’ll use Jane Mercer as an example. She’s my protagonist in both Playing Jane and Being Jane. I drew her as red-headed but blonde on occasion, fair-skinned, slender but not tall, late-twenties (in Book 1), earnest, strong, great at her job but weak when it comes to her love-hate relationship with Craig Keller. I had a tough time finding that person until I saw Bohemian Rhapsody and discovered Lucy Boynton. After poring over her photos online and watching her movement in movies and in television interviews, I felt strongly she should be Jane (although my husband still disagrees with me and feels that the real Jane has not yet emerged).
Will the real Craig please stand up?
With Craig, my antagonist in Playing Jane and Being Jane, my protagonist in For Position Only, casting hit me like a thunder bolt one day. But I was not the one who figured it out – it was my husband. We were seeing Call Me By Your Name for the first time in the theater and the intense love affair between Armie Hammer (Oliver) and Timothee Chalamet (Elio). My husband leaned into me and said – that’s Craig Keller, referring to Armie Hammer.
I had this moment of revelation, sat back in my seat and watched him in action. Sure, his features all matched up – the hair, the light eyes, the body type and height – Craig is 6’5 and has a booming voice – another element to check off on the list. Could he play a villain? Check (think The Man From U.N.C.L.E.). Could he play a passionate lover, ambitious businessman, reckless outlier, wealthy art collector? Of course!
A helping hand from Hollywood
Once you’ve identified your cast of characters with the help of Hollywood, it becomes much easier to write them in scenes and describe them. If you’re writing fiction and you haven’t tried this yet, give it a spin and create your own mood board. I think, besides being a lovely fantasy, this is a way to make your character come to life in ways you might not have thought of before.
So, go ahead and have some fun with casting! And while you’re at it, download the first two chapters of For Position Only here and tell me what you think – who do Jane, Craig, Warren and the rest remind you of?