Monday, May 18, 2009

Actors in Roles

Some writers cast real actors in the roles of their characters. They do this with as much care as the casting directors on big Hollywood production teams. They take into consideration the look of the actor, and the mannerisms, and whatever else it is that inspires them about the actor and makes their characters come better to life.

I don't do that.


I've wondered about that. I still do.

The thing is, while I can appreciate an actor's skill, and while, when I was a teenager, I used to do all the heart-thumping swooning of your average fan-girl over some actors, it was ever only a phase. It didn't take me long to realize that I was more interested in the fantasy I built than in either the real person or in the legend created by movie studios.

Today, if I particularly enjoy watching an actor, it's an actor in a specific role.


Because I enjoy the complete fantasy. The look of the character and the personality of the character as portrayed by the actor with his peculiar mannerisms -- even better if he's good enough to develop specific mannerisms for a given character.

Oh yeah, I'm talking male actors. Hey, it's my fantasy, isn't it?

What would I do if I met the actor in person? Would I be impressed? Awed? Fan-girl dumbstruck?

Probably not the latter. I hope I outgrew that awkward stage. But impressed and awed? Possibly. I don't have any acting skills, and I'd want to know all about what it takes to get into a character's mind and project a non-me onto a screen (or stage) like that.

So would I enjoy a romantic dinner with Hugh Jackman?

Yes, but probably not the way you imagine it. I'd want to quizz him about his craft.


Did you still have illusions that writers are not strange?