Thursday, March 4, 2010

Naughty Casting Couch

by Cara McKenna

I read a long time ago that J.K. Rowling had a wish-list cast in mind before the Harry Potter books were made into movies—including Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith as Snape and McGonagall, respectively. I thought, what a lucky bitch, getting to see her story cast!

I think many of us fiction writers fantasize about such an opportunity, so this week I invited my fellow Naughty Author Chicks to talk about their man-candy muses and fantasy cast members. Actors, celebrities, animé legends…these are examples of the men (and women) we have in our heads as the physical models for our characters. Some are straight-up muses—that person who sparks a new idea for a character. Some are actors in the movies playing in our heads when we write. Some are the people we'd short-list to portray our characters, should a movie magically be optioned for our books.

Compiling these was an absolute blast, and I was shocked that we didn't have any repeats! It's quite a mix. I'll start with myself. Here are a few of the faces who haunt my brain when I write:



1) Julian Barrett, one-half of the surreal British comedy double-act, the Mighty Boosh. It's probably this man's fault I even started writing novels to begin with. He's got the face (if not the body or dress sense) of the hero of my very first manuscript, a yet-to-be published single-title romance. 2) Ken Leung, a.k.a. Miles from Lost. According to the movie inside my head, he plays Pike, the long-suffering, grumpy medic from my current work-in-progress. 3) Jakob Dylan, son of Bob and Wallflowers frontman. This picture is the exact image of my WIP's too-handsome-to-trust Glaswegian sociopath, Ian Kilpatrick. 4) Christian Marc, the Parisian hairstylist from most seasons of America's Next Top Model [guilty pleasure alert] with a penchant for jaunty hats. He's not the spitting image of Gabriel, Shivaree's anti-hero, but he definitely sowed a seed.

Clearly, I like brunet men with dark squinchy eyes who can't operate a razor. Preferably ones wearing silly hats.

Next is Stephanie Adkins. She stuck to one hunky muse:



Can you see why? Here's what Stephanie said: "I definitely have a character that was inspired by one of my favorite actors—Gary Dourdan. I used to love watching him on CSI: Las Vegas, and when I wrote Resisting Kane, he was the hero in my mind that I brought to life in Terence Kane. I even printed out a picture of Gary and taped it to my monitor while I typed for inspiration. Terence is a cop in my story, and he's stubborn, just like my heroine, Madison Carey. They went to high school together and they never got along. In Resisting Kane, they're reunited fifteen years later, and boy oh boy are there ever fireworks."

Now on to Michelle Polaris and her A-list celebrity stable.



"In Bound Odyssey, my futuristic BDSM ménage, three character images fell into my lap. One of my heroes, Roman Nash, a sophisticated hillbilly sexual switch (love the contradictions) was immediately captured for me by the image of 1) Matthew McConnahey. He has sparkling bad-boy blue eyes. Jace Argo, my second hero, needed to be dark and brooding. Although 2) Hugh Jackman is too good-natured in real life, his scowling character in Wolverine made me think he'd be perfect for Jace. The images above are the ones that captured the pictures in my head. Mira, the heroine, I pictured as 3) Charisma Carpenter, who if you look on the web has so many looks to her it spun my head. But again I took the one that fit for me. It was tons of fun finding the right matches.

"My current WIP, The Magician's Chains, involves an otherworldly magician. His name in the MS is Savin Rosca. 4) Kyle Schmid, the actor who played Henry Fitzroy on the short-lived Tanya Huff-inspired television show Blood Ties."

Next up is Jina Bacarr, who's got a cast for the movie she plays in her head when she writes:



"When I created Shintaro, the samurai lord for my Harlequin Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai, I remembered the fascinating samurai 1) Katsumoto in the film [played by actor Ken Watanabe], The Last Samurai, and decided to paste his picture alongside the 2, 3) animé photos representing my two other lead characters, Katie O'Roarke (Lady Carlton) and Akira, a younger samurai. The Blonde Samurai is the story of an Irish-American heiress who marries an abusive English lord and falls in love with the handsome samurai, Shintaro, in 1873 Japan. Since my story is an erotic romance with an m/f/m relationship—Lady Carlton, Shintaro and his squire, Akira—I discovered that by having these characters pasted on my Vision Board to look at while I wrote their story, it helped me establish their loving and sensual relationship in an evocative and titillating manner."

Last but so not least, Dalton Diaz came through and offered up the man we all somehow failed to! He's not an actor, but how could anybody resist casting this man?



Dalton supplied the portrait, but I couldn't resist adding the bod shot. Dalton said: "My visual inspiration for Jordan Fox in Illegal Moves is David Beckham, and I distinctly remember [co-author] Samantha Cayto wholeheartedly agreeing with me. In fact, I tore out this exact image that I found in Men's Health magazine. Yes, I have a subscription. You know, research and all that!"

So those are some of the unsuspecting innocents we're itching to lure onto our naughty casting couch. Thanks for sharing, ladies! Now, how about you? Any other writers out there with a fantasy star roster? How about readers who've assigned a famous face to beloved characters from their favorite books? Tell us about it!

19 comments:

Laurann Dohner said...

I wrote my upcoming Burning up Flint book (cyborg) from a picture of fantasy art I saw on the internet. LOL. I saw it and BOOM! The story just hit me like a brick and I had to write it. Vin Diesel could inspire me to write. LOL! I watched Pitch Black and that voice!!! LOL.

Great post!

Stephanie Adkins said...

Oh my word, look at all these inspiring pictures. I must start typing somemore. *wink* Great post, Cara!

Cara McKenna said...

Do you have a link to that art by any chance, Laurann? You've got my curiosity piqued...

Sherri Browning Erwin said...

LOL, I love America's Next Top Model. Not something I admit regularly. :)

I like to imagine who would play Rochester and Jane in a screen version of Jane Slayre. I think Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, or Joaquin Phoenix would be Rochester. I like Carrie Mulligan for Jane. But the must have for me is Bradley Cooper as St. John Rivers. Fun topic! You've all made some great choices.

Cara McKenna said...

Sherri, I'll keep your dirty little Top Model secret if you'll keep mine. Shhhh… [conspiratorial side-to-side eye shifting]

Michelle Polaris said...

Beckham, sigh! He's going to be one of my heroes soon. Although I usually go for brunette's, I think he's my ideal in body type and sexiness overall. I wish I could force him to fit as one of my two heroes in my next project, but he just won't. Although I'm sure he's very flexible (grin).

Cara McKenna said...

And with that, I think you've got the title for your next book, Michelle:

Forcing Beckham

Charlotte Stein aka The Mighty Viper said...

I regularly don't admit to watching ANTM. But God I love it.

And my fantasy casting couch go-to guy: Zachary Quinto. I tell him he's going to have a lot of nude scenes. He looks nervous.

Cara McKenna said...

[Charlotte pats casting couch cushions in an unnerving manner]

"Sit down, Zachary, sit down. So tell me—what are you and those gorgeous eyebrows willing to do to get this part? This is a very…artistic project. How do you feel about nude scenes?"

Savannah Stuart said...

Yuuummmm, Hugh Jackman. I often picture his face when reading or writing about certain characters, lol. Ooh, and Mark Wahlberg...and Vin Diesel....What were we talking about again?? ;)

Dalton Diaz said...

Michelle, it's so funny that you would say that! The description of Jordan was Sam C's doing, and she prefers blonds, I prefer brunettes. I didn't know what I was going to do until I saw that pic of Beckham. Um, yeah, that'll do! Still does. I think I just drooled.

Wynter Daniels said...

I love the idea of keeping a picture by the computer of the leading man. Great for inspiration!

Jeff Reid said...

Aww, ladies, you HAVE to try Storycasting.com, the premier "fantasy casting" website. We'll put your books on, and the actors you want, just to let you do this. Cast with your free Author Account, and invite your fans to cast as well. Plus, get a plain account and do it anonymously, too - nobody else has to know who you are, who you cast, or what gets you feeling REALLY naughty...

Cara McKenna said...

Thank you, Jeff. I'll forgive your semi-spammy comment, because that actually sounds like fun. Thanks for passing it along!

Naima Simone said...

Be-jeezuz what a hot casting couch! They are all gorgeous!! *much panting going on here* Great post Cara!!

My muses for my current WIP were Brandon Lee and Aliyah--don't ask why my muses were dead people, I don't know. But the characters are a lead guitarist in a rock band and a female bodyguard. I had the pictures in my head and on a plotting board before I started the ms.

And umm Laurann...keep your mitts off Vin!! Me, you and Savannah are going to end up in a girl-fight over him. Lawd Ha Murcy! That's man's voice!!! Whew!

Jeff Reid said...

We're gonna put ALL of you on, and we started with Cara. So, here's a link for all three of Cara's works at Storycasting: http://bit.ly/cxkyKw Be thinking about who YOU see in "the movie in your mind"... ;-)

Cara McKenna said...

Ladies, please—give poor Vin some space.

Naima, the Brandon Lee casting totally flashed me back to my broody high school days! It's like I was suddenly back in my Docs and army jacket. Now where did I put all my old Nine Inch Nails albums…?

Jina Bacarr said...

Thank you, Cara, for including my Blonde Samurai cast! You did an amazing job coordinating all this, including arranging the photos. I'm loving this!

Cara McKenna said...

No problem, Jina—it was my pleasure. Thanks to everyone who contributed for the post!

HA! Anti-spam word: horni

It's going to be a good day.