Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Casting Discussion: My [Tentative] "Cast list" for Jonas's Story

When it comes to what I write, whenever I write, as I write each scene, my mind processes it like a movie. I see my characters as if they are real people interacting with one another. I hear different voices in my head and their attitude comes through in their words.

There was an assignment I had in English class once. It was a group assignment that kind of ballooned into something I didn't really anticipate. Our assigment, mostly for fun or extra credit because I don't remember how it turned out, was to decide on which actors to cast in which roles if "The Catcher in the Rye" was ever made into a movie.
Everyone kinda knew from one way or another that Pokémon was something I knew a lot about, that I was a big fan of the show or whatever. A couple of the groups were casting for this hypothetical movie going through either sports teams or casts for TV shows like 90210 or whatever else kids were watching. I wanted to do it by picking out different actors, but everyone seemed set on the Pokémon idea.
Hmm... now I wish I could remember if the assignment turned okay or not. I don't even remember if it was for credit or extra credit.

It's kinda funny, actually. We had that assignment around the time I was either writing or just finishing writing this story and I remember details about putting together some integral moments a lot more easily than what became of English class.

I've always entertained this idea for my own story, trying to figure out which actors I'd like to cast in which roles. Chances are really good that by the time I get published (if I get published) and supposing a movie deal follows (I'm always open to the possibility of it because that would be the ultimate thrill), a lot of these actors might not be hot anymore and they'll luckily to be too old to play the parts.
I have it set in high school. Alan Ruck, who played Cameron Frye in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was 30 when he was cast in the movie. Therefore, 31 will be my cut-off point unless, by other circumstances, they can't pass for high school age.

Only in this most recent rehash have I managed to actually figure out who I'd like to cast for Mai's three cronies/gal pals/fellow cheerleaders. When I started to specify differences in looks and appearances aside from the fact they're all gorgeous, athletic and "manicured from head to toe."

The easiest of them to "cast" was Rachel because as I was writing her description, one person immediately jumped to mind, seeing as "Suckerpunch" became one of my favorite movies last year.

No sooner did I type "auburn pixie cut" did I think about the character, Rocket, played by Jena Malone.

By the by, Marcie, Bonnie and Rachel were three perfectly random girls' names. None of them were picked out for any specific reason.

Bonnie, I could only think of a platinum blonde, but any other shade of blonde would be fine. She was the least strong personality and attitude, the most likely the shyest of the three girls. She also happens to be the most talented and athletic, but very unassuming of her abilities.
Ashlee Simpson seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Marcie, of the three girls, is the most outspoken. She also happens to be the one most wonderstruck by Jonas's "mysterious" persona. I had in mind shoulder length or long dark hair, but blue eyes that have that particular awe and wonder look about them. Zooey Deschanel felt like a good choice because of the great hair and the eyes set her apart, but for all intensive purposes, she's just the archetype of what I have in mind (she's already 30). Ashley Greene, who I know as Alice Cullen from the Twilight films also fits the bill as far as her personality goes. The only thing missing are her eyes standing out, but I think I can work with that.

Naturally, the most important casting points are Jonas and Nina. My baseline requirements for Jonas are going to make for the most difficult, intensive casting call of any of the characters. He absolutely must have those pale blue eyes or else the whole persona falls apart.
Here's the predicament I'm in, though: I've found an example of the perfect eyes that Jonas must have. The only thing is that Asa Butterfield, the star of the movie "Hugo", although he is 14 ( Jonas's age, I'm aiming for 14/15, high school freshman), he looks too young to play the part just yet. I'll keep an eye on him over the next couple years (the success of "Hugo" will likely gurantee that the offers start coming in). Another tricky thing is that I haven't actually seen the movie so I don't know if he has quite the right personality to pull it off.

Nina has very baseline requirements as far as what she looks like. I have down "rich blonde hair" that's roughly shoulder-length and hazel eyes. She's unassuming at first, but she has to have a warm, welcoming personality, especially when it comes to Jonas. I'd been considering my current idea of a casting choice for a month or two and at the moment, I think it's going to stand.
Taylor Swift would be perfect for the part, so long as she has bangs and her hair is straightened. The only thing is that her personality needs to be closer to her own than to the character she played in "Valentine's Day," the ditzy cheerleader type (she was actually on the dance team in that movie, not a cheerleader), and Nina is a little more of a tomboy, which Taylor really isn't.

At the moment, I'm highly considering sending Taylor a fanletter, telling her about what I am to do with my story. Even though it might be as long as a decade away from even being considered for becoming a movie, I'd like to put the idea out there. She's such a romantic in her lyrics and has such a strong opinion about the idea of love. I doubt few other people would get this idea as much as I do.
It certainly couldn't hurt.

Mai is the last person I wanted to put some thought to casting simply because this is as far as I'd gotten in my rehashing of my story, rewriting chapters and such. Corey and Eric are still in a little need of investigation, although I did have someone picked out to play Eric a couple years back. He played Marissa's friend Johnny on "The O.C." and was only around for a season before, I believe, he killed himself (Johnny, not the guy who played him).

She's a tough call because at the time, I was into the animé "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and Mai Valentine was a strong voice in my head. This is thanks in part to the fact the character Lin in "Spirited Away" had a very similiar attitude, similiar voice (courtesy of Susan Egan, who did the voice for Megera in Disney's "Hercules") and Mai's impression of Jonas was directly influenced by Lin's attitude towards Haku, the final puzzle piece missing for my character sketch of Jonas (which has been marinating in my head for a couple months).
Just as my love for the show "New Girl" had me thinking of Zooey Deschanel for Marcie, my love for the show "2 Broke Girls" has me thinking more and more that Kat Dennings has a lot of attributes that I see in Mai. In fact, she would be perfect to play the role of the gossip queen/head cheerleader except for two things:
Mai is blonde. And I'd actually be willing to go the extra mile by having Kat Dennings with blonde hair or a wig, except for another fact.

Kat Dennings plays Max in the series, a girl who is more than a little rough around the edges with somewhat of a sick sense of humor. I love her to death, but I think that she might be a little too hardcore to play this part. Mai comes off very strong in places, but not nearly as strong as Max.
The one thing that Kat Dennings has going for her is that she is the perfect body type for Mai, lots of curves and particularly her bigger than average cup size.
I realize that in the animé, Mai Valentine being large-chested was part of an inside joke, the Japanese being pretty huge in their animation about exaggerating things like that. But somehow, that attribute stuck with me over the years.

So supposing there's someone out there that has this perfect body type for my charater, she's going to need just the right attitude. She has to be a little snobbish, believing she knows everything about everyone, but as time goes on and in times that count, she can be a generous, caring individual. Let's just say that her snobbish attitude might just be part of an act she's playing.
The other person that came to mind was Autumn Reeser, who I also knew from "The O.C." She played Taylor, who had this rich girl, stuck-up attitude in the first season she was in. I believe the storyline started at the beginning of that season. Marissa and Ryan got into trouble with his brother, Trey. I believe Trey was seducing and trying to overpower Marissa, Ryan came to the rescue and in self-defense, Marissa shot Trey (who lived). But the school board (one member was Taylor's mom) wanted to expel Ryan and Marissa from the district because of the incident. Ryan was allowed to stay, but Marissa had to mainstream into public school. Taylor was very adament about Ryan and Marissa not returning to the high school, but after a couple episodes and after Marissa dies, Taylor and Ryan start to get into a relationship.

Long story short, Taylor starts out with one attitude, but as time goes by, she becomes very sweet, which seems perfect for this part.

One of these days, I ought to take a lot of profile spots of these actors and put them together into a collage so I can display them on this site.

There are maybe a handful of characters I need to cast.
Corey, Eric and the members of their garage band
Jonas's "uncle," Peter Bronson
(Voice-over only)- the iguana/dragon Sparky
(Voice-over only) the horses/pegasuses Windy, Thunder and Rain
Raye/Raven, the descendant/reincarnation of Nightariel, the foe Jonaseriah must defeat [again] towards the end of the story.

There are several actors who I loved watching and that I would love to cast for this movie, that may/may not ever happen because it depends on it actually getting published and, you know, becoming enough of a success.

A couple of my current favorite actors or just people I loved from different movies and shows, there just isn't anything that caters to them in particular. I'm pretty much limiting myself to mostly young actors because its in a high school setting.

Emma Stone, Rachel Bilson, Emily Browning, Nina Dobrev, and Emma Watson are just a handful of names of girls I'd love to cast in some role in this movie, but what I've seen of their work, there's nothing that really reflects what I'd seen them do. Emma Stone is fantastic in what she does, especially as Olive Pendergastt in "Easy A," but nothing in my characters is a pefect fit.
The same goes with Rachel Bilson and I'd have to add Mischa Barton to the list as well. They were great in their roles in "The O.C.," but I think Rachel is a little too strong a personality for anything I have in mind.
Actually, now that I think about it, Alexis Beidel would be another candidate to play Marcie. She'd be great. I just got to thinking of her because I was going to make a comment about Blake Lively not being someone I would cast for this. Of all the sisters of the "Traveling Pants," Blake Lively played the only character I couldn't relate to at all. In fact, I really didn't like her very much. She's hot right now because of the success of "Gossip Girl."
Conversely, I love the girl who played Joan of Arcadia, who I oddly... Amber Tamblyn. She's got a great spirit and in the "Sisterhood" movies she has a great attitude, but I can't see her playing any of my characters.

There's an even greater list of guys that I am crazy about, but they aren't quite right for any of the characters.
I'm starting to think that Ricky Ullman, or someone like him, might be a good candidate for Corey. He has that easy going attitude about him that I'd seen in a couple of his roles.
Jesse McCartney, who is my favorite singer, I'd love to cast him in one of the roles, but he might be more of a ringer for Eric than Corey... and I'd hate to see him get the short end of the stick. That idea is still up in the air at the moment.
Logan Lerman, who played Percy Jackson in the film adaptation of "The Lightning Thief" might be another candidate to play Corey.

As for Eric, the two things I wrote about him was that he had red hair (something that might be a little difficult to work with) and dark blue eyes (the exact opposite of what Jonas has). In my rehashing of his character in the sequel, making him more central to the plot, I kept going back to Eric Dill, the [now former] lead singer of The Click Five... who started to become more and more of an influence of Corey and Eric's band. I'm not entirely sure that his easy-going personality would work with what I have in mind for Eric, as he is in the story I'd been working on. He becomes an antagonist, but only for a short period of time.

Adam Brody, Chris Carmack and Ben McKenzie are a little old to be playing anything in this and their presence in "The O.C." doesn't really equal anything I have in mind for my story. Yeah, I'm a huge "O.C." fan and still am 5 years after the show ended.
Chris Carmack played Luke, Marissa's boyfriend at the beginning of the series. He gave Ryan a pretty rude welcome at his first party while in Newport. He's the kind of guy who liked to fight all the time. It takes a while for Eric to be set off one way or another, but he's a bit of a flirt, a bit of a rich boy type. Supposing he was a red-head and 10 years younger, Chris Carmack might have worked out well.
And long story short, Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) is a one of a kind character that I couldn't rewrite for my own needs even if I tried.

I've named Ashley Greene from the Twi-cast, but nobody else really fits anywhere. I'd pick Nikki Reed, who played Rosalie, for Mai, but I think the blonde hair is something that wouldn't work out. I read somewhere that her hair started falling out when she was dying it, so she started wearing wigs instead of going through the hassle.
I'd have to see more of Jackson Rathbone's work before I consider him for anything at all, but he is a possibility, as far as getting a character profile. Kellen Lutz, he's a little too muscular for anything I have in mind and a little too easy-going for any of my guy roles.

In the long run, Kristen Stewart might be one of my early choices for Raye/Raven. Deep down, I think she might be capable for a helluva mean streak and this character is already pretty emo as it is, she might be just perfect enough for the part.

Peter Bronson is the only adult character I'm going to spend a large amount of time considering who'd be good to play him. He's a very understanding and accomodating individual who supports Jonas no matter what's at stake. Plus, he's very unassuming about a lot of things, which has me wondering if he knows more than he's letting on.
Keeping those adjectives in mind, Peter Gallagher might be an early choice, since he becomes that type of person to Ryan when he first arrives in Newport. Yep, "O.C." again.

There is a plethora of really talented actors out there right now, people that I'd love to consider for any role in this movie. The only thing is that nothing I'd written matches their description so well that I'd want to go through hell and high-water to make it happen.

There are at least four voiceovers that must be there to make this work. Two of them get a lot of "airtime"and the other two only have a couple of lines between them.

In his previous life before his demise, Jonaseriah used his power to allow two of the five mythical creatures the ability of human speech: the pegasus of Thunder and the dragon representing Lightning.
Later on, after Jonas gets more of a hang of his powers, Rain and Windy are able to speak as well. (Scorch, the fire dragon, doesn't get this luxury because he chose to reside in darkness with Nightariel).
Shoot, now that I think about it, Thunder and Rain's foal Cirrus has a couple lines as well.

I don't really have anyone specific for any of the creatures of yet, nor do I have any particular personalties hashed out.

Thunder and Sparky will prove to be the most difficult. All I can say is that any actor between the age of 30 and 55 would be open for consideration. Both have somewhat of an authority in their voice, but I'm not sure at the moment if either one of them has a super strong personality.
I'm thinking that Viggo Mortenson (Aargon from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) might be good for Thunder.

Cirrus, I don't have as much more than having a young boy's voice in the 2-3 lines of dialogue he has, which is probably open to anyone. I doubt I'm going to come up with the perfect voice on my own.

Rain and Windy are a little more defined. Rain is the oldest of the three. Maternal describes her, both because Cirrus is her new foal and she feels that way towards Jonas because she'd known him the longest and had seen him grow up in his self-imposed isolation. For some reason, maybe its because she'll be on tomorrow's "Ellen" and all the hoopla about her new movie "The Iron Lady," Meryl Streep is coming to mind for me.
Windy is a little bit of a flirt, as if in a past life, she was a goddess that was infatuated with Jonas (which of course doesn't really have a place in the universe I'd created). She's the youngest of the three horses. Now that I'd brought up Meryl Streep for Rain, Amy Adams might be an ideal choice. Originally, I was thinking along the lines of the girl who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.

Naturally a few actors that are hot right now include George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, but none of their voices offers anything distinct. And heck, George Clooney might be a little too high-profile for the role of Peter Bronson. I sure as heck could try, but I doubt he'd be exactly right for the part.

And regarding my current favorite actor right now, I am simply at a loss. Unless I give him something edgy like doing the voiceover for Sparky, I'm kinda out of luck.

Of course there's a part of me that has these casting choices in mind because I'm in this phase of just loving everything celebrity and Hollywood related (barring any reality stars that are just there because they look good and rich, but really don't have any talent. i.e. Karashians, Jersey Shore, etc.).
And secretly, well not so secretly now, I have in mind that supposing I get published and such a success blossoms that a movie deal comes about, I'd have to be on set to approve of a lot of things, my work being handled the right way. Ultimately that would mean having the chance to mingle with these celebrities or at least opening doors and pathways via the 4 degrees of separation to access the A-listers.

At the current moment, it is my not-so-secret ambition to get the opportunity to simply sit down with Robert Downey Jr. and just discuss movies with him.

But who I'm kidding?

I went through it in my head a number of times when I first started considering putting the faces of celebrities to my characters. Even if he was 25 years younger and much more stable as a young person, Robert simply wouldn't fit as any of my characters. Corey would be a LONG shot, but supposing I was going for the big names, I'd consider him for that role. Nah, Andrew McCarthy would be a much better fit for Corey.

I'd considered him playing the role of Peter Bronson, but I can't imagine him of all people being that easy going about all of the crazyness that is in Jonas's life.

Sometimes you gotta dream big, but I tend to be more realistic these days than I am optimistic.

But, barring all impossibilities, I'd like to have people in mind or at least appearances in mind, just in case.

Hmm... I hope this doesn't come off as me having motives. Mr. Downey said that motives are a big turn-off for him.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Jackie. I found you through Writer's Digest. It's nice to meet you. I write YA paranormal and fantasy, too. I hope you'll check out my blog sometime. I'm your newest follower.