Do You Have Angst?: September 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wearing Hats

I was recently asked in a Twitter PM what I do for a living.  "Um, I live off the success of my first self-published novel Angst.  You believe that, right?"  Well, no, not really.  I would love nothing more than to spend all of my time writing Angst books and other stories (I have a few ideas), but the family needs to eat, and wear clothes, and sleep under a roof, so I work too.  I've always felt…uncomfortable discussing this on Twitter or this blog.

My wife has said this is something to admire, working a 40-50 hour a week job, being a husband, father, and friend, and writing books too.  I guess for me it's a separation of worlds.  I want to be thought of as a writer.  Well…I am a writer.  I guess it's better stated that I want people to think of me being such an amazing writer that I can live off my writing and nothing else.  This isn't true, I wear many hats and do my best to keep them from blowing off my head.

I posted these pictures of the actor Karl Urban tonight, portraying him in three completely non-related roles. Well, other than the fact that all the movies are for geeks like me ;)  Vaako in Chronicles of Riddick = Eomer in Lord of the Rings = Dr. McCoy in Star Trek 2009. I'm usually quick to pick these things up, but when I read on Dark Horizons that he was going to play Vaako once again in a 3rd Riddick, I had to check out IMDb.  Wow.  That's what I call versatile.  I always thought comedians, like Robin Williams became the most versatile actors.  This is another exception to that rule.

It got me to thinking about the different roles I play.  I draw from a lot of sources in my life to write.  People that I like, people I don't like, events I experience, all feed into my stories.  That slapping scene with Ivan (you know what I'm talking about if you've read Angst) was written after a very, very bad day at work.  I really wanted to do that to someone, and wrote it instead.  Actually, I wrote it without even knowing that scene would make it into the book.  I'm glad it did because I really felt it shows that Angst is not perfectly heroic.

In spite of what I may tell you, I'm not perfect either.  I'm not a wealthy individual, writing in secluded house with a cliff-side view of the ocean, pondering life's mysteries…yet.  I'm everyman, working, fretting, scrambling, and trying my damnedest to find the hat that fits best at any given moment.  And since that feeds into so much of what I do, rather than hiding it, maybe I should embrace it.  Maybe.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Casting Call for Angst the movie... sort of

Much to my dismay, George Lucas did not call me last night with his exciting new plans to make Angst a movie.  Alas, I see it is left to me to post some ideas of who they could hire when they finally do decide to make Angst into a film (*cough* series *cough*).  This way Mr. Lucas will have a place to go for inspiration while surfing my blog. o_O

Lest you think this is a complete ego trip, this little exercise actually stemmed from fun with friends.  And it was more than a little challenging.  I'll admit to thinking about how Hollywood would translate Angst into a movie, but I didn't think about which actors could play the characters.  Thought friends have made some great suggestions, not everyone agrees.  Many who have read the book have mentioned it would make a fun movie...did you have anyone in mind for the characters?

Alan Tudyk has great timing and can also be charming.

A friend recommended Matt Damon, who is certainly versatile enough.  He even looked the part in The Informant.

Dusty Craine and my wife both suggested Jack Black.  I always love it when comedians take on serious roles.  Though Angst is not always serious, he certainly can be.  (Along these lines 20 years ago Robin Williams would have been perfect.)

Holly, my inspiration for Rose, recommended Ellen Page from Juno and X-Men 3.  She certainly looks the part, and who am I to argue?

Princess Victoria:
My friend Allie is certain that Victoria is based on her, and I'm not a brave enough man to disagree.  I've always had Taylor Swift in mind when envisioning her.  (If you question whether or not she can act, check out her Saturday Night Live skits ... works for me.)

A military guy who is a fighter, a teacher, and more than a little cocky.  Jason Statham is my first pick, especially because I love it when a fun action hero who is always cast as the lead is thrown in as supporting cast (think Steven Seagal in Executive Decision).

Liev Schreiber did a great job of going 'feral' as Sabertooth in Wolverine.  He can definitely play 'military' as well.

There is only one guy who I have in mind, and that's Michael Clarke Duncan.  The man is a beast, and for anyone who plays MMOs you know he'd make a great 'tank'.  He's got the size, and looks like he has a great sense of humor.  (He is smiling in most of the pictures I see on the internets)  Tarness needs both.

This part requires someone intelligent, incredibly book smart but at the same time the character doesn't always think outside of the box.  Ed Norton can definitely do intelligent.

I really think that Alexander Siddig could play Dallow very well.  He's definitely the right size, and his time on Star Trek Deep Space Nine shows his comfort with being smart, and at times funny.

He's powerful, arrogant, and gets his ass kicked all over the place.  While I think Alexander Skarsgard would be ideal, my (drooly) wife would disagree.  So, my first choice is Adrian Pasdar from Heroes.  Everything about the character 'Nathan Petrelli' convinces me he would be a great choice.

A friend recommended John Travolta, who can no doubt do a great 'bad guy'.

Hmmm...I struggled with this one.  It's tough to find an overweight middle-age acress in Hollywood these days (huh).  And while my wife is perfect, of course, Heather tends to be not perfect.  (I'll leave it at that so I don't have to spend the next week on the couch.)  Her choice, and I think it's a good one, is Miracle Laurie from Dollhouse.

I also think Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, V) could do this.  Even in this picture she really has the 'wife look' down.

He's a stoic, nose to the grindstone, stick to the rules (mostly) supporting character.  Neal McDonough always comes across as very sincere in the movies I've seen him in.

Bruce Greenwood (recently Captain Pike in Star Trek) could easily do this. ...and he's the perfect age.

Queen Isabelle:
People hate the Queen.  She is a control freak who doesn't seem to like anyone and then covers that in pagentry.  Jane Lynch from Glee would do an amazing job at this.  She may not look the part, but she could definitely play it.

Alice Krige, the Borg Queen from Star Trek First Contact could easily be an almost-evil queen that everyone tends to dislike.

In spite of being in a limited number of chapters, he's a big character.  Liam Neeson was my too-obvious choice for this part.

I know that Patrick Stewart could, no doubt, do this very well.  His presence would easily fill the role.

Young (sort of), cute, and badgering to the point of annoyance.  She has been cheated of a normal life, and is very needy because of that.  Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) would do a great job in this role.

Kristin Kreuk from Smallville could also do this.

Think smarmy, over the top, and given more power than he should.  After seeing Simon Pegg as Scotty in Star Trek, I'm convinced he would have loads of fun in this role.

Lambert Wilson from the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies would also do an amazing job of being more than a little sleazy.

There are a lot of characters in Angst, and even though Graloon is a 'minor' character, I feel as though he plays an important enough role throughout the books to garner attention.  Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond may just be the right person for this part.

It would be easy to go on with ancillary characters, but I can't make it that easy for the casting director.  Now it's your turn.  Who have I mis-cast?  Who have I missed?  Did you think of anyone that could fill the role?  I'd love to know.  Please leave a comment with your thoughts below.