Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who do you see when you read?

I've finally finished reading Stephen King's Under The Dome. Since I don't want to give away the plot or the outcome, I'll try to watch what I say here.

How many of you try to imagine certain actors and actresses playing the characters in the novels you read? I'm assuming Hollywood will decide to make an Under The Dome movie at some point, so as I was reading this hefty novel, my mind tried to conjure up the appropriate actors.

The lead hero is Dale Barbara, thirty-something. Even though he's been working as a short order cook, he's an ex-military guy. So who would fit the bill here? Russell Crowe, Bruce Willis, too old. I can think of a bunch of actors who are in their forties or fifties. Need a younger guy. Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Leo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco?

And then there's the newspaper editor, Julia Shumway. I think she's supposed to be a bit older than Dale Barbara. Need a tough cookie for her. I kept picturing someone like Sigourney Weaver but she's about 60. Maybe Kyra Sedgwick, who is about 43 or so? Hmm, I'll have to think about this one.

It's kinda fun to speculate on who will play these parts. Even if you don't try to picture an actor or actress as you're reading a novel, chances are you still have an image in your mind.

I think it's really funny when Hollywood casts the "wrong" actor or actress for a part. As I read The Horse Whisperer, I pictured a thirty or forty-something, dark-haired, rugged sort of guy as Tom, the lead character. Instead we got Robert Redford in the movie role. He was in his sixties when that movie came out. And then there was The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington playing Lincoln Rhyme, who is not supposed to be black. I definitely had a different image in my mind for this guy.

Sometimes Hollywood gets it right. Ian McKellen was perfect as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. So was Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. In fact, I think director Peter Jackson got all of the actors right. I also thought Jodie Foster nailed the character of Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. Hmm. Maybe she could play Julia Shumway in Under The Dome?

So what do you think about this? Do you imagine certain actors playing the characters in the novels you read?


  1. I don't think I've ever done that. :-)

    I try and imagine them as the author describes them, and if that doesn't work then I approximate.


  2. I'm not very visual so I don't ever even think about who might play a character. BUT, if I've read a book then someone makes a movie, I can tell when the actor doesn't match a character. I don't think ahead about it, yet I guess I still have a formed image in my head, if that makes sense?? LOL

  3. Not regularly, but it does happen. And so get what you mean about being disappointed in who actually does get roles. Sometimes you wonder what the casing directors were thinking.

  4. This is something I posted back in February 2008!