cliveWe’re talking casting here again at the AAR blog.

Lynn wrote earlier this week about how she never, ever visualizes actors as characters in a novel she’s reading.  Truth is I rarely do either.

But sometimes something just clicks and the pairing of an actor with a character feels totally right.

The list of favorite characters that I haven’t cast is far (far, far, far) longer than the characters I have.

In fact, I’ve really only cast three.

Clive Owen as Derek Craven:

I’ve loved Derek Craven since he first crossed my path w-a-a-a-a-y back in 1994 when Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas was first published.  Back then, as is typical with me, I never pictured him as having a particular face.

Then I saw Clive Owen.  I forget what film – maybe Croupier – first introduced me to his wonders, but by the time Gosford Park was released in 2001, I knew he was Derek.  Just knew it.

His craggy features verge on roughness, but he is still undeniably, divinely handsome.  Add in that Derek Craven scar and he’s absolutely perfect for the role.

peterPeter Horton as Blue Reynard:

If you’ve got a fondness for the Beta hero, let me introduce you to Blue Reynard of Ruth Winds’ In the Midnight Rain.

Still mourning the death of his young wife, Blue is a beautiful, blond, and damaged.  He is also fond of getting pleasantly drunk of a sultry Southern evening and posting on Web sites dedicated to the Blues music he loves.  And, to add to his attractions, he is incredibly nurturing of the ancient Siamese cat who belonged to his lost love – and, hello, Straight Cat Guys are a slam dunk with me.

My mental casting of Peter Horton is unusual – from the moment I read Blue’s description, the actor came to mind and I pictured him as I read the book.

He’s absolutely perfect.

heathHeath Ledger as Young Jamie Fraser:

Sometimes when I mentally cast a character it’s all about the attitude.  Or a feature.  The first time I saw Heath Ledger smile in 10 Things I Hate About You I thought of Jamie.  The attitude was just absolutely right.

I’ll certainly concede that the coloring was wrong and Ledger wasn’t out sized in the way that Jamie is, but, man, he had the attitude – and the cheekiness – down.

Liam Neeson is how I picture Jamie now.  But in Outlander?  It’s Heath all the way for me.

Interestingly, in a first for me I’ve now back-ended the actors from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series into my reading.  I am so pleased with the casting of Alan Ball’s True Blood that they now slip effortlessly into my mind as I’m reading the books.  Anna Paquin is perfect as Sookie, Stephen Moyer is even more handsome than I pictured Bill (and it totally works), and Sam Trammell is beyond perfect as sweet Sam. And Eric?  There are no words for Alexander Skarsgard’s perfection – the looks, the attitude are dead on.

So, how about you? Who have you mentally cast to play your favorite characters?

– Sandy AAR