Jerry Haven has arrived
When I began writing murder mystery plays, I had the massive advantage of writing for a cast of actors whom I had worked with for several years. I knew their voice patterns, what they looked like and just as importantly, what they were capable of portraying on stage. For me, that was an incredible luxury.
When it came to my novel, I knew that I would find it easier to write if I had an idea of what my characters looked like, what they sounded like, how they moved and so on. I'm a visual person - that is my main way of perceiving the world - and as such I 'see' my stories, either as plays on a stage or as films on a big screen. I decided that alongside my storyline, character list and chapter plan, I would also put together a cast.
Each character in my novel is based loosely around the thought of a particular actor playing the role of Hartley or Isabelle or some other person from my created world. Note I don't say the characters are based 'on' those actors. They are not. I am simply using their appearances and acting skills as a template to start from.
One character whom I have never been able to cast definitely is Jerry Haven. I knew what I wanted (and for the purpose of the novel needed) him to look like and the more I write his character, the more I get a taste for his speech patterns, but I could never truly create a tight focus on him. He was always a blurry image, like a runner caught in movement.
Today, I finally found him. Tall, usually dark, with a dramatic presence that lends itself equally to a smile or anger, the actor Michael Fassbender is my Jerry. He's currently starring in the new X-men film, X-Men: First Class as Erik/Magneto. He has dropped into my cast perfectly and with a satisfying 'click'. I can now return to his 'scenes' and fine tune his dialogue.
Picture this - a barefoot Michael Fassbender dressed in white trousers and an open white shirt. That's how we first see Jerry, looking like 'a cross between a messiah and a rock star'. What do you think? Would you watch this film?