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?