by Michelle Gagnon
A friend and I were recently discussing the upcoming Hunger Games movie (which we're both EXTREMELY excited about). We both agreed that Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was a stroke of genius, but my friend felt strongly that the two male leads (Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale) were not at all what she'd pictured for those characters. I figure it's hard to say until I see the film; sometimes actors surprise you, after all. But it got me thinking about the pictures of characters we develop in our minds, and how frequently seeing a casting director's take on those roles lets us down.
For example, there's been a lot of discussion online about the possibility that Tom Cruise will play Jack Reacher, and Angelina Jolie will be Scarpetta in upcoming films for those popular series. Strong opinions both for and against, in those cases. And when One for the Money was recently released, a lot of Janet Evanovich fans doubted that Katherine Heigl had the chops to play Stephanie Plum (I haven't seen the film yet, so I can't weigh in on that).
Today let's throw on our amateur casting directors' hats and discuss who we think would best portray our favorite roles from YA fiction.
I recently finished Cassandra Clare's first few books in the Mortal Instrument series, which hasn't been greenlit yet, although they've apparently done some preliminary casting. Lily Collins will be Clary, and Jace will be played by Jamie Campbell-Bower. Once I saw their photos, they both struck me as excellent choices for those roles, at least judging by the way they look (whether or not they can act is another thing entirely, obviously). But what about Simon, and Isabella? Not to mention my personal favorite from the books, the warlock Magnus?
The funny thing is that for my most recent YA novel, DON'T TURN AROUND, the editor and I developed the characters together, which I've never done before. And he even helpfully provided photos of what he imagined the characters would look like. And no matter what, once I had those images locked in my mind, I couldn't picture them any other way (I'm posting the photos here, in case you're curious).
So: if you could choose the actors who will star in the film version of your favorite YA novel, who would they be, and why?