Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Dream Cast: The Gravedigger's Brawl

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Noah swiped at some dust as he sat in the only empty chair in the room. Everything else was stacked high with books and frames Wyatt had never gotten around to putting back up after the office had been painted over the summer. 
The Gravedigger's Brawl by Abigail Roux 




With Halloween approaching, I thought this would be a great time to put together one of my favorite posts. A Dream Cast. This time the cast of Abigail Roux's Gravedigger's Brawl. This short story is one of my favorites and not only is it a ghost story, it takes place in the days leading up to Halloween. So, now is the perfect time! I love doing these posts. They are definitely my favorites to write. But, this one was a little tougher than usual. Since this is a short story, there aren't a lot of descriptions of the characters, nor is there time to really get to know them, like in a series. However, I had a clear picture in my mind for several of the characters. So, I decided to cast the rest of the characters as well. Some thing you should know before going in, Gravedigger's is a Steampunk bar, Gaslight, really. But, Steampunk will do for this purpose. The two lead bartenders, Ash and Ryan, also do flair bartending on the weekends. Think the Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail. But, keep the Steampunk bent in mind when picturing the cast. So, continue on after the jump to see who I chose as these fascinating characters!



The Museum Board of Trustees
Our main character, Dr. Wyatt Case, is the curator of the Virginia Historical Society museum. The several members of the Board of Trustees are prominent minor characters in the story.

First, a simpering follower of a man, Stuart Lincoln.

When he opened the door, it wasn’t the squat little toad face of Stuart Lincoln that greeted him.
Lincoln stepped forward, a whole head shorter than Wyatt....
 My choice for this Board member is Timothy Spall.
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Whenever I hear of a character who blindly follows a questionable leader, or is described as toad or rat like, I immediately think of Timothy. Between his role as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter movies and as the Beadle in Sweeney Todd, he is just ingrained in my mind as every character fitting this description.

Next up, Wyatt's lone supporter on the Board, Emelda Ramsay.
Emelda Ramsay had sat on the board since before Wyatt was born. She was old Virginia money, concerned with nothing but the welfare of the museum and the historical society, rising above the politics and financial pressures that many trustees had fallen to over the years. 
My choice for this traditional Southern lady is Ellen Burstyn. 
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While there are a lot of actresses I could consider for this, Ellen seemed the best option for Emelda. She has a stern air about her, perfect for a Board of Trustees member of any organization. But, she can also be quite kind, a necessity for her interactions with Wyatt. And, if you've ever seen Requiem for a Dream, you know that she is an absolute powerhouse performer.

Finally, Wyatt's nemesis on the board, Edgar Reth.
He was tired of her having to defend him from Reth, who was a pompous ass, but had clout.
My choice for the acting president of the Board is Ed Harris.
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I'm not sure what made me choose Ed Harris over all of the other options I had in mind. Something about him just seemed right for Mr. Reth. He can be bossy and condescending. Mr. Harris just seemed right for this role, somehow.

The Staff of Gravedigger's Tavern
Most of the action takes place in Gravedigger's Tavern, where our other lead, Ash, is a bartender. Below are my picks for the Gravedigger's staff, who are the other major characters in the story.

First, the sassy and spunky, Delilah Willis.
She had piercings everywhere: in her eyebrow, in her nose, one in the side of her lip, and so many in her ear that she probably picked up NPR on clear nights. Her long hair was done in a beautiful array of old-fashioned curls and loose braids, only it had royal purple streaks and white feathers through what appeared to be natural black. She was wearing a corseted dress over fishnet tights, outrageous heeled boots, and velvet gauntlets on her wrists.
My choice for the lone female among the staff, Delilah, is Emmy Rossum.
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I adore Emmy Rossum. Shameless is one of my all-time favorite shows. She is also amazingly talented. She is a trained opera singer, as well as an actress. My first thought for Delilah was Zooey Deschanel. But, ultimately, I decided she didn't have the edge that Delilah has. So, while trying to think of a similar looking actress, I remembered Emmy. She's perfect for Delilah. Perfect.

Next up, the second bartender at Gravedigger's, Ryan Sander.
He was at least a foot taller than she was, broad in the shoulders and lanky.
Though both had dark hair and eyes and the same easy way of moving and smiling.
My choice for Ash's flairing partner, Ryan, is Jared Padalecki.
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There are only a few actors of the appropriate age that are as tall as Ryan requires. Two came to mind, Joe Manganiello and Jared. When I was thinking of Zooey for Delilah, Joe was my first choice. But, when I moved on to Emmy, Jared became the better option. He's a few years younger than Joe, so the age difference between he and Emmy wouldn't be so great. Plus, I would give my left arm to see Jared in steampunk clothes.

Now, for Gravedigger's owner, Caleb Biron.
Most people could only tolerate Caleb for limited periods of time. He was blunt, rude, grumpy, and possessed a rapier-like wit that he wasn’t afraid to use, all topped off like a cherry by that damned British accent that made you feel inferior. 
 “The Batcave was the original club in London where they first started hosting glam and then gothic rock crowds. Caleb was there at the start.”
My choice for the man in charge, Caleb, is Sean Bean.
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I had a really hard time making a choice for Caleb. There are HUNDREDS of great British actors. And, as you can see, besides his approximate age, we don't get any real description of Caleb, so I had nothing to guide me except age. I finally settled on Sean because he can definitely be grumpy. But, he can also pull out the razor sharp wit at a moment's notice. And, for some reason, I could see him frequenting a goth club in his youth. Though I'm not sure why.

And finally, the one person who isn't technically a staff member at Gravedigger's, Noah Drake.
Noah rode a motorcycle to work and his long hair was often pulled into a ponytail as he lectured. Like Wyatt, he was openly gay. And God help the poor soul who made a derogatory comment, because while Noah may have had an Ivy League degree, he also had several Krav Maga belts at home.
“Caleb!” Noah called as he stood on his tiptoes. He was several inches taller than the people around him, and Caleb spotted him.
My choice for Wyatt's colleague, Noah, is Zachary Levi. 
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Unless you are a big Comic Con follower, you may not know that Zachary Levi runs a series of panels there called NerdHQ. So, when I was trying to think of someone who could be both academic and ride a motorcycle, it came down to two Zacharys, Quinto and Levi. Ultimately, I decided that Zachary Quinto was a little too nerdy and not enough biker/Krav Maga fighter. Zachary Levi, on the other hand, was the perfect balance.

The Leads
Now, for the lead characters in our story. Our main love story, Wyatt and Ash, and, our villain.

First up, our villain, Vincent DuBois.
In the mirror above it was a reflection of a man standing behind his right shoulder, pale and drawn with dark, lank hair and black, angry eyes meeting Ash's.
The guy was wearing a long coat and, if Ash's eyes weren't mistaken, a black top hat.
"I think you're lost," the man said, his voice getting deeper but still hoarse and eerily distant.
The light struck his eyes, making them appear a milky, luminescent blue.
My choice for the creepiest of Abi's villains, Vincent DuBois, is Misha Collins.
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At other points in the book, Vincent is described as resembling Ash. So, I wanted someone who slightly resembles my Ash choice, but also had their own look. Misha absolutely fit the bill. He has that deep voice and look at that gif! If those aren't crazy eyes, I don't know what are. Plus, his eyes are an unnatural blue all on their own. No effects required.

Next, one half of our romantic leading men, Ash Lucroix.
He wore a long-sleeved white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up to his wiry biceps, with black suspenders and pin-striped black trousers. His eyes were lined in heavy kohl, and when he spoke, Wyatt caught glimpses of metal on his tongue. His black hair was slicked back, long enough that it ended in riotous curls behind his ears and at the nape of his neck.
He pulled the straw out and gave Wyatt a disarming smile. He had beautiful teeth, save for one small chip in one of his canines that gave him an impish quality. It was the only imperfection on his otherwise stunning face.
My choice for this flairing bartender extraordinaire, Ash, is Colin O'Donoghue.  
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Who better to play the charming, kohl-eyed bartender than a charming, kohl-eyed pirate? Colin already has the look down. Teach him to flair and he is the embodiment of Ash. He's handsome and charming, but he can also be sweet and vulnerable. He's perfect and the only person I can picture in this role.

Finally, the other half of our romantic duo, Dr. Wyatt Case.
Wyatt met his eyes, a smile playing at his lips as he gave a bashful nod. Ash couldn't help but grin. The guy was cute as hell. His sandy blond hair was cut short and neat, allowing him to run his fingers through it without mussing it. He had beautiful sea-blue eyes that looked like they could cut glass. He was about the same height as Ash, maybe six feet tall, and had that whole bumbling academic with pent-up sexual frustrations vibe going.
My choice for the adorable museum curator, Wyatt, is Tom Hiddleston.
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I agonized over this choice for a long time. I went back and forth between so many different actors. Finally, I decided that Wyatt had to be Tom Hiddleston. He's the perfect combination of academia and sexual magnetism. He is a bit younger than Wyatt is supposed to be in the book. But, I think Tom can play a little older than he is, and he is otherwise perfect, so I can overlook his age. Plus, I know that he would have no problem being believable when Wyatt's dominate side comes out.

So, Saucy Readers, what do you think of my choices? Did you have someone else in mind for any of the characters? Let me know below!

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