Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Happens at @GoodReads Doesn't Necessarily Stay at #GoodReads

A huge topic of discussion at GoodReads is always which actors should play certain roles in the movie versions of our beloved books. There's only one answer, really: no one. What mortal human is ever good enough to compare to the way we imagine our favorite fictional characters (and, let's face it, fictional boyfriends/girlfriends) in our heads? The fun of fictional people is that they're better than real people, possessing only those flaws with which the author lovingly bestows them, as needed for the plot and/or to make them charmingly quirky.

Therefore, I have no very strong opinions on who should play Finnick Odair in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Whoever gets to play Christian Grey, I'll be disappointed in, because he won't be my imaginary Christian Grey. I won't hate seeing Michael Fassbender or Cillian Murphy get the role, but I won't love it, either.

(Okay, I'll probably come to love it eventually, the same way I wholeheartedly embrace Dan Radcliffe - whom I just recently found out is half-Jewish, the kosher icing on a cake I already adored! - as Harry Potter and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen.)

I definitely, definitely have no strong opinion on who should play Matthew Clairmont, the medieval knight/modern vampire in A Discovery of Witches. My opinion is "nobody." Matthew Clairmont is so utterly inhuman, so otherworldly, so supernatural. How could he be played by a mere human? Still, I had to take a peek when a GoodReads discussion was labelled, "Who would you like to see play Matthew in the movie, if one were made?"

The first suggestion is Fassbender - an excellent choice. Then, a few comments down, Ms. Jackie Frye throws out Jim Caviezel as a suggestion...and I die a little, 'cause that's what happens when you take two of my sexual fantasies, jam them together and make them wrestle over who gets to be on top.

Some people agree. Some don't. One who doesn't is this chick Suay, who writes:

"Didn't really like any of the suggestions I have looked up so far. Jim Caviezel looks a bit too sleazy in my opinion (I apologize for the choice of words but can't think of a more polite word for this right now), Fassbender looks more vulnerable than I would have imagined Matthew to be. I agree with a previous comment that an unknown or less know actor would probably be best. I would have thought that a dark / sinister character would depict him best. But there aren't too many of that type around I suppose." 

...and I choke my chai latte, just a little. Oh no, book bitch*, you did not just call James Caviezel "sleazy." That is no way to talk about my own personal Jesus. I grant you the following points:

1. He's a dick to Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. Being a dick to Demi Moore is not cool.

2. He's a total dick to Ashley Judd in High Crimes, trying to kill her and all. He also makes being ambidextrous look creepy. But he gets punished for it, 'cause as Kat Bjelland sang/shrieked in "Bluebell," "You're dead meat, motherfucker/Don't try to rape a goddess."

3. His redneck domestic terrorist character in Deja Vu is completely sleazy. I give you that. He set a woman on fire. Again, he's severely punished. (He does, however, totally rock the back-of-the-neck tattoo. Makes me wanna be the chick who inked that, with the needles and the blood and the pain. Be still, my injury fetish.)

His style of acting can best be described as "intense," but "intense" can be a good thing, too. Intense can be passionate, and not just in the Christ sense. Suay says sleazy; I say man-pretty. I know I wrote in "Womb Pride," quoting Rob Bell's brilliant book Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality:

"Picture a group of high school boys standing by their lockers when a girl walks by. One of the boys asks, 'How do you rate that?' They then take turns assigning numerical values to the various parts of her anatomy, discussing in great detail how they evaluate her physical attributes...The problem is that 'that' is actually a 'she.' A person. A woman. With a name, a history, with feelings. It seems harmless until you're that girl, and then it hurts. It's degrading. It's violating. It does something to a person's soul."

So, please believe me when I say I mean no disrespect when I ask you to consider the following.

Those beautiful blue eyes.

These lips.

The cheekbones.

The hipbones.

The smile.

The really big hands...  

...and feet. 

What was I saying? Oh yeah. Matthew Clairmont? Maybe not. But definitely not sleazy. Just an intense actor and very, very man-pretty.

*Used affectionately. We're all book bitches here. No offense intended.


Anonymous said...

He may be the only reason I watch Person of Interest. Muted.

Erin O'Riordan said...

That was me, too - at first. Then I started getting into the show. Now I'm getting a little obsessed with Michael Emerson, too. Harold Finch? Billionaire, genius, book nerd - he's sapiosexual porn.

Shah Wharton said...

What a great post... lots to get my teeth into. And hubba... Matthew was always a hunk, but I never quite zero'd in on his attributes so thoroughly before. The eyes are the winning feature though. Re the WIP Wednesdays... I've been waiting for the book cover to my first novel to be ready till I submit to you. It's pretty much done. Gimmi a week or so and I'll mail you my blurb, URLs etc. :)

Good luck on yours - sounds like you're having a lot of fun writing them. ;p

Erin O'Riordan said...

Neck tattoo!