Thursday, December 9, 2010

Imaginary Heroes

I was browsing along through this month's Vanity Fair at lunch time (thanks Jessica), about to admire pictures of my boyfriend, Johnny Depp,
When I came across this guy:  
His name is Garrett Hedlund, and he's in the new Tron movie, as well as Country Strong, and THEN he's going to be playing Dean Moriarty in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On The Road, which so totally appeals to my once-upon-a-time-hippie-wanna-be nature that I might just have to go home and get my Birkenstocks and socks on.

Yeah, I know.  It was bad, I did it, but I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen.  I will also confess that while I do know who Neal Cassady is/was (the real life Dean Moriarty), it's only because I like the Grateful Dead song.

  I tried to read On the Road, but it was kind of like Moby Dick to me at the time.  I had to wait 25 years for the movie, but if Garrett's in it, I'm glad I waited.

Anyway.  I saw that Garrett guy, and I thought, Oh!  He could totally be Comatose Dave in WIP3!  I generally try to stay away from choosing real people to model my heroes after because once I start to learn sutff about them, I feel like I have to make that part of the story, and real people can be a little too human.  I'm still not over the whole Mel Gibson debacle.

  On the other hand, I have a tough time imagining imaginary people.  So my plan here is to avoid any and all information about my boy Garrett until after I've written about him, so that his sordid interactions with underaged girls or attacks on paparazzi dont't play into his profile.

How do the rest of you do it?  How do you come up with a face without getting sucked into a personality?     


  1. That's funny. I usually find actors or models I know nothing about. In my WIP, I never found the right guy to cast as my hero until I was flipping through WIRED magazine, of all things, and there he was, in an ad for men's cologne. Turns out to be a French (ooh la la) actor named Gaspard Ulliel. Now he's an Irish vampire. He'll never know the difference. (Love the Birks & sandals!)

  2. It helps that while my characters might resemble people I've seen (celebrity or otherwise), they don't look exactly like them. Gives me a little more wiggle room.

    And thanks for the eye candy!

  3. ha ha I wont tell Vanessa Paradis you are dating johnny Depp too.
    I am tempted to give my MCs the characters of the celeb they look like but in my last WIP my MC refused to even curse in Spanish even tho' he was of Colombian descent. He is ticked off with his mom for giving him up at birth he has turned his birth on all that she was.

  4. Ahh ... I adore Johnny. Ever since I was a kid and I stuck socks in my top to impress a poster of him on my wardrobe ;o)

  5. Oooh! I've had a thing for Johnny since his 21 Jump Street days. The other guy...meh, he doesn't do it for me. He's too blonde for my taste. I like dark haired guys. As you mentioned in an earlier blog post, Richard Gere looked mighty fine in his earlier days, too.

  6. That is too funny! on the west side that is the thing-sandals and socks esp the birks.

    I lived on the west side long enough to get some bad habits. ie sandals w/ socks, sweatshirts and shorts, you get the idea...

    I promise not to spill about this guy, since I don't know who he is :)

    *frowns* I thought Johnny was my daughter's boyfriend. I could have sworn that was what she said... :D

    PS I'm from Washington (State of!)

  7. Suzanne: I saw a guy in an ad in the back of a Country Music fan mag the other day who was so hot I couldn't buy the magazine, I was scared to look at him. I'll probably sneak back this afternoon.

    Linda: Maybe I need to get some sort of morphing software so I can merge Hugh Grant with, say, the pope, so I can wiggle back and forth between morals and looks (okay, maybe not a good example).

    JSJ: I loves me a Spanish accent...make him use it anyway.

    Jessica: How did that work out for you? Did his eyes follow you around the room?

    Mary: Garrett isn't too blonde for me, but he's too young. I'll draw a mustache on him and take his hairline back a little...

    Leona: I'm glad there is still a land of Birks and socks (besides, say, Finland). And tell your daughter to keep her hands off my boyfriend. Except when I'm out with Garrett, then she can have a turn.

  8. LOL. Yes. Just like the Mona Lisa ;o)

  9. Ooooh, nice!

    I had quite a lot of trouble keeping a character's appearance in mind while writing so found it easier to summon up all the main points and over time, well-known faces started to creep in.

    Of course, MY characters don't totally look like these people but it really helps me to keep their faces in mind when imagining a conversation or a fight or a dance.

    Note to self: Have better looking characters.

  10. Thank YOU for the photo of Johnny. Something funny happens when I see his face. I gasp. Literally. Every. time. Makes shopping at the supermarket a bit embarrassing when he's on a mag cover, but still. He holds my heart. :)