The Great Big Jump Presents: Right Here, Right Now – The Casting Notes

Yes, I know, I write too much about writing, but sometimes it cannot be helped. Here’s another glimpse of the thought process I’m going through while writing Right Here, Right Now; after this, I promise to shut up and move on to my other work. 

For best results, read this after going through the Excerpt of the Week. 

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First things first:  I will admit I’ve mentally cast the most obvious picks for both Pete and Iris, which cannot be helped since it’s my screenplay and I can do whatever I want with it. However… since I can’t act, and my first choice for Pete has priced himself out of reach after The Bourne Legacy (unless he is insane enough to take a risk on a comedy… and by “comedy” I don’t mean THIS), I’ve decided that a more workable overview of the headcanon is in order.
(All photos sourced from Google Images.)

Pete Driscoll: The main consideration I have for Pete is that he has to look like the guy who used to have that spark in his eye, before it got tempered by the realities of adulthood. Paul Rudd is an excellent option, since he has the teen-comedy experience (Clueless) and is good at playing the sad-sack type (especially in The 40 Year Old Virgin and Role Models); it won’t be hard to imagine him trying to relive his youth while skulking around in lumberjack shirts.

Alternate casting choices: Ben Affleck (if he’s not too busy); Ryan Reynolds (overexposed); Joel Edgerton (too pale?)

Iris Garcia: My take on Iris is that she’s one of those characters who everybody wants to slap in the face: that friend of yours who has everything going for her – looks, smarts, a kick-ass job and a heart of gold – but can’t help but screw up because she will do anything for a man. Naturally, there are scenes where she will dress slutty, do shots, and hit on Pete at inopportune moments just to get attention.

You know who could use a role like this right now? Katie Holmes.

Alternate casting choices: Lizzy Caplan (risk of typecasting); Anna Faris (all over the place); Melanie Lynskey (almost forgot about her; she’s a less-twee version of Zooey Deschanel)

– Adam Westendorf: Pete’s best friend is a Mark Zuckerberg type who cannot – and will not – get over the humiliation of being the dweeb who never got the girl, in spite of being insanely wealthy and successful. I could go on and on about who I had in mind for Adam – including Adam Richman from Man Vs. Food and Michael Stuhlbarg from Men in Black 3 – but ultimately I had to make an executive decision: Adam Westendorf IS Seth Rogen. Full stop.

Alternate casting choices: Nick Frost (accent coaching?); Sean Astin (total geek thrill); Silas Weir Mitchell (plays sidekick quite well, judging by what I’ve seen of Grimm)

Evan Schmidt: Two words: gay stoner. Schmidt is the guy has always been “one of the boys” before coming out, and still has the support of his friends – and Cousin Pete – in spite of the circumstances. I thought of Tom Hiddleston at first (Loki on weed? Why?) then Corey Stoll (the bald Peter Sarsgaard lookalike from Law and Order: LA), then Dominic Monaghan. Sounds tricky, but it can be done.


Alternate casting choices: Chris Pratt (has the unwashed look going for him); Breckin Meyer (inspired); Jonny Lee Miller (cue wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth).

Grant Spalding: Everybody hates him because he looks, acts, and smells like a Ralph Lauren ad, and never seems to age a single day over 18 (or 25, to be generous)… and that’s before he opens his mouth. Since Benedict Cumberbatch is not interested in switching from posh British dandies to posh American jerk-offs, however, it’s safe to hand this one to Paul Walker.

Alternate casting choices: Will Arnett (if he could control the smarm); Matthew Morrison (saw him on a Law and Order rerun playing a creepy WASP – and quite well); James van der Beek (for the TROLOLOLOLOLOL factor)

Francie Olivetti: Former Goth pixie and self-proclaimed “fag hag” with an acid tongue and a broken soul? Sounds a little like Julia Stiles in full bitch mode.

Alternate casting choices: Amber Tamblyn (also in full bitch mode); Krysten Ritter (with or without her slutty makeup); Lauren Ambrose (have you seen Can’t Hardly Wait yet?)

Roger and Melinda (Chua) Cherkowsky: The couple who has always been together since time immemorial, which is why I’m lumping them in here as a singular category. There was never any doubt in my mind that Alan Tudyk was going to play the “odd-looking” but fiercely loyal Roger, but Mel was meant to be the (stereotypical Asian?) girl who has been Tiger-Parented to do the right thing all her life, only to end up as a restless adult. So: Keiko Agena from Gilmore Girls?

Alternate casting for Mel: Lucy Liu (too old?); Lindsay Price (too perky?); America Ferrera (in case I want to switch ethnicities)

Alternate casting for Roger: See comments on Alan Tudyk, above.

BONUS: Lauren Standish Driscoll, aka Pete’s Dead Wife. It’s a short role, and there are flashbacks, so let’s make this one easy:

Claire Danes.

Do you agree or disagree with the casting picks? Think you can do better? Post your takes in the Comments!

Love, Stella

3 Responses

  1. Ooo, these look intriguing. What a fantasy cast. And from the descriptions of the characters, the looks seem about right. It looks like quite a gathering of personalities. Just in case, the image for Pete isn't showing up. I don't know if it's just me, but you might want to check it out.
    This looks like a fun exercise. I've thought about posting the inspiration pics for my Overwatch Series, but I'm not sure I want to really give faces to the characters so it could be left to the reader's imagination. This is of course why I'm struggling with how to design my covers. I have a specific look in mind for both Jillie and David, neither of which will give me the rights to use their image… sigh. Alas, I am stuck with 'almost there' facsimiles or the monumental effort of painting them myself. Who's got that kind of time? Because I certainly don't have the money! And the perfectionist in me won't let it go until it's right.

  2. Interesting: The Paul Rudd photo shows up on my screen, and I use a proxy server that's supposed to filter out those things. I'll try to re-post a screencap later; there's a visual clue in the picture that hints at a few things that Pete was up to after his wife died.

    Come to think of it, I have yet to write a story that does not have a "movie-ready" cast in mind. One of the possible projects I have knocking around in my head is set completely in the Philippines, and the characters look nothing like the actors I've seen in most local movies and TV shows. They don't even look like people I know in real life, which could be a good thing!

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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