Sometimes when reading a book, I picture someone pretty much instantly as one of the characters. It may be the way they are described or their personality but something jumps out at me and I can just imagine a certain actor playing that part. I’ve recently found a few people who don’t like doing this or have never done it and I was intrigued because I just assumed it was natural!
I don’t always have someone in mind to play a part, or who I picture as the characters but sometimes I do. It could just be the fact they look like a famous person or it could be that I would definitely cast them if I could make the film adaptation myself!
I love discussing this with others as sometimes someone can suggest an actor I don’t know or wouldn’t have thought of for the role. It’s interesting to see the way others interpret the way character’s look and how they may dress, especially when it isn’t described very much in the book. I personally think this can sometimes be quite nice as it leaves some of it up to your imagination!
If I’m going to mention a couple of my personal fan cast choices, the first one that always jumps to mind is Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pictured left) as Celia from The Night Circus. As soon as I started the book I pictured her as the protagonist. I became a fan of hers around the same time as reading The Night Circus and I’m unsure if this had any influence or not but honestly think she would look the part and act Celia so well. My friend, Tiff, just read the book and messaged me saying Mbatha-Raw would be perfect so it must be true! She didn’t even know I thought the same!
When I first read Paper Towns, I always pictured Mae Whitman as Margo. She is so perfect and although Cara Delevingne was really good as her, I still wish it would have been Mae Whitman! After seeing her in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it hit me how well she would play Margo and how her attitude and style of acting would really fit the personality of the character. I think it would have been a very different portrayal to Delevingne’s but also a very interesting one!
I mentioned earlier that I spoke to some people who hate the idea of fan casting when reading books and I wanted to put across the point of view they told me. The main reason was that when they read, they don’t have a specific image of a character in their head, so throughout reading the image changes. I understand this as often you picture a character, either your own interpretation or in the image of an actor, and then the author will describe something about their appearance which completely changes how you imagined them. Another criticism is that it isn’t very imaginative to picture someone specific as the character. I disagree with this, as it isn’t simply cutting and pasting a person or a role they may have played which reminds you of a character. It’s imagining them acting the parts you are reading about, expressing themselves the way you imagine that character doing so!
I love hearing fan casts people have; if you have any, let us know in the comments or at our twitter! I would love to hear if you have any particular characters who you would adore to be able to cast in an adaptation!