Cast My Hero

Last night I started work on my newest project. I'm tilting at windmills, but at least I'm writing without any preconceived notions or worries about whether X or Y person will like it. This one is for me, as the best ones are.

But I'm having a hard time "seeing" my hero. Any of you who know the inspiration for Will Scarlet in WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS knows that I work well with casting actors as the leads. (Although interestingly enough, I never cast Meg. She's a hellfire creation all of her own.)

Here's what I know about my hero so far: Aged roughly 22-25, he's an American from "somewhere in the middle." He grew up in a small town and is the third of five children (his siblings are all sisters). His mom has run a little grocery store ever since his dad died, some accident or illness that left a big whole in their family, and particularly in the hero's life. As a teenager he got into trouble with local law enforcement for petty crime, drinking and delinquency. He's a good guy, though--just a little wild and, underneath his bravado, a lot more conservative than he'd ever admit.

Some of the actors I've considered are:

The magnificent Gregory Peck. I love this photo. All the right look, the right brawn. But I can't feel Peck's personality in my mind so it would be like casting a model. Has potential.

Adorable James McAvoy. However, I need him to be very American. His girl is going to be a proper English rose with a feisty streak, so I want that contrast of cultures. To me McAvoy is always Robbie Turner, which wouldn't help. Needs more macho.

Little-known (unless you watch "Medium") Jake Weber. He was born and raised in England, so his slight accent and demure personality are, again, not macho enough, although he was the inspiration for the character. It's not working now because the demands of the story have changed who and what he needs to be.

So, any ideas? Who would you cast for my leading man? I'm curious to see what you come up with. Feel free to leave links to particular pictures!

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