Here Anderson shares some suggestions about who should play the leads in an adaptation of his new novel, Cold Glory:
Now that Cold Glory has finally hit bookshelves, I’ve been asked at least a dozen times in the last two weeks about actors for the ever-elusive (and at this point, hypothetical) film of the story.Learn more about Cold Glory at B. Kent Anderson's website and blog.
I honestly don’t write novels with an actor or actress in mind, but have found myself considering the possibilities in the last couple of weeks. My two series characters are college professor Nick Journey and federal investigator/researcher (and part-time concert pianist) Meg Tolman.
Journey is a middle-aged former ballplayer, now a professor at a small college in Oklahoma. He’s also a single father of a son with autism. He’s a little overweight, has high blood pressure and cholesterol. He’s not an indestructible action hero, so leading men like George Clooney and Tom Cruise, though being around the right age (early/mid forties) are out. I found myself leaning toward Sean Penn (though he is a few years old for the character). As he has aged, Penn has developed a bit of a weathered look that would serve Nick Journey well, I think. I have in mind Penn’s role as a weary, understated Secret Service agent in The Interpreter a few years ago, as being the type of look and feel that would be most appealing in Journey.
My fiancée said, “No, no, no!” when I mentioned Penn. She prefers Matt Damon, and I said, “No, no, no! I can’t have Jason Bourne as my college professor.” But she correctly pointed out that Damon has aged a few years since his Bourne Trilogy days, and after looking up a few photos, I can actually see it. Put some rumpled khakis on him and he could also be my Nick Journey. (Perhaps he and Penn could fight it out for the role?)
My female lead, Meg Tolman, is a five-foot-one, tough-talking fireball of a woman with short blond hair and a serious attitude. She also plays Rachmaninov with all the beauty and sensitivity of any top-notch professional pianist. I was at a total loss for an actress in her early thirties to play Tolman, but again my fiancée intervened and suggested Claire Danes. I’ve never seen any of Danes’s films (I don’t get out much, you see), but as soon as I pulled up her photos on Google, I did something of a double take and said, “That’s Meg Tolman!” She brings the right combination of toughness and refinement that could bring Tolman to life on film.