Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jack Getze's "Big Numbers"

Jack Getze, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, covered financial and economic issues for more than 15 years; then he switched professions and later sold stocks and bonds for a regional securities firm on the New Jersey Shore.

Big Numbers, his first published novel, is based on his experiences as a retail broker, sales manager, and financial executive.

Here Getze shares some ideas about the casting for a film adaptation of Big Numbers:
I can't remember who I had in mind as Austin Carr twenty years ago when I started Big Numbers. But I rewrote Austin's first-person account two years ago with several pictures of Vince Vaughn pinned above my computer. I even have a shot of Vince posted on my Austin Carr's Crime Diary blog. The headline -- Only a Rumor Vince Wants the Part.

In fact, since Big Numbers is the first in a series, and I'm working on number three right now, the pictures of Vince Vaughn are still up. He's obviously my choice to play Austin in any movie. Vince's ability to crack wise with a straight face, the natural way he wears a business suit, and his ability to charm the ladies make him perfect for the part.

For the part of Kelly Burns, the pretty redhead who lures Austin astray, I've always had in mind Molly Ringwald. Molly starred in the John Hughes movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, but the thing a lot of people remember about her is that she turned down the leading role of Julia Roberts' part in the 1990 smash Pretty Woman, and also Demi Moore's leading role in the film Ghost.

Molly's aged very well and now sports a mature sexiness that was missing in those teenage roles. I think she'd make a perfect seductress for the screen.

Austin's sidekick, bartender Luis Guererro, is tough to cast. He was based on a real bartender I knew twenty-five years ago in Red Bank, New Jersey, so I have a picture in my mind that's impossible to duplicate. But twenty years ago, Edward James Olmos came awfully darn close. Tough and intimidating with just a look, but soft-spoken and wise, I thought Olmos would -- like Luis -- would make Austin feel safe sitting at Luis's bar. Olmos is too old now, I suppose, but it's still his picture I have pinned on the board next to Vince Vaughn's.

As for Psycho Sam Attica, the former professional wrestler enraged by Austin's disastrous investment advice, I saw him on television last night as I was channel surfing. It's Hulk Hogan, who now has his own reality show.
Learn more about Jack Getze, Big Numbers, and Big Money -- the second Austin Carr Mystery due out in February 2008 -- at Getze's website and The Crimes of Austin Carr blog.

The Page 69 Test: Big Numbers.

--Marshal Zeringue