Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sean Ferrell's "Man in the Empty Suit"

Sean Ferrell's novels include Numb (2010) and the newly released Man in the Empty Suit.

Here he shares some suggestions for casting the lead in an adaptation of Man in the Empty Suit:
My book is about a time traveler attending a party where all the guests are him of various ages, from 18 to 70, so the audience would need to be willing to see a lot of the main actor. There are, I'm sure, many actors that people would love to see on screen for an entire film, talking to himself (literally), and being both hero and villain in every shot. But for me, there's a list of three.

First, rest in peace Heath Ledger. As I was writing the book I happened to see 10 Things I Hate About You, Brokeback Mountain, and The Dark Knight, all within a few months of each other. Mr. Ledger was able to do anything, from comic to dramatic to tragically demented, and the nature of my book, in which a man is surrounded by various versions of himself, would demand that kind of variety. I was very saddened by his death as I think he'd only begun to tap the best parts of his artistry.

Second is Robert Downey Jr., who simply exhales charm, self-loathing, and sarcastic judgment with every breath. The main character in my book doesn't like much of himself--his past or his future--and early on this is expressed with a passive-aggressive humor and exhaustion that is, I think, Mr. Downey's stock-in-trade. His verbal wit and speed of delivery would be interesting to see going against itself as the protagonist gets into verbal sparring matches with older and younger versions of himself.

Finally, I think it would be amazing to see Idris Elba play the role. You can see the wheels turning in him as he works. There's depth, and charm, and a seriousness in his work, yet there is also an effortless quality. He's a remarkable actor and I'd love to see what he would do with a my protagonist, a man who feels pinned down by both his choices and his fate.
Learn more about the book and author at Sean Ferrell's website.

The Page 69 Test: Man in the Empty Suit.

--Marshal Zeringue